The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021

Posted August 21, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in The DNF Report / 8 Comments

The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021

Well, this summer has led to quite a few DNFs, and since they were adding up, but I ran out of time to do a post, you get a really long post this time! I have 8 to share. All but one are from blog tours or author requests. The other one by is a favorite author, but the subject/topic/characters aren’t ones I feel like reading right now.

Off to the Races (Gold Rush Ranch #1) by Elsie Silver:

I received this book for free from Indie Pen PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021Off to the Races by Elsie Silver
Series: Gold Rush Ranch #1
Narrator: Jenn McGuirk
Published by Entangled: Bliss on April 23, 2021
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 297
Source: Indie Pen PR
Format: E-galley
My Rating: dnf
Goodreads

He can’t decide if he hates me or wants me.
Vaughn Harding is my new boss. Getting close to him would be career suicide for a female racehorse trainer, and plain old gossip fuel in this small town. I get a kick out of our verbal sparring, but I swore off his type years ago.
And I’ve got plans.
I’m the new trainer at Gold Rush Ranch and I’ve just been handed a problem horse that I promised to make a winner. I want to put down roots, and I’m not about to let a man distract me. No matter how electric it feels when we lock eyes, or how my body ignites when we touch.
Vaughn’s a vivid reminder of every guy I grew up around. Handsome, rich, entitled--a total media darling. But there’s a sadness in him that I can’t seem to turn my back on. A sensitive side hidden beneath brooding good looks.
The last thing I need is a broken man to put back together, and the last thing he needs is more scandal.
Teasing him for kicks is one thing, but handing over my heart?
I should have known better.

My thoughts:

The first chapter started out with a ton of info dumping. I don’t have a lot to say, I just know I couldn’t get past the 16% mark. I think maybe characters were a problem? Or else the story didn’t move enough for me to keep interested.

Bossing the Cowboy (Circle B Ranch #4) by Kennedy Fox:

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021Bossing the Cowboy by Kennedy Fox
Series: Circle B Ranch #4
on May 11, 2021
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Contemporary Western Romance
Pages: 240
Source: the author
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: dnf
Goodreads

After surviving a messy divorce and custody battle, Dr. Connor Wallen quickly became married to his job. Helping animals is the perfect distraction from his crazy ex, but he finds it difficult to concentrate when an attractive woman joins his veterinary clinic. Getting involved with someone who works for him would only lead to disaster, so staying professional is key.
He tries to ignore her, but their chemistry is undeniable.
Elizabeth Bishop can’t stand her boss or how he treats her, but there aren’t many job options in small-town Texas. No matter what she does, it’s never good enough for Connor, but she continues trying to impress him anyway.
She’ll never admit she’s attracted to him and denies it every chance she gets.
Avoiding him is impossible, but Elle keeps her distance whenever possible. After his walls start to crumble, she knows her feelings aren’t one-sided. She’s tired of playing his games and is ready to prove who’s really in control.
Although he pushes her away, she’s determined to pull him closer—showing him exactly what they’ve both been missing.
**Bossing the Cowboy is a complete stand-alone and can be read without reading any of the other books or spin-off series, but if you prefer to read in order, start with Hitching the Cowboy as the characters and families do interconnect. Suggested for mature readers only.**

My Review:

Okay, so normally I love all Kennedy Fox books, other than the ones I was getting kind of slow into the last duo in the Checkmate series. And I have enjoyed the other book I read in the Circle B Ranch series, Hitching the Cowboy. Unfortunately the way this one was done was hard for me. There was a lot of fast forwarding that really took me out of the story, as well as I though he passed up the perfect time to let her in on a secret. So a little over a third of the way through, I just had to give up.

The Best Man (From Connemara With Love #1) by A.S. Kelly:

I received this book for free from Rachel's Random Resources in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021The Best Man by A.S. Kelly, Abigail Prowse
Series: From Connemara With Love #1
Narrator: Jenn McGuirk
on February 2, 2021
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 09:19
Source: Rachel's Random Resources
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: dnf
Goodreads

I always turn up at just the wrong moment. I never know how to make the most of a situation; I don’t know the right thing to say, or when I should come or go.Let’s just say I have really shit timing.I’m not a smart guy. I don’t have great ideas.I’m practical, a hard worker; someone who lives for his family, and for the air that she breathes.It’s just a shame that the “she” in question never knew this. It’s a shame that I waited all these years to make my move. It’s useless to tell you, readers, that it was already too late; that I’d screwed everything up, once again. And, this time, my mistakes forced her to come home.Except she didn’t want to stay.And now she hates me – or maybe she doesn’t. I still haven’t worked out what’s going on between us, but like I said, I’m not the sharpest tool in the box. And even though this could be my last chance, I’m not going to be the one to ask her to stay. Not even if she turns out to be the one I’ve always waited for.Because she doesn't belong in this place.And she doesn't belong in my life.My name is Alex Brennan, and this is my story: of how I realised I’d lost the most important person in my life, before I even had her.

My Review:

I was really excited for this one, I mean it is set in Ireland. And because of that, the narrator’s Irish accent should have won me over. But we start out with a cheating issue. And I just didn’t like the characters or the way they handled all of it. So this one was not for me sadly.

Rent-A Husband (The Abbott Brothers #1) by Everly Ashton:

I received this book for free from Wildfire Marketing PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021Rent-A Husband by Everly Ashton
Series: The Abbott Brothers #1
on July 8, 2021
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Source: Wildfire Marketing PR
Format: E-galley
My Rating: dnf
Goodreads

When Camila Wright hired me to fix a few things around her house I didn’t expect to find myself swindled into a fake relationship with her.
Sure, my company is called Rent-A Husband but that’s not what people actually hire me for.
But when I find her elbow deep in a tub of ice cream with tears running down her face how can I turn down her proposition?
Suddenly a fake relationship becomes a fake marriage that we have to keep up all summer. Which is all fine and good except for the part where we both agreed not to let anything ‘real’ creep into our arrangement.
But then certain parts of me start to crave certain parts of her and things become even more complicated because we both have our own reasons for wanting what we have to remain make-believe only.

My Review:

I tried so hard with this one! I love the whole idea behind rent-a-husband to have someone come do the little things around your house. I need that service myself! I loved that the character ate something that my family has all the time, but I’d never really heard anyone else talk about, chicken tetrazzini. And overall the story was pretty simple. But then, well it just got more and more ridiculous and I couldn’t do it.

The Do-Over by Melissa MacKinnon:

I received this book for free from InkSlingerPR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021The Do Over by Melissa MacKinnon
Published by Entangled: Bliss on July 12, 2021
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 256
Source: InkSlingerPR
Format: E-galley
My Rating: dnf
Goodreads

After years in the grueling California dating scene, Maggie Kelley has finally agreed to marry her Mr. Right Now. But there’s just one teensy problem…the county clerk lets her know that she’s technically still married to her Vegas fling: the best three days she ever had...and can’t actually remember. The moment she sees her very hot husband after eight years, with his works-well-with-his-hands attitude, she’s sure their wedding night must have been explosive.
The absolute last person Finnegan Garrity expected at his door is Maggie—his ultimate “one who got away.” Yet here she is in his small-town boat shop, looking just as adorable as ever…and wanting a divorce. Yeah, he has no intention of letting that happen. Now he’s got one week to convince Maggie that they’re still perfect for each other.
But he’s going to need more than just a do-over: he’s going to need a miracle.

My Review:

Another one that I tried soooooo hard to finish. But the two main characters were just way too opposite of each other, and there were just so many issues with it. I kept giving it another chance and another, and another. I got clear to 76%, so I feel like I gave it a LOT of chances.

The Librarian Principle by Helena Hunting:

The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021The Librarian Principle by Helena Hunting, Shannon Lumetta
Published by Helena Hunting on December 15, 2014
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 382
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
My Rating: dnf
Goodreads

Annaliese Harper knows that one tiny mistake can jeopardize a career before it's even begun. Letting your boss find the extensive collection of porn on your personal laptop is one way. Sleeping with him is another. Liese manages to do both. As the new librarian at a prestigious small-town private high school, Liese is drawn to her sexy, charismatic principal, Ryder Whitehall-an attraction she refuses to acknowledge given their relationship, and her recent liberation from a delusional ex-boyfriend. Liese is certain Ryder's flirtation is the product of her sex-deprived imagination-until he discovers her digital porn stash during working hours and demands a private meeting. Behind closed doors, their attraction explodes into a dangerous, passionate affair that not only threatens their jobs and reputations, but most of all, their hearts.

My Review:

Okay, so this book wasn’t bad at all. BUT! As a high school librarian, who is single, I just didn’t feel right reading this for some reason. It just felt wrong for me to do that. Now, maybe once I am retired somewhere down the road I’ll pick it back up and give it a full read. But for now, I just can’t.

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin:

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on June 1, 2021
Genres: YA Fantasy, YA Magical Realism
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: dnf
Goodreads

For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.
In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It's wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.
In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she's the only one who can make a difference.
In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she's terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.
In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves... before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.
Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.

My Review:

I know there was a lot of love for this one. But it was boring for me, and since I hadn’t requested it, and the publisher had just sent it without reaching out to me first, I unfortunately chose to move onto the books that I had requested or been asked to read that I enjoyed. I thought maybe I’d pick it back up in between other scheduled reads, but I just never had the desire to. So I’ll just leave it as a book that wasn’t for me.

21 Questions by Alexandria Rizik:

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The DNF Report #8: May – July of 202121 Questions by Alexandria Rizik
Published by SparkPress on August 3, 2021
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: dnf
Goodreads

In Laguna Beach, California, sixteen-year-old Kendra Dimes is preparing for the 2010 USA Surfing Prime West. She’ll be competing this year in honor of her brother, who was a surfer too, but who died from a drug overdose. Kendra has suffered anxiety attacks ever since her brother’s death, and surfing is what’s been helping her heal.
Brock Parker is the new bad boy at school; he deals drugs to the high school clientele for his parents, who work for a Mexican drug lord. Though Brock and Kendra come from two different worlds, sparks fly when they meet at the homecoming dance—their attraction is magnetic. When they start a game of 21 Questions one night, they begin to learn more about each other—and, surprisingly, about themselves too. But some questions aren’t answered with the whole truth; after all, Brock can’t tell Kendra what his parents do for a living.
As Kendra and Brock experience all of life’s most exciting firsts, they prove that even when life throws you the perfect storm, you can make it through and come out stronger than before. 21 Questions is a coming-of-age journey packed with passion and heartbreak, risk and romance.

My Review:

This book was compared to one of my all time favorite series After. So I was excited to read it when they sent it to me. I had the idea that the male character sold drugs, but I didn’t know that he was going to be so into doing them as well, not to mention all the other characters that did drugs. That was a problem for me. I know, I’m naive, or at least I don’t like the drug stuff. Not everyone in the world does drugs. Yes there are people who do, and I’m not stupid, but that doesn’t mean I want to read about it. Just a personal preference. So that was a big no for me. Also, the main female character laughed at her friend calling a girl a mean name, FFP, a former fat person. And there was no feeling bad about it to herself or anything. Sorry, I just don’t like that kind of a person.

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8 responses to “The DNF Report #8: May – July of 2021

    • Lisa Mandina

      I think I was not in the mood at the time, and since that I just haven’t felt like trying again, not to mention no time to fit it into my reading schedule at this point. I’ve heard so many people really liked it. Oh well.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I just have realized it is the only way for me to keep going. If I get stuck on a book I’m not enjoying, then it makes me dread reading and wastes time I could be devouring a book I will love!

  1. Can you please teach me to DNF? I am so bad at it! Like with that 76% one? No way, my stubborn self would have forced on, even though it wasn’t working. I need guidance! ? The drugs one would have been a nope from me too. Like you said, I am not naïve either, but it almost sounds like it was being glamorized, and like we are talking about hard stuff here, and just. No. Also ALL I can think of is the chicken tetrazzini meme! Please tell me you know which one I mean, if not, you must look it up bwhahaha. It will now be in my head for the rest of the night!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Reviews in a Minute: August Adventures
    • Lisa Mandina

      lol I just have given myself the permission to do it. There are just too many books I want to erad to keep reading something I’m not enjoying. Yeah, I can’t believe I made it that far and still gave up. I don’t know what this chicken tetrazzini meme is, but I’m off to check it out now!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I felt like maybe a bit of a naive prude for disliking 21 Questions, but I had to think about what I would like, and what I would promote to my students. Unfortunately it wasn’t one I could do that with.

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