Those books we just can’t finish!

Those books we just can’t finish!
Heir to the Duke


Series: The Duke's Sons #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on 01/05/2016
Pages: 3432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

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Nathaniel Gresham, the handsome Viscount Hargove, lives a life devoted to familial duty. As his father's eldest son, Nathaniel's identity remains the "heir to the Duke of Langford." But this quiet, restrained life changes the minute he marries sweet Lady Violet Devere.

Oppressed by her family all her life, Violet is longing for her marriage vows to be spoken. Though her arranged marriage to Nathaniel was not a match made for love, they're both looking forward to the comparative freedom of married life. And Violet is determined to show Nathaniel how to enjoy it, both in and out of the bedroom.

I’ve read this author before and enjoyed her books plus the premise sounded good on this one.

The opening pages started out so fun with this hilarious introduction to Nathaniel and his brothers who pull a wedding morning prank on him.  The book introduced the rest of the players in this story, their situations, and then it just sort of fizzled out for me so at about 25%, I skimmed.  Nada.  It just did not draw my interest or seem like a romance.  So, I called it and I’m moving on.

In the beginning, I was okay with learning that Violet had led a repressed life so she saw this marriage of convenience as an opportunity to gain some freedom and cut loose while Nathaniel saw it as doing his duty by marrying for friendship rather than love since he couldn’t find love during the several society seasons he tried looking.
But then, this pair just went their separate ways, pursued their separate pursuits, and I didn’t really care.  Violet came across more as a petulant teen rather than a twenty something with her immature actions and need to cut loose with little thought for consequences.  Nathaniel was nice, but he was preoccupied with family.  There was just no chemistry to me and I felt like I was waiting for something to happen that didn’t.

So, no, this one didn’t work out for me.  I didn’t hate it other than being annoyed with Violet, but I was not into it at all.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing this book for review.

Those books we just can’t finish!
Rescue Me


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Avon
Released on May 29, 2012
Pages: 389

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She’s 33, unmarried, and stuffed into a Bubble Yum pink bridesmaid dress. And the whole town wants to fix her up with anyone with a dental plan...

Who’s going to rescue Sadie Hollowell now? Everyone in Lovett, Texas knows Sadie has always been a ‘notional’ kind of gal. She got a notion to leave town ASAP and never visit her daddy (bless his heart). Now, she’s back and got the notion to invite a good-looking, hard-muscled, total stranger to her cousin’s wedding. Better a stranger than some of the losers she’s dated.

Vince Haven got his muscles the hard way -- as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan. He’s staying in Lovett to visit his crazy aunt -- the proprietor of the local Gas N Go. Before he can get the heck back out of the small town, his aunt makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Maybe he’ll stick around Lovett for a while. Maybe he’ll make a ‘go’ of the Gas N Go. Maybe he’ll rescue Sadie out of that pink dress!

My first time trying this author, but not my first rodeo with small-town Texas light romance.  I was eager to dive in and have some fun and it started that way.  The quote-able Sadie Jo was a hoot as this bird of a different feather was headed back to her hometown for a family wedding and encountered the smoldering hot former Navy SEAL by his broken down truck.

Rescue Me is book three in the Lovett Texas series.  The hero’s sister was a previous books heroine, but this one stands fine on its own.

So, I was loving this one until I wasn’t.  I got 25% in and then set it aside and had no trouble walking away to do other stuff and read other books. This one has all the elements I usually enjoy and I was already smiling and laughing over some quote-able lines in the first chapter.  But then, I felt things start to slog and get irritating.

I’m pretty sure it is a mood and not the book because I was starting to get annoyed with piddling things that don’t normally get to me and losing interest even when there were things that would normally keep me reading.  Sadie is adamant (me thinks she protests too much sort of adamant) against everything about her small town, her happy singlehood, and has trouble with her emotionally unavailable father.  The continuous focus on her single-ism by the people in Lovett, Sadie’s putdown of the community, and I struggled with Vince, the hero, who had the tough guy who doesn’t do relationships, too.  On the other side of the coin, it was just setting out some of the plot threads with Vince’s business opportunity with his aunt’s convenience store and finding a purpose and Sadie’s dad’s collapse and their chance to connect.

So, I’m stopping for now and I’ll pick it up later when I’m more in the mood to appreciate it.  Those who enjoy small town contemporary light yet spicy romance should take a look-see.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.


  1. Too bad with these. It is always tough for me to decide whether or not to abandon a book. 25% seems to be a good range to try. Curious to note that I seem to “spot” the DNF kind of books faster with audiobooks.

    1. I struggle with the same thing, Velvet. I tried to have rules about it and I do to a certain extent. Twenty-five percent is about four or five chapters in and the point where plot and characters are already introduced giving me a good feeling whether me and a book are a good match (or my mood is right, in several cases).

      Interesting how the audio brings things more to your attention like that.

    1. Sigh, yes. I’m doing better about realizing that, Mary. I like this ‘for now’ clause I’ve added to some of my DNFs which makes it easier to set it down knowing I can come back to it if I feel like trying again.

  2. Sometimes you just have to call it. I’m in some funk now and I’ve been avoiding DNFs, doing a lot of “try -again later”. I have such a weird palate lately, even my usuals are failing to engage me.

    1. It’s frustrating to not have a mood to read or to read almost anything one picks up, but it is freeing to know one can set it aside and come back to it.

      Haha! Weird may be frustrating, but it can get interesting, too. 🙂

    1. All hope is not lost for that one, Carole. Actually, I quit it due to mood and it didn’t grab me, but it probably would work out for most everyone else. Just me being quirky reader. LOL

  3. I know you say you may revisit at least one of these, but the amount of good ones out there would probably keep me from going back. I can’t seem to find enough time to read all the ones I want to read. But good luck to you if you do, I hope it’s better the second time 🙂

    1. So true, Lorna. I’ve managed to revisit a few that I’ve set aside, but no, it is definitely not all of them. Sometimes I never do get back in the mood for the book and sometimes I don’t want to go back when others grab my attention

  4. Sounds like the character has Rapunzel syndrom. I hate how my moods interfere with books. I’m having trouble finishing the Vegetarian. A little too much lust in the book is what I’m feeling right now. And all I want to do is hide under a carpet.

    1. Oh no, Trin! I confess I have been known to skip or skim through books that have little plot development and a ton of lusty scenes. Ha, good way to describe it.

    1. Yes, it really can. I used to try to soldier through that sort of book because so much other stuff about the book was good, but this one didn’t grab me enough. So onwards… 😉

  5. YIKES! I’m a fan of Rachel Gibson, and have an area dedicated to her on the shelf. I think sometimes we just get in those moods where nothing quite works, and it seems like it’s usually in the summer. lol Hopefully things will pick up soon. Happy Saturday! Hugs…

    1. This is very true, Ro. I think moods can be seasonal, too. I love to read in the summer, but I tend to read less and I get finicky about my picks more.

      You enjoy the rest of your weekend, too. 🙂

  6. Bummer! I love Gibson but it’s been years since I read her and I don’t think I have that one. Ashford. I read one by her and wasn’t entirely wowed. If I’m remembering right they’d kinda gone their own ways, too. Hope you have some good ones to get these out of your system 🙂

    1. I like Gibson’s writing style so I do plan to give other books a try. I really think it might have been me. I was in an UF/PNR mood and I should have just waited. I got irritated and impatient with elements that don’t normally bug me.

      But the Ashford was a different issue. In a fiction, I would be alright with people growing and maturing apart from each others and having their own lives, but in a romance, I need to see them more together having- well, romance. LOL

      Already enjoyed some good ones since these so all is good. 🙂

  7. I have a copy of Heir to the Duke as well if I remember correctly and from your review now I doubt whether it will be a book for me. It’s difficult to really enjoy a book if you don’t like the characters and that sounds a bit weird with the character going their separate ways,

    Maybe Rescue Me works better when you’re in a different mood. I recently had a read that i picked up in the wrong mood and it can really effect your enjoyment of the book if you’re not int he right mood.

    Sorry these didn’t work for you. i hope your next book is better!

    1. I thought I would like Heir to the Duke from the blurb and even into the first scene, but yeah, it just didn’t work for me to have them separate and go about their own lives for most of the book- especially her cutting loose like that.

      Oys, the moods can really be an issue if its not the same as what I’m trying to read. I’ve learned not to fight it and to just set the book aside for later or it can be a miserable experience.

    1. I’m getting better at it, Karen. I used to push through and end up either anger, disappointed, or in a book funk as a result. Now, I get a little twinge and might second guess myself, but for the most part, I’m happy I just moved on to a book better suited for me.

  8. Eeeeshk. Both of these are authors I want to try. I’ll be sure to start elsewhere.

    I have a DNF post coming up, too, and I always dread writing them.

    1. I don’t think you’ll have anything to worry about if you want to try either author. I’ve enjoyed other Ashford books and I’m pretty sure I’ll like Rachel Gibson when I’m in the mood.

      Yeah, the ugly DNF posts. LOL I am better about doing it, but still struggle.

      1. I think I’ll probably start with her hockey series and see how that goes for me. LOL

        Yeah, the one I have on deck has a book from one of my very favorites, so I am procrastinating.

        1. Hockey? That does have appeal.

          Oh man, a favorite author does make it tough. But sometimes an element or a character just really doesn’t work. I’ve skipped books in series by favorite authors because I knew I would hate them for my ‘touchy’ elements.

  9. I have tried Jane Ashford once before and I just could not get into the book 🙁 It started off well and then just got boring and I had to force myself to finish the book…Now I’m very reluctant to pick her books up but hopefully I will eventually…..

    1. Yeah, I got offered another one from this series, but just wasn’t interested in taking a chance after really getting bored with this one. Maybe someday. 🙂