DNF Reviews – The uh no way!

Posted May 27, 2016 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 19 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

DNF Reviews – The uh no way!
Dance With Deception
Narrated by Susan Duerden


Series: #1 Scandalous Secrets
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Audible Studios
Released on March 9, 2016
Length: 10 hours 4 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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DNF at 4 hours

I was intrigued by the blurb and a chance at a new to me author and new to me narrator.  The opening for this story produced a good strong plot and intriguing characters, but it didn’t stay that way for me.

The general plot remained of interest and that is what kept me listening- a young woman being forced by her father to marry a revolting man, a father with secrets and reasons for his actions, a rakish yet very much in love hero, engaging siblings to both leads who wanted their brother and sister to be together for love.  But…

I do want to point out that what turned me off fairly early on will possibly not be an issue for others.  It will be all in what attracts you to a heroine.  If you like your damsels in distress types then you will not mind so much what started to grate on my nerves and only got worse as I progressed.

See, Gwen MacAlistair was the type of heroine that pretty much got in her own way of happiness and then got stubborn with the wrong people (bad guy- she turns spineless; good guy- she’s a bull terrier) and that’s on top of her stupid moments.

Her father is a mean, manipulative man who has driven off one son and is in a constant discord with the other one.  He was hard on his wife and his kids, but little ‘head in the clouds and believing in unicorns’ Gwen is dead set on earning that man’s ‘well-done’ by throwing herself on her sword and marrying a lecherous fop that makes her skin crawl.  Sebastian comes along and offers her escape because he loves her and wants to marry her and supposedly she loves him too (hard to tell the way she was acting).  She is mulishly determined that their marriage would ruin Sebastian so ruthlessly lies to him and says she can’t marry him because she doesn’t trust him not to stay away from other women.  The blow of her words and that the woman he loves thinks this of him was hard to get through for me as the reader.  Let’s just say she’s lucky I couldn’t get a hand on her for realsies because her stupid lie led to Seb doing something dumb and so forth.  When Sebastian goes on to play her hero and keep her from the jerk she was to marry, she gets mad about a lie Seb tells to get her father to agree so that little miss stubborn’s need to not cause a scandal is appeased.  She holds onto the mad waaaay too long and turns into a shrew with Sebastian.

Yeah, that was when I pulled the plug.  I was so angry with Gwen at this point that not even a miracle big-time romantic selfless move was going to redeem her for me.  It all felt so senselessly dramatic and the conflicts began to feel contrived.

The best thing about the story for me was the narration.  I thought Susan Duerden did a fantastic job with the English accents and the variety of male and female character voices.  I could clearly see the story in my head as she narrated.

In summary, this was not for me, though as I said, those who don’t get upset over a certain type of heroine probably won’t be as irked and will do fine.  The build of intrigue about the family secrets does make for a good strong plot thread and is what kept me going longer as well as the solid audio work of the narrator.

My thanks to Audible.com for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.

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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.

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Angela @ Simply Angela

I’m really glad that I passed on this one because I don’t think I could handle Gwen. Heroines like her just annoy me to no end.

Sophia Rose
5 years ago

It would have been alright if I actually understood why she thought an earl’s daughter marrying a duke was so scandalous. They were neighbors and grew up together as children. People wouldn’t have batted an eye, but she has so freaked about stuff constantly and the hypocrisy of her lie to get rid of Sebastian and his lie to fool her father into giving his consent just…sigh. Urgh.

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
5 years ago

Sorry Sophia Rose, whiny, useless heroines are a huge turn off for me too and especially in a historical where they have so many restrictions I like the feisty ones!!!

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Like I was telling, Angela. If I could have seen her issues as even slightly valid, but they made no sense to me. Yeah, she definitely caged herself in and brought on much of her own misery and I didn’t want to keep reading about that.

Mary Kirkland
5 years ago

It happens. Sometimes the book just doesn’t do it for us.

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yeah, it does, Mary. I was eager to read this one and then kept thinking it would change, but it just got worse for me.

5 years ago

Sounds very meh

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Blodeuedd

I just couldn’t understand the heroine’s motives. Her thinking and reactions made little sense to me.

Keionda Hearts Books
5 years ago

Ugh. If a heroine is just getting on your nerves THEN THERE IS NOT NEED FO RME TO CONTINUE. It always makes me sad to DNF a book because I believe in at least giving the poor book a shot, but there’s only so much we can do when there’s a butt-load of other better books out there… =/

Sophia Rose
5 years ago

Same here, Keionda. I want to give books that start out rough a shot because DNF-ing stresses me a little, but even a third of the way in, it was getting worse for me. New book, please!

Lover Of Romance
5 years ago

oh no a DNF?? those are the worst and a audio as well. I agree though Susan is a fantastic narrator, but sometimes a book isn’t for everyone.

Sophia Rose
5 years ago

Oh good, glad that you’ve listened to her narration and liked it, too. I’ve actually been exploring to see how to figure out what I like in narration. I’m trying to get past voice to how they interpret the story.

Yeah, I wanted to like this one, too, b/c it hooked me with the blurb and the early pages of the set up. Have you read the series? I thought about skipping to get her brothers’ stories. Because it really was just the heroine that bugged me and not the rest of the story.

5 years ago

Sorry you had to DNF this one. When it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work. The narrator sounds fantastic, though.

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Lekeisha

Me, too, Lekeisha. I really have to coach myself to put it down when it doesn’t work instead of growing more and more frustrated.
Oh yes, I do think I’ve found a solid narrator that I want to try more of her books.

Alyssa Susanna
5 years ago

Oh jeez. I see exactly why you DNF’d. I would probably hate Gwen and want to chuck the book far, far away. I had issues with the heroine of two of the most recent books I’ve read in the last week or so! It’s so frustrating.

So sorry you weren’t able to finish this one, Sophia! But great review. =)

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa Susanna

Yes, I did feel that it was best if this book and I took leave of each other. I liked everything, but the heroine and thought I could manage to keep going. However, she just never stopped with the drama and saying/doing the stupid so I gave up.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

Oh nope, nope, nope. So much nope. That would have me feeling stabby, Sophia. I can’t believe you lasted four hours of that! You are a trooper!

Sophia Rose
5 years ago

Ha! Yeah, me neither. I think it was because I was listening while doing chores, but I did a lot of muttering, too. Honestly, I didn’t get into just how jacked up her thing about scandal was- Seb’s a Duke and she’s an Earl’s daughter and they were next door neighbors. How would them marrying by Special license be considered scandalous? It wouldn’t. So all her other issues made no sense whatsoever after that and she was just mean and hypocritical with her lie to him and not forgiving him of his lie to her father. Ugh. 😉

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Reply to  Sophia Rose

LOL she got ya a little fired up, huh? Just reading about it has me fired up. lol That really doesn’t make much sense at all from her stand point. Oys.