DNF Reviews March and April 2024

Posted April 29, 2024 by Lola in Contemporary, Fantasy, Mystery, Review, Romance / 6 Comments

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Bogs, Brews and Banshees

Bogs, Brews, and BansheesBogs, Brews, and Banshees (A Skye O’Shea Paranormal Cozy Mystery #1)
by Rowan Dillon

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: m/f

She’s looking for a fresh start. But with eerie noises in the night and murder most foul, can she keep from going down for a crime she didn’t commit?

Miami, Florida. Skye Brigid O’Shea is desperate for an escape. Losing big in a nasty divorce and taking the fall for a patient’s death, the stressed-out thirty-two-year-old jumps at the chance to move to Ireland after inheriting her grandmother’s B&B. But the nosy American quickly lands back in hot water when she investigates unearthly howls and discovers the disagreeable local she argued with earlier stone-cold dead.

Named as the prime suspect, Skye finds herself relying on the constable’s wife and the cryptic clues from her gran’s talking black cat to clear her name. But when her ancestor’s diary points to a supernatural culprit, the ex-nurse isn’t sure if she’s cracked the case or lost her mind.

Can this novice detective overcome a rival pub owner, a dogged policeman, and a thick web of ancient myths to stay out of the slammer?

Bogs, Brews, and Banshees is the charming first book in the Skye O’Shea paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like amateur sleuths, fish out of water, and sídhe sidekicks, then you’ll love Rowan Dillon’s snarkalicious whodunit.

My Review

I received a free ecopy from the author through BookSirens and am voluntarily reviewing it.

I DNF’d this one at 48%

I was in a cozy mystery mood and this one caught my eye on Booksirens. I couldn’t resist getting a copy. It just sounded so good and Irish folklore and mythology playing a role in a cozy mystery. The start was good, but the further I got the more I struggled. I didn’t care about the mystery, the main character only barely got involved at 48% and I wasn’t even sure why she cared except for the fact the body had been found on her property and she was a nurse. The writing style also didn’t really click for me. This one also felt very typical for a cozy mystery with the main character losing a lot (divorce and her job in this case) and then inheriting something (her grandma’s B&B, pub and house in this case), nothing wrong with that as I usually enjoy these tropes, but this book had nothing to make it stand out. I had hoped the Ireland setting and mythology would help, but so far that hadn’t gotten interesting yet, just some vague hints and happenings.

I didn’t like reading about the main character, something about her just didn’t work for me. I appreciated she wanted to be more assertive, but instead she often came across to me as aggressive or contrary for no good reason. To be honest she does seem to attract the rude people too, so there is some reason for her behavior, but it didn’t make for fun reading. There is one likable side character the local doctor and a possible love interest, but besides that most of the characters are rude to the main character or aren’t interesting.

Weekends With You

Weekends With YourWeekends with You
by Alexandra Paige

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: m/f

For fans of Beth O’Leary and Josie Silver, a heartwarming and romantic debut told over the course of one year in monthly weekend installments, about found family, new love, and the magic of London.

Flowers have always been the best communicators. They’ve mastered falling over one another in the perfect way to announce exactly what they need: sunlight, water, space. They do not rush. They do not bloom before their time. They do not take without giving in return…

They are nothing like the rest of London.

Between trying to keep her north London flower shop, The Lotus, afloat and falling for a flatmate, Lucy Bernstein is going to have to rethink everything she knows about “creative arrangements.”

Unwillingly becoming one of eight flatmates in a quirky warehouse conversion would have been difficult enough without any romantic entanglements, but when Lucy lays eyes on Henry Baker, the traveling photographer who only comes home twelve weekends a year, she knows her hands will be full with more than just posies. As each weekend progresses, Lucy also finds herself unexpectedly falling for all her new flatmates, along with this bustling but ultimately sweeter home.

Can Lucy learn from the flowers she tends to and bravely reach for all that she needs to bloom?

My Review

I received a free ecopy through Netgalley and a free audiobook copy through Edelweiss. I decided to listen to the audiobook copy and voluntarily reviewed it.

I DNF’d this book about 10% in I think. I listened to the audiobook and this was toward the end of chapter 2. The concept for this book sounded quite interesting, with the couple only seeing each other one weekend per month. When I started this book this book I quickly realized this book wasn’t going to work for me. At first I mostly struggled with the narrator, her voice was fine, but the changes in volume didn’t work for me. I couldn’t find a comfortable volume to listen to as either some parts where way too loud and if I put it lower I couldn’t hear the softer parts. This is probably a me thing as I can be quite picky about this.

I decided to still give the book a bit more time to try to see if the story could hook me, but it just didn’t work for me. After the first chapter there is a time skip of a month and that felt jarring to me. I think the whole book will be like this told in weekends with a month time skip in between. I don’t think this works for me, it felt jarring and like I was missing what happened in between. The reason why Lucy moved to the flat was kinda odd and she didn’t really seem to want this. I liked the variety of characters and the found family trope, but I didn’t like them enough to keep going. The connection between Henry and Lucy didn’t seem to be solely based on attraction so far and for a romance with this concept I just had expected them to hit it off right away, but that didn’t happen. Maybe I’ll give the ebook another try at some point, but I don’t think this book is for me.

In the Weeds

In the WeedsIn the Weeds (Lovelight #2)
by B.K. Borison

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: m/f

A hot but grumpy farmer.
A sunshine, no-nonsense social media influencer.
A small town of busybodies, and four very cute kittens . . .

Evelyn St. James isn’t the kind of woman you forget. Beckett Porter certainly hasn’t. One incredible weekend in Maine and he’s officially a man distracted.

So when she suddenly appears on his farm as part of a social media contest, he’s . . . confused. He had no idea that the sweet and sexy woman he met at a bar is actually a social media influencer and global phenomenon.

Feeling disconnected from her work and increasingly unhappy, Evelyn is trying to find her way back to something real. She returns to the last place she was happy – Lovelight Farms and the tiny town of Inglewild. It has absolutely nothing to do with the hot farmer she spent two incredible nights with. Nothing at all . . .

In the Weeds is the second book in a quartet of cosy romances. Enjoy more seasonally-inspired stories with Lovelight Farms and Mixed Signals.

My Review

DNF’d this one at 70%

I enjoyed the first book and knew I would enjoy this one as well, but I didn’t. I struggled with this book so much, but felt like I had to finish it. Until I finally realized I didn’t have to and the relief when I decided to DNF it was immense.

The start of this book is where my struggles started it starts with a chapter from their one night stand, which only shows part of what happened, then a short part of them meeting later in book 1 when Evie visits. And only after that it felt like the book actually starts, but at the same time those earlier meetings are part of their romance and felt like too little and too much now. It felt fragmented and weird to have the book starts this way and I think having read book 1 will help this part feel a bit smoother, but even with that, it just felt jarring and made it hard to get into the story. And at the same time I rather had more to those scenes so I could fully feel the impact of those first two meetings.

It felt like I liked most of the parts of this book and I still don’t fully get why all those parts together didn’t work for me. I liked both Evie and Beckett and could relate to them both, maybe at times too much, which was part of my problem. And somehow I just didn’t really care for them together. They obviously had chemistry, although with how as reader you don’t get to fully read their first meeting I always felt like I was missing some part. And I felt the author tried to add more to their connection than only the physical, but I just didn’t fully feel it. And then there is the whole thing with how they both want another, but don’t say anything for almost 65% of the book, it just got on my nerves. I wanted to lock them in a room until they finally talked. I think the dual point of view worked against the book here as now I got to hear from both their pov’s how much they wanted the other while not saying anything. This book can feel so slow at times.

Then there were the parts that felt like they were supposed to be funny, like how the town inn suddenly has no room (they do, the innkeeper is just matchmaking) to Evie landing in some trouble just so Beckett can help her. It just made things feel forced instead of natural.

Then there is the actual character stories that I felt were quite interesting, but then I just wanted more. With Evie struggling with burnout and trying to find her happy, I liked the whole setup for this, but I wanted more. Maybe again because I’ve been there done the burnout thing, but I wanted to feel her struggles, her reevaluating things, figuring out what she wanted of life. I had even expected some anxiety and struggles, so how it actually went felt too easy.

Then there is Beckett who has sensory sensitivities as well as social struggles, which I could relate to as I am autistic, but then this never fully got addressed or deal with. And the scene at the pub where he was totally overwhelmed was so hard for me to read as I know how tough that is, but then that turned in a romantic moment instead of fully addressing and dealing with how tough this was for Beckett. And it just didn’t work for me. It just kinda seems to gets forgotten after that and never brought up again.

I wanted to see more of Stella and Layla as well as the farm. There are some fun scenes with people from town, but even then it mostly felt focused on Beckett and Evie. I also had hoped to feel the spring vibe more as spring is my favorite season.

I did liked both narrators. I already knew Pippa Jayne from book 1 and liked how she narrated Evie. It took me a few chapters to get used to Dane Anderson’s voice, but then I thought it worked well for Beckett. My only complaint is that the narration felt a bit too slow at times or maybe that’s due to how the book is written.

Under the RadarUnder the Radar
by Linden Bell

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: m/m

My boyfriend is perfect. He drinks red wine, listens to true crime podcasts, and loves the theater. So what if I don’t know what he does for work, where his family is from, or who his friends are?

My friends disagree. They’re convinced that Jared either has a secret family, is a serial killer, or is a spy. When they wheedle me into some harmless stalking, I discover that the truth is wilder than fiction.

Under the Radar is part of the Accidentally Undercover shared romantic suspense series.

My Review

I received a free copy from Gay Romance Reviews and voluntarily reviewed it

I DNF’d this one at 34%

I requested this one as I read another book in this Accidentally Undercover series and was curious about the other books. I am not a big romantic suspense fan and didn’t realize this one would deal with kidnapping and violence and jump into the suspense so quickly. I had hoped for more about the romance. The romance that was there also wasn’t really enough to hook me yet, but I liked the couple so far. I liked how one was this big softy and a ray of sunshine while the other guy was a hardened FBI agent.

The prologue and then 6 month jump to chapter 1 was a bit jarring and means there isn’t much about how they got together. I had hoped to see more of them afterwards, but then it jumps into the suspense shortly after Logan following Jared and figuring out he is not who he thought he was. To sum it up not really the fault of the book, more of me having the wrong expectations and wanting more romance and less suspense.

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6 responses to “DNF Reviews March and April 2024

  1. I’m always glad to see little reviews on DNF books so I know what the reader found problematic. I did DNF two library books that I found the heroine annoying in both being cranky for no reason I could make out.

    • I always write DNF reviews and it’s been nice sharing them now on my blog as well in these wrap up DNF posts. Sorry to hear about your two library books you DNF with annoying heroines.

    • I look forward to hearing your thoughts about the second Lovelight, I feel so sad that one didn’t work for me, hopefully book 3 works better for me.

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