The DNF Quarterly (#001)

Not finishing a book is something that took me forever to master. Now that I have, it’s easy to let a book go when I know there is something else out there just waiting for me to read it. Especially if there’s a chance I’ll love it. Sometimes I can pinpoint why I didn’t love a book in just a few sentences, and other times, it takes more words. In the case that I do have more to say, I’ll do a separate DNF post, but for books that I can sum in a few sentences or a quick paragraph, I’ll be combining them into one quarterly post. Now, kicking off the DNF Quarterly…

Always by Sarah Jio
ARC from Netgalley

The blurb for this one really was too good to be true. It was absolutely gripping with so much potential. The issue with here was fairly simple – the present to past telling of the story. The jumping back and forth was incredibly jarring, and to top that off, I was more invested in the present than I was in the past. Though neither ever fully won me over. This story was also very superficial. There were no undertones here, and the first person present dialogue gave the story a stilted feel.

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Raw Deal by Cherrie Lynn
ARC from Netgalley

Cherrie Lynn has been hit or miss for me in the past, so I really shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was. Again, this book had a very superficial feel to it; I couldn’t feel the connection between the hero and heroine. Also, I could just tell where the story line with the brother’s widow was going, and I didn’t like it. It was too fantastical and the groupie feel to her character was immature and quite frankly, premature in the wake of her husband’s death.

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One Hot December by Tiffany Reisz
ARC from Netgalley

If there’s one DNF that’s the hardest to write in this post, it’s this one. I love Tiffany Reisz’s writing, but I felt this series was not up to par with other books I’ve read of hers. I know this is the Blaze line and it’s known for its heat, but plenty of books in this category have depth to them. This one didn’t, and it was the banter. There was so much of it that it made it impossible to wade through and see who the characters really were. So sad to have lost interest in this one.

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Hell Breaks Loose by Sophie Jordan
ARC from Edelweiss

You have to be able to really suspend disbelief for this series to work, and I just couldn’t do it to the degree needed to enjoy this story. Kidnappers happen to be specifically looking to abduct the president’s daughter at the exact moment she shakes her security detail for a burger? Also, crude ahead – I’m supposed to believe Reid has been just waiting to seek vengeance for 11 years only to get side-tracked by a piece of ass? No. I can’t do it. And to think the captor of several hair-trigger men is thinking how sexy and model-like Reid is? Again, no. Just no. But the icing on the cake for me (HIGHLIGHT TO REVEAL SPOILER) is that this is the second book in the series where the hero has to pretend to rape the heroine in order to save her. It left a very bad taste in my mouth. I won’t be continuing with this series.

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It’s Only Love by Marie Force
ARC from Publisher

I have a hard time sometimes with small town or close knit family stories. They often veer from quirky and warm into overbearing, and that was the case with this one. Ella’s family was incredibly meddling, and I felt like everything was oversimplified, from the way Gavin handled his brother’s death to his relationship with Ella. The thing that bothered me the most was how Ella’s family warned her about how messed up Gavin was, and maybe she should stay away from him. This was a family friend who was so obviously hurting, and I am mystified as to why they wouldn’t be pleased she was putting forth the effort the help him heal. I also felt like there was too much of an effort to get me invested in characters that would appear later in the series, which hindered me from enjoying this one.

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Save the Date by Annabeth Albert & Wendy Qualls
ARC from Authors

I’ve appreciated Annabeth Albert’s solo efforts in the past, but this one left me feeling…confused. Did we redefine losing one’s virginity? Does it no longer include penetration? That wasn’t the only thing to confuse me. There was a team building exercise leading up to the wedding both of our heroes were participating in, and for the life of me, no matter how many times I read the description, I just couldn’t picture it. Add in an effort to make it appear the ‘weaker’ of the two heroes strong fell flat and just made him look like a jerk, and this one lost me.

25 thoughts on “The DNF Quarterly (#001)

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  1. I’m a big fan of DNFing a book if it isn’t working for you. I actually think I’m going to DNF the book I started last night because the hero is such a jerk. I read the first book in that Sophie Jordan series and it was insane! I read the whole thing, but I kept thinking – this is nuts! I decided to not read any more.

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    1. I don’t know why I started book two, because I didn’t even give book one a great rating. Safe to say I won’t be continuing with the series.

      Yes, I am a huge fan of DNFing now. It makes reading life so much more enjoyable!

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  2. It’s Only Love is a book I had been waiting for a long time. I was a little let down by it. I’ve felt that way a lot recently with Force’s books. There is too much catch up with everyone and not enough meat to the MCs’ story. Sorry you couldn’t finish it.

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    1. It was my first read by the author, and I kept meaning to go back to it, but I decided to let it go. It just wasn’t for me. And you’re right – it spent A LOT of time catching up with other people from the series. And since I hadn’t read their books, I wasn’t invested in their characters.

      I haven’t given up on this author, though. She’s been around for a long time, so I have lots of other books to try. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t usually have a lot of DNF books. I should… there are just some books that make my brain hurt and I still finish them. It’s sad about Always, so many people seem to not enjoy it. I kind of still want to read it, but now it’s been pushed back for me for obvious reasons. I don’t know much about the others. I’ve tried Force book before and ended up putting it aside I believe it just did not work for me so…Yeah sorry the others did not work for you

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    1. I will tell you that since I have finally given in to DNFing, my reading life is so much more enjoyable! I used to be a ‘one book at a time until it was finished’ person, but sometimes it was like a brick wall making me dread picking the book up. So I’d be weeks ‘reading’ one book. LOL

      Yes, I was very sad about Always. As a romance reader, it’s probably one of the most enticing blurbs I have ever read. Maybe it will be better for you!

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  4. I haven’t mastered the DNF Angie Elle…you’ll have to share tips! LOL I’m sorry that so many of these didn’t work for you – especially Reisz’s – but I’m happy you were able to put them down and therefore not waste valuable reading time on books you’re NOT enjoying…hopefully for some you are/did!

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    1. Oh, yes. I have been on a wonderful reading streak lately!

      It’s very hard to give in to, especially when you’re obsessive about finishing things. The best tip I can give is that if you’re not enjoying a book, set it aside and pick up something new. If you haven’t returned to the book within a month, it’s time to call it a DNF. That way you’re not intentionally DNFing, but it makes you realize there are other books out there that ARE worth reading, and it makes it easier to walk away from.

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  5. I didn’t enjoy The Raw Deal. I tried to finish it even though it was hard. I ended up giving it 3 stars.
    I’ve learned to DNF it if I don’t enjoy it. Agree with you, there are a lot of books that have so much potential out there waiting for us to read. Wasting time to read the ones we know we’re not gonna love is not worth it.

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    1. Raw Deal was such a disappointment to me, especially considering how much I LOVED Rock Me and Leave Me Breathless. This series isn’t going to be for me, but I will probably give her next series a shot.

      Yes, kudos to DNFing! LOL

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  6. I love Tiffany Reisz, but haven’t tried the series that you mentioned. I saw it and thought about it, but it didn’t seem like a series that I would be interested in. I’ve still thought about it and might still try it. I loved everything that I’ve read from Reisz, but this makes me worry about trying it. Maybe one day. I try to avoid books that I might DNF. There are just too many great books to keep reading a mediocre one.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. I try to avoid books I might DNF, but it’s hard when it’s an author I already love. Publishing is so competitive now with books coming out left and right that it’s putting the pressure on to produce produce produce, and sometimes the words might be there, but the quality isn’t. (Though it is all subjective.)

      Oh, man, I love Reisz, too. That’s why it was such a killer not to love the series.

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  7. Oh I hate DNF’s but I do think its a necessary evil in a book lovers life. I am sorry to hear that Sophie Jordan’s book didn’t work out for you. I think book one is the only book out of the series I have really loved. I do love this idea though, because whenever I DNF a book, the review is fairly short.

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    1. Yes, I agree. Especially if you just want to move on and don’t want to go on and on about a book you didn’t like. (Though sometimes it can’t be avoided, and I feel I have lots to cover.)

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  8. The only one I’ve read was Always and the points you made were my thoughts exactly. I didn’t need all their past moments. A lot of it was really mundane and boring. I would have liked more present time with maybe small flashbacks to their past or something.

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  9. That’s too bad. I really like Jordan but haven’t done that series. Glad I didn’t make it to the Cherrie Lynn one. I had it for review option then passed due to time. Whew!

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    1. I do want to try some of Jordan’s historicals, but the series I read just had an ick factor to it.

      Yes, the Cherrie Lynn was a huge disappointment. If you want to try her, start with Rock Me. That was the one that hooked me on her writing.

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