Tag Archives: DNF

The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

28 May

…or how I DNFed a book most everyone else seemed to love.

The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

For months, I heard everyone and their pet poodle praise this book, so I snagged it at some point when it was on sale.

I don’t know how it was that I didn’t realize it’s written in first person present tense–which I do not like. As far as I’m concerned, first person is incredibly difficult to do well, and present tense can be gimmicky. I have enjoyed first person present tense before (Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace books, for example), but it’s very rare.

One of the reasons first person is tricky is that it’s harder to read for the other characters, when you don’t connect with the main character.

I also didn’t realize this is the author’s debut until I looked up the blurb; the writing does not read like a first effort.

The first few pages are smooth and engaging, and I felt myself being pulled into the story. Among the pulls is the fact that the story is set is the offices of two ailing publishing houses merged into one, still failing, company.

Blurb:
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Death Among the Doilies, by Mollie Cox Bryan

12 Jan

deathamongthedoiliesBack in August of last year, driven by sheer desperation at not having been able to read pretty much anything for months on end, I requested a bunch of ARCs for mysteries, in the hopes that tweaking my reading a bit would help me overcome the horrible, terrible, no good reading slump from hell.

Like so many good plans, it was derailed by life.

Then, in mid-December, I pulled it up on my phone and started it. Almost a month later, and barely 18% in, I’m throwing in the towel. This is the first book by Ms Cox Bryan that I read. Sadly, it will also be the last, as neither the voice, the setting, nor the gimmick worked for me.

Reader, beware: I did not, and will not, finish this book; however, I will rant about what I did manage to read of it, in detail. If you are a fan of this author’s work, you really want to avert your eyes, and go read a glowing review in GoodReads or amazon.

Death Among the Dolies, by Mollie Cox Bryan

Looking over Ms Cox Bryan’s page in fantasticfiction.co.uk, she has a number of books published, and this is the first installment on her second series, the Cora Crafts Mysteries.

Here, have a blurb:
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Skintight, by Susan Andersen

25 Apr

SkintightI am so very late with this month’s TBR Challenge review, it ain’t even funny. This year, though, I’m just going to push through; better late than skipping the month entirely.

(Sez I)

I actually got this book signed by the author, which means that I either got it at RWA 2009 in DC, or RWA 2010 in Orlando. Either way, it’s been sitting on the TBR mountain range for ages. Oh, and I note that this is a rare one for me: a straight contemporary that is not a category romance.

There’s explicit sex and adult language, so if those are not your thing, skip this one.

Skintight, by Susan Andersen

I’m pretty sure that this is only the second of Ms Andersen’s novels that I’ve read, and I’m sorry to say that I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I did All Shook Up; partly, because I’ve been in a filthy reading mood–my inner critic (hat tip to Liz at My Extensive Reading) just wouldn’t shut up. And partly because…oh, where to begin?

But I’m getting ahead of myself; here’s the blurb:

Professional poker player Jax Gallagher should have known better than to wager a World Series baseball that wasn’t his to lose. Now the man who won the collectible is demanding his prize…or else. Trouble is, the ball is owned by his estranged father’s widow–a flamboyant Las Vegas showgirl. Jax will do whatever it takes to get it back.

Yet Treena McCall is anything but the ruthless gold digger Jax expects. She’s build a life for herself filled with good friends and hard work. And she’s got enough on her plate trying to hang on to her job as a dancer without being wined, dined and seduced by sexy Jax Gallagher.

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The Murderer’s Daughter, by Jonathan Kellerman

22 Feb

TheMurderer'sDaughterI have no idea how an ARC for this book got on my kindle, but I’m pretty sure it’s been there for a while, since the book came out in August 2015.

Either way, finding myself at loose ends, I scrolled down my kindle library and, when the title caught my eye, started reading it, without the least idea what it was about, but assuming (and, yes, I know how that goes), that it was a suspense of some kind.

I honestly don’t know why I made it past the first chapter, but at some point I was almost–almost, but not quite–hate reading. So I made a deal with myself: if it didn’t get better by the time I hit the quarter mark, I would give up. At twenty-seven percent in, I skimmed some of the end chapters, and threw in the towel.

No you get to see why. (Aren’t you the lucky ones?)

Fair warning: if you enjoy Mr Kellerman’s novels, you probably want to skip this review.

The Murderer’s Daughter, by Jonathan Kellerman

Here, have a blurb:

A brilliant, deeply dedicated psychologist, Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches—perhaps because she bears her own invisible scars: Only five years old when she witnessed her parents’ deaths in a bloody murder-suicide, Grace took refuge in her fierce intellect and found comfort in the loving couple who adopted her. But even as an adult with an accomplished professional life, Grace still has a dark, secret side. When her two worlds shockingly converge, Grace’s harrowing past returns with a vengeance.

Both Grace and her newest patient are stunned when they recognize each other from a recent encounter. Haunted by his bleak past, mild-mannered Andrew Toner is desperate for Grace’s renowned therapeutic expertise and more than willing to ignore their connection. And while Grace is tempted to explore his case, which seems to eerily echo her grim early years, she refuses—a decision she regrets when a homicide detective appears on her doorstep.

An evil she thought she’d outrun has reared its head again, but Grace fears that a police inquiry will expose her double life. Launching her own personal investigation leads her to a murderously manipulative foe, one whose warped craving for power forces Grace back into the chaos and madness she’d long ago fled.

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Committed, by Sidney Bristol

16 Feb

RomanceI bought this book when it was posted as a sale over at the SmartBitches the other day. There was no actual recommendation, only a mention that while the plot was somewhat thin, it’s an interracial erotic romantic suspense.

The cover hits all my good buttons for erotic romance, so I read the sample over at amazon and one-clicked it.

I don’t recommend anyone else do the same, though YMMV, as always.

Be aware that there is plenty of graphic sex, a lot of talk about power exchange and kink, and general cursing. There is also graphic violence, some of it against the heroine. If any of these offend or otherwise upset you, you may want to click away now.

Committed, by Sidney Bristol¹

This is the first in a series, and I could guess at least one of the next couples after reading about twenty percent of the story. This isn’t always a bad thing, though, and there were other things going on that I liked, so I kept going.

There were some good things going on, though I confess that I had expected to have my socks blown off, because of what happens during the main characters very first conversation. But hey, one never knows, all the good stuff could happen after the abrupt interruption mentioned in the blurb, so I kept reading.

And then a character is introduced and I got very angry.

After I calmed down I read on, and then on top of getting angry again, I started to feel sort of cheated, and after that it got kinda messy. Let me ‘splain.

First, the blurb, from amazon:
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Silver Thaw, by Catherine Anderson

9 Jan

Silver ThawSilver Thaw, by Catherine Anderson

Why do I do these things to myself?

I stopped reading Ms Anderson’s books years ago because, quite frankly, it got to the point where the preaching got on my nerves. Still, I have wonderful memories of some of her earlier works, particularly Annie’s Song, so when I saw this book in the new release list over at the Fiction Vixen, I was curious enough to read the sample at amazon and–curses!–got suckered in by a pretty decent first chapter.

Unfortunately, now that I’m actually in the meat of the story, all sorts of writing ticks and offensive character shorthand are jumping at me.

Gentle readers, you may want to avert your eyes entirely–there be ranting and cursing ahead.

First, here’s the blurb (from amazon):

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DNF – or will I?

5 Jan

This post started back in July 2014 as a reply to KristieJ’s DNF review of Sarah Mayberry’s Her Kind of Trouble. As you can see, it’s pretty long for a reply, but the actual reason it ended up as a post in my own blog is that, before I was done rambling, my internet crashed and I lost the whole damn thing.

Ah well, c’est la vie, shit happens, etc., so I started blathering over here until I lost steam and ended up saving the draft instead.

Then, a week or so ago, the inimitable SuperLibrarian Wendy posted one of her DNF roundups, which made me think about the topic once again.

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