DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap Up

Posted March 14, 2012 by Melissa in Book Review, DNF Deliberation | 5 Comments

Brief thoughts about books that for one reason or another I just couldn’t make myself finish. When I started blogging , I made the rooky mistake of not being selective enough in the review books that I took on.  I know that if I had done more research into these books…I may not have picked some of them up in the first place. And had I known that so many of my NetGalley requests would have been approved, I would have been a lot more selective with those requests as well. (I assumed that I would be lucky if 10% were approved and on that basis requested way too many.)  That is definitely a lesson learned…

Some of these just weren’t for me…others I think were just bad timing.  We all know how we go through different reading moods at different times.  Despite not finishing them…I did want to share a few of my thoughts about each. Please don’t let my thoughts discourage you from reading or further researching these books.  Mine is just one person’s opinion 🙂

Stuck With You by Trish Jenson
DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap UpTitle: Stuck With You
Author: Trish Jenson
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Publication date: January 3rd 2012
Find It: Goodreads
My Rating:

As lawyers on opposing sides of a messy divorce case, Paige Hart and Ross Bennett ought to have kept matters purely professional, yet Paige and Ross came to loathe each other with an intensity that was strictly personal. The bad blood between them takes on an unexpected new dimension when the infuriated pair is forced to share a hospital room, when they're quarantined after being exposed to the rare and highly contagious Tibetan Concupiscence Virus that's reputed to shift sensual desire into high gear. When symptoms (which a nonmedical person might mistake for pure and simple lust) start showing up way ahead of schedule, the lawyers' objections to each other are overruled -- and they enjoy every minute of it. But, after the doctors declare that the disease has run its course, Paige and Ross are still feverish with a longing for one another that they hope will never be cured. When the verdict comes in, will they be sentenced to life -- in love? The trend toward funny, sexy contemporary romance has been around for a while, but Trish Jensen offers readers a fresh (in both senses of the word) take on this popular genre.

My Thoughts

I expected this to be a fun and quick read.  And I just adore the simplicity of the cover…the two heart shaped cherries with their stems making another heart…so cute!  Sadly I was just not able to connect with the story.   It was just a bit too cheesy for my taste-a bit too unbelievable.  I couldn’t find much substance here. For an adult book it just seemed a bit juvenile for my taste.  The characters did not act the way I would expect intelligent adults (as lawyers -they were supposed to be quite bright) even considering the fact that they were “infected” with this ridiculous disease.  And the way the legal jargon was tossed into the dialogue.  I know that the author was going for crazy and humorous here…but it just fell way short for me…too unrealistic.

Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap UpTitle: Tris & Izzie
Author: Mette Ivie Harrison
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication date: October 11th 2011
Find It: Goodreads
My Rating:

A modern retelling of the German fairytale "Tristan and Isolde", Tris and Izzie is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until -- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school.

My Thoughts

I was really excited when I started this book. I loved the idea of a Tristan & Isolde retelling. Sadly this one just did not live up to it’s potential. I could not connect with any of the characters. Even for teens they seemed exceptionally naive and showed incredibly poor judgement to the point of being extremely annoying. I just could not relate to them at all and many times I found their actions to be confusing. Harrison didn’t always explain very well why they were doing what they were doing…which also increased my frustration. As a reminder, I am a 30-something adult reading some YA. Perhaps this might appeal to a younger audience.

Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione
DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap UpTitle: Immortal Rider
Author: Larissa Ione
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: December 1st, 2011
Find It: Goodreads
My Rating:

Sexy, powerful, and immortal, Limos is on a crash course with destiny. She’s been marked as Satan’s bride and her jealous fiancé wants her all to himself. The only way this Horseman can keep herself—and everyone else—safe is to keep her distance. But not even Limos can save herself from the secrets she’s kept . . . or resist the seductive allure of one very brave human.

Arik Wagner knows the saying “love hurts” better than most, yet he never thought stealing a kiss from Limos would land him in Hell. Literally. It takes all his military training to survive the demon torture, but once he’s topside, Arik realizes that the agony has just begun. With the Apocalypse looming and Satan demanding his bride, will Arik and Limos surrender to the desire smoldering between them? Or will giving in to their passion unleash hell on earth?

My Thoughts

This is a strange one for me…because I’m going to admit that I read the first book in this series and although I didn’t love it…it was ok.  However, perhaps because I knew that I was reading this one for review, things stuck in my craw a lot more.  I felt that since it was a review book…I needed to actually read it all…no skimming like I did with the first book.  Unfortunately that meant that I couldn’t ignore all of the language and “incredibly steamy” scenes that this book contained. I’d say that this book could fall within the erotica category which isn’t my thing although I do like a little steam in my romance this was just too much for me.(For a liberal-I guess I can be pretty conservative when it comes to some things) Honestly I just don’t remember there being as much of it in the first in the series and I felt that it was far beyond what was needed to make it believable.  I also think that a huge problem for me was that I never connected with Limos at all.  I didn’t find her character likable in the same way that I did her brother Ares and Cara in Eternal Rider and ultimately I just had to put this one down.  I know that a lot of people love this author and this series–it just wasn’t for me.

A Clockwork Christmas by JK Cos, PG Forte, S Gail & J Schwartz
DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap UpTitle: A Clockwork Christmas
Author: JK Cos, PG Forte
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: December 5th 2011
Find It: Goodreads
My Rating:

We Wish You a Steampunk Christmas

Changed forever after tragedy, a woman must draw strength from her husband's love. A man learns that love isn't always what you expect. A thief steals the heart of a vengeful professor. And an American inventor finds love Down Under. Enjoy Victorian Christmas with a clockwork twist in these four steampunk novellas.

Anthology includes:

Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail
This Winter Heart by PG Forte
Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz
Far From Broken by JK Coi

My Thoughts

I chose this book because I thought it would be a great first foray into the world of Steampunk. Unfortunately I just could not get into any of these stories.  I confess that a part the trouble may have been my mood at the time…I wasn’t in the happiest of places and I was looking for something with some Christmas Cheer to lift my spirits.  These stories didn’t really have much to do with the holidays at all which was a big disappointment and I simply found that the pace was too slow to captivate me.  Also they seemed to focus a lot more on the romance aspect and much less on the Steampunk setting…though I admit I am the farthest from a Steampunk expert that there can be!

Holiday Kisses by S Stacey, J Burton, H Dimon, & A Kent
DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap UpTitle: Holiday KIsses
Author: S Stacey, J Burton, H Dimon
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: December 5th 2011
Find It: Goodreads
My Rating:

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Love!

A man gives the gift of trust and receives a second chance at love in return. A woman helps to heal the wounded heart of a soldier. A couple finds that true love knows no distance. And a young widow learns that there can be two great loves in a lifetime. Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal shorts.

Anthology includes:

This Time Next Year by Alison Kent
A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton
It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon
Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey

My Thoughts

I honestly am having trouble saying where this book went wrong for me.  Again I think that it may have been timing…or perhaps there just isn’t enough time in a short story for a character to be developed enough for my liking!  I also found that again, the stories were not all Christmas related which disappointed me…and I found some of the characters annoying as well. Honestly though, I’d be tempted to give this one another shot as I have a feeling that my DNF conclusion may have really been a true case of “It’s not you, it’s me!”

Twas The Night by S Hill, K Holmes & T Jenson
DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap UpTitle: Twas The Night
Author: S Hill
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: December 5th 2011
Find It: Goodreads
My Rating:

What do a Blue Angels pilot, a bounty hunter and an ex-NFL football player have in common? The three bad-boy bachelors of Snowdon, Maine have to make a friend's Christmas Eve wedding on time or die trying! They're willing to risk anything to make that happen-even dashing through the snow in the goofiest bus on Earth, bright red and filled with a bunch of merry, meddling senior citizens known as the Santa Brigade. All too soon, these men will have met their matches in three special women: a woman from their past, a forest ranger so hot she ought to be declared a fire hazard, and a woman on the run.

Ho, ho, OH!

While serving up holiday cheer with the Santa Brigade, the guys will discover 'tis the season for good will and folly. Wise men or not, they are well and truly caught, which means these roguish St. Nicks are willing to jingle a few bells along the way if that's what it takes to find what they truly want for Christmas nestled in their beds after the stockings are stuffed and the gifts placed under the tree.

My Thoughts

There is definitely a theme here.  Christmas short stories that seem to focus more on the steamy scenes and not enough on plot or character development. It was all just too unbelievable (I’m not a fan of insta-love or inta-sex) for me to enjoy.  I think I need to avoid short stories if they are in the romance genre in future.  I’m sure that for many this book delivers…it just wasn’t what I was looking for.

Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey
DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap UpTitle: Beauty and the Werewolf
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Publication date: October 18th 2011
Find It: Goodreads
My Rating:

The eldest daughter is often doomed in fairy tales. But Bella—Isabella Beauchamps, daughter of a wealthy merchant—vows to escape the usual pitfalls.

Anxious to avoid the traditional path, Bella dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forest to consult with "Granny," the local wisewoman. But on the way home she's attacked by a wolf—who turns out to be a cursed nobleman. Secluded in his castle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh—when he isn't howling at the moon.

Bella knows all too well that breaking spells is never easy. But a determined beauty, a wizard (after all, he's only an occasional werewolf) and a little Godmotherly interference might just be able to bring about a happy ending.

My Thoughts

I had heard such amazing things about this author that I was thrilled at the chance to read this book.  I also absolutely love Beauty and the Beast and was looking forward to a great fairytale retelling.  Unfortunately this book just didn’t deliver that for me.  I found it incredibly slow.  There wasn’t much chemistry to keep the book moving along either and the plot seemed to reveal itself in the first few chapters so the suspense was missing.  (Granted there could very well have been an amazing twist at the end that I missed because I put it down.) I was also disappointed because I expected this to be an adult story and it seemed more YA to me. Not that YA is a bad thing…I read and enjoy a lot of YA, but this book was marketed as adult. I will say though that since so many of Lackey’s books have gotten great reviews, I do plan to pick up another of her stories and give it a shot.

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan
DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap UpTitle: The Mephisto Covenant
Author: Trinity Faegan
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication date: September 27th 2011
Find It: Goodreads
My Rating:

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx's biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God's promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he's finally found the girl he's been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

My Thoughts

This book seemed much too intense to be YA.  I generally enjoy dark books if they are well done…but this one just wasn’t for me.  There seemed to be a huge and somewhat confusing infux of information all at the very beginning of the book, but this I could have gotten past.  It was the “adult themes” and issue that I really had lots of trouble reconciling with a YA book and an innocent character like Sasha and all that happens to her (I don’t want to spoil anything) This is definitely for the older YA audience if even YA at all.

Final Thoughts

I didn’t realize how many I had until they were all typed up there.  This looks really bad :/ But..I pride myself that if my blog is nothing else that it is honest…so it is what it is.  Looking back two years ago and prior I forced myself to finish every book that I started and I only ended up reading 20-25 books a year.  Now that I am willing to put books aside and spend more time on those that I enjoy I am reading more than twice that each year!  So I think that marking books DNF is the right choice for me.
Even though I didn’t finish any of these doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy them.  Most of them have tons of great reviews and I may even consider picking some of them up again at a future date when I’m more in the mood for that kind of read. 

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5 responses to “DNF Deliberations: 2011 Wrap Up

  1. I have only read one of these books (IMMORTAL RIDER by Larissa Ione). I do love this type of story, and actually did not find it as explicit in some ways as ETERNAL RIDER (the scene that comes to mind is the one at the tree). I think that if a person is a fan of Ms. Ione, they will enjoy this book. I can’t wait for more from this series.

    I do respect your opinions, not everyone is going to enjoy the same books. I too have finally learned to just stop reading a book if I am not enjoying it. I used to force myself to finish them, but will now just put them down and maybe try again in the future sometime if the book is in a series that I like.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more! I know that Larissa Ione has a huge fan base…and I actually really likes the flow and pace of her writing…it just wasn’t exactly right for me.

      And I’m the same…can’t waste time reading something if it’s not fulfilling but that doesn’t mean I might not revisit some of these at a later date!

  2. I envy you..i haven’t had any DNFs ..but i am picky about my choices. Two of the books I gave a 3 or 4 too..but i respect your opinion…that is what makes the world go round..and if you are reading more..then i say keep it up

    • At the end of the day…the raw hard truth is that no book is going to appeal to everyone. That doesn’t mean that each book doesn’t have merit and doesn’t work really well for some people.

      Honestly I was really embarrassed to post this but I forced myself. If I am out there reading reviews, I want to see why people liked things and why others didn’t so that I can be more picky and make a more informed choice about what will or will not work for me.

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