The DNF Report #3 – May and June 2020

Posted July 12, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in discussion post, The DNF Report / 4 Comments

I’ve seen a few people doing DNF posts, and I’ve mentioned the books in my own monthly wrap-up posts, but now that I’m actually giving up on more books much quicker, I thought maybe it would be good to go ahead and do posts about them, maybe monthly, just to talk about ARCs I may have received and give them some promo for the publishers who were nice enough to send them to me, even if they didn’t work for me. I mean, just because I didn’t care for something doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be the book someone else loves. I’m going to just post a picture, the blurb, and then a sentence or two explaining why I didn’t finish. I think every other month is working because once again I have 4 to talk about this time.

Bad Boys Don’t Make Good Boyfriends by Melanie A. Smith:

From award-winning and international best-selling author Melanie A. Smith comes the second book in a new series of steamy contemporary medical romance standalone novels about life lessons that break all the rules.

Even when you know better, sometimes it’s simply too tempting… 

Hospital work isn’t for the faint of heart. Becca Dillon knows that firsthand, having worked as a medical assistant in the cardiac unit at Rutherford Hospital for longer than she cares to think about. What she does care to think about is having fun, gossip, and … guys. Her favorite of the three. And why stick to one, when you can sample them all? 

That’s exactly her plan when a workplace crush on a mysterious bad-boy orderly unexpectedly takes a very steamy turn. But Vincent DeMarco turns out to be nothing like she expected, and before she knows it, she’s falling hard and fast. She wants him in ways she’s never wanted anyone before, but there’s something he’s keeping from her. Something that’s holding him back. And Becca is going to find out what. 

Even though she knows that bad boys don’t make good boyfriends, he seems like he might be so much more. Will her quest unlock the truth behind who he really is? Or will it end their relationship for good? Either way, ready or not, Becca’s world is about to change.

My thoughts: I had this one for a book tour, and it sounded good from the synopsis to me. It seemed fun and snarky, but eventually the main character just really irritated me with her behavior and how she let some things slide, but then went back for more.

Take the Shot by Danica Flynn:


When my husband died, I never thought I would find love again.  

I definitely didn’t think I would find it in the arms of my younger best friend. Why would the hunky hockey player want anything to do with me? I’m a stressed out writer with a lot of baggage. Any other man would say, “HARD PASS!” 

But Noah was the best man I’ve ever known, and if it wasn’t for him, I might not be alive. 

But am I ready to put my heart on the line again? 


I’ve pined for my best friend for so long, that my teammates issued an ultimatum.  

“Make your move now or one of us will ask her out.” 

They are just trying to push me, besides none of those jerks would ever be good enough for her. Makes me wonder if I even stand a chance. 

Besides, what would a smart woman like her want with a dumb jock like me? 

Get ready to meet the Philadelphia Bulldogs hockey team, in this all new-standalone novel. If you love sexy sports romances and friends-to-lovers with a HEA, this book is for you!

Content Warning: This book deals with miscarriage & infertility. 

My thoughts: Another book I signed up for as part of a blog tour. I do love hockey romance, and a younger man romance. I follow this author on social media, so assumed she was a more prolific author I guess, but this was a debut novel. You can definitely tell it is a new author. I’m guessing my books are like this right now as well. It just wasn’t that great for me.

Tell That To My Heart by Eliza J. Scott:

Jemima Dewberry wears her heart on her sleeve. Her weakness for bad boys, coupled with her track record for making bad decisions has led to endless heartbreak. The only trouble is, she can’t seem to kick the habit. 

On top of that, her “dream” job at Yorkshire Portions magazine hasn’t turned out to be what she’d hoped, and she seems to have developed the knack of annoying her boss without even trying. It doesn’t help that the new girl seems to have taken an instant dislike to her. All that’s keeping her there are her best friends Anna-Lisa and Aidey, who have picked up the pieces of her shattered heart more times than they care to remember. 

When Jemima’s latest boyfriend turns out to be no better than the rest, the hurt and humiliation is almost unbearable. She declares she’s finally through with love, and swears off men for life. But when charismatic Caspar De Verre walks into the office with his dangerous good looks and mesmerising smile, she’s utterly captivated, and her promises to Anna-Lisa and Aidey not to let her heart rule her head are soon forgotten. 

But is Caspar all he seems? Anna-Lisa and Aidey have their doubts. And Herbert, the happy-go-lucky black Labrador Jemima’s looking after, doesn’t seem to like him either. 

As Jemima falls for Caspar’s charms she finds herself being forced to confront the struggle between her head and her heart. But which one will prove the most powerful? 

And will Jemima get the happy-ever-after she so desperately craves? 

My thoughts: Yet another book I signed up for a tour on. Once again I didn’t quite care for the main character. I feel like we could have started without the “bad boy” that we get at the beginning, because we’d already had a good example of the one before. So this just was another I didn’t enjoy enough to finish.

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo:

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.

My thoughts: So actually, I kind of feel like I got what I needed from the Foreword on this one. From the little bit I read, I kind of understand what the author was saying, enough to feel that it was okay if I didn’t force myself to try to push through. The author’s writing style was such that I had to go back and reread sentences because she seemed to contradict what she was saying almost every other paragraph. I’m guessing maybe she was trying to use sarcasm or something? I don’t know. But I know that I wasn’t going to get anything from it. I am going to pick up a different book to read to help further my knowledge and awareness, possibly How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

Final Thoughts:

My plan to do once a month has pretty much changed to every other month, as it is just easier. I used to feel guilty for DNFing, but I’ve realized if I don’t enjoy a book, it’s okay to move on. It doesn’t mean the book is bad, or that I’m a bad reader, it just means it’s not for me. And that all fits perfectly with my favorite poem/quote by Robert Louis Stevenson:

“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

And while you’re here, if you have time, stop by my June Wrap-Up Post and enter my giveaway for either a book from my giveaway stack if you’re in the US, or a book from The Book Depository for my international followers.

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4 responses to “The DNF Report #3 – May and June 2020

  1. Sorry none of these worked for you, but hey, it happens! I own White Fragility but have never read it – I’ll have to see what I think. I am curious about How to be an Anti-Racist though.


    • Lisa Mandina

      I got the idea from what I did read of White Fragility that it is a good book. But it just wasn’t one I could get into. Picked up How to Be an Antiracist today and plan to at least get a chapter read tonight. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Tammy V

    I had trouble Bad Boys also. I gave it a three because I read it all the way. Vincent’s story pulled it up to the three for me.

    • Lisa Mandina

      A 3 would have been the best I could have done. But these days I just don’t have time if I’m worried I won’t give it at least a 3. If I don’t have to read it, I won’t waste my time when there are so many others I still want to give a try. Glad it wasn’t just me that had trouble with it.

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