The DNF Report #10 – January 2022

Posted February 21, 2022 by Lisa Mandina in The DNF Report / 8 Comments

Technically one of these I DNFed in December, but since I was supposed to review as part of a blog tour I had to wait on posting the review at all, so I saved it for this post. There were quite a few in January unfortunately. I don’t know if it was a mood I was in, or what, but let’s get this shared!

Digging Up Love by Chandra Blumberg:

I received this book for free from Irish Banana Book Tours, Netgalley, Physical ARC, Pitchlit PR, 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 #10 – January 2022Digging Up Love by Chandra Blumberg
Series: Taste of Love #1
Published by Montlake on January 1, 2022
Genres: Adult Bully Romance, Adult Contemporary, Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Irish Banana Book Tours, Netgalley, Physical ARC, Pitchlit PR, InkSlingerPR
Format: ARC, Audiobook, E-galley
My Rating: DNF

From debut author Chandra Blumberg comes a playful, heartfelt romance about chasing your dreams and finding love in the process.
Alisha Blake works her magic in the kitchen, creating delectable desserts for her grandfather’s restaurant in rural Illinois. Though Alisha relishes the close relationship she has with her family, she can’t help but dream about opening a cookie shop in Chicago. She may be a small-town baker, but Alisha has big ambitions.
Then a dinosaur bone turns up in her grandparents’ backyard. When paleontologist Quentin Harris arrives to see the discovery for himself, he’s hoping that the fossil will distract him from a recent painful breakup. Instead, he finds Alisha—and sparks fly. The big-city academic and the hometown baker seem destined for a happily ever after.
But Alisha is scared to fall in love. And Quentin’s trying to make a name for himself in a competitive field, which gets even more complicated when the press shows up at the dig site. For love to prevail, the two may have to put old bones aside—and focus on the future.

My thoughts:

So this is one that I had kind of a personal link to and was really excited for when I first heard about it. You see the very first novel I started writing, and that I need to still finish, I titled Digging Up Love, and mine was set in Chicago, similar to this one, with a paleontologist love interest! So when I saw this one I was really excited to read it, and thought maybe I’d love it and then have to find a new name for my novel if I ever finished it. Unfortunately the writing style was just not for me. It didn’t grab me and keep me on the edge of my seat. I felt there was so much time that the main characters were in their own heads thinking of all the reasons they couldn’t be with the other, why they weren’t a good catch, etc. There wasn’t much contact or conversation between the two in the first almost third of the book, and it made them falling in love unbelievable. Maybe this is what they mean when they say “show don’t tell”? So sad this didn’t work. Between the beautiful cover and the great story idea, um – maybe that sounds weird since it is similar to mine, but I loved their idea too, this one just was a disappointment for me.

Nashville Dreams by Julie Capulet:
The DNF Report #10 – January 2022Nashville Dreams by Julie Capulet
Series: Music City Lovers #3
Published by Julie Capulet on November 9, 2021
Genres: Adult Military Romance, Adult Retelling, Adult Rock Star Romance, Adult MC Romance
Source: Rockstar Book Tours, SYNC, the author, Rachel's Random Resources
Format: Audiobook, E-galley
My Rating: DNF

“All I wished for was to experience that spark you read about, just once. What I wasn’t expecting was the Fourth of July and heaven on earth all rolled into one.” ~ Stella

Bass player Kade Tucker is known as the Magic Man, and not only for his riffs. After breaking off a disastrous relationship, he swears off women. Only problem is, five minutes later, he might have just met the love of his life.
Stella Bell has always done what’s expected of her. Until a secret letter and an unexpected proposal on the same day prove to be her breaking point. For once in her life, she’s going to do something for herself. As fate would have it, that means taking a spur of the moment trip to Nashville.
A hopeless romantic, Stella has been hiding her true self for far too long. And when a gorgeous, mysterious stranger rescues her from a torrential downpour, she decides to go with it. The hot, dreamy Kade Tucker proceeds to enlighten Stella in every possible way, until she begins to realize that some dreams really can come true.
But will Kade’s twisted ex and Stella’s family secrets – and a very accidental pregnancy –get in the way of their HEA? Or is this a star-crossed match made in Music City heaven?
Nashville Dreams is a super-sexy standalone rock star romance starring a hot alpha musician and a sweet & sassy dreamer who’s the one he always knew was out there somewhere. Now that he’s found her, he has no intention of letting any one of her dreams go unanswered.
Music City Lovers series

My thoughts:

So this is a book that the author reached out to me on Instagram about reading her books. I told her I would give it a try, as it did sound good. It started out good when I first picked it up. But then there were some things that were just a little weird and too soon for me. Like the guy taking a tear from her face and putting it in his mouth right after they met. I gave it a little more time, got into it a little more, but then I just couldn’t buy into how quick certain things were going. Believe me, I’m not against insta-love at all, but this just didn’t work for me.

In Harmony by Emma Scott:
The DNF Report #10 – January 2022In Harmony by Emma Scott
on February 13, 2018
Genres: Classic Fiction, NA Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Source: Physical ARC, Purchased, Netgalley
Format: eBook
My Rating: DNF

The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…
At seventeen, Willow Holloway’s life was torn apart. The happy, driven girl is gone, and she is left wracked by post-traumatic stress her body remembers even if she does not. When her father suddenly uproots the family from their posh penthouse in New York City to the tiny town of Harmony, Indiana, Willow becomes more untethered and lost under the weight of her secret. On a whim, she auditions for a part in the community theater’s production of Hamlet and unexpectedly wins the role of Ophelia—the girl who is undone by madness, and her love of Hamlet…
Isaac Pierce is from the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’ The town bad boy. Girls pine for his attention and guys are in awe of him. That he’s an acting prodigy only adds to his charisma. Isaac utterly disappears into his characters; the stage is the only place he feels safe from his own traumatic home life. He wants nothing more than to escape to Broadway or Hollywood, and leave Harmony behind for good.
No one can play Hamlet but Isaac, and when the director pairs him with Willow in acting class, they clash again and again—neither willing to open their hearts to anyone. But clashing leads to breaking, breaking leads to the spilling of terrible secrets, and soon Isaac and Willow find Shakespeare’s words mirroring their lives. When they are cruelly torn apart, neither know how this play will end—with madness and heartache? Or healing, love, and the discovery of who they are truly meant to be.
In Harmony is a standalone NEW ADULT love story, and is intended for readers 18 and up. PLEASE NOTE, this book contains sensitive material such as physical abuse, and the aftermath of sexual assault (off the page). Reader discretion is advised.

My thoughts:

So I just saw on another blog that they were counting their DNFs towards TBR challenges, and I am thinking I will do that for my Coyer challenge with ebooks? Maybe? If so, this would be the first one. I got this book free and decided it would be good to read one by this author since she will be at Book Bonanza this summer. Unfortunately the guy in it smokes, and that is such a turn off for me I can’t even get into it. So while I see lots of glowing reviews for it on Goodreads, I chose not to finish it for myself. You still might like it though!

Knot My Type by Evie Mitchell:
The DNF Report #10 – January 2022Knot My Type by Evie Mitchell
Series: All Access #1
Narrator: Jacob Morgan, Lauri Jo Daniels
Published by Evie Mitchell on November 24, 2021
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Contemporary
Source: Purchased, Publisher
Format: Audiobook, ARC
My Rating: DNF

Listening Length: 5 hours and 21 minutes
He doesn’t do relationships.She doesn’t do flings.Everything they thought is about to unravel…
When you say you're a sexologist, people imagine Marilyn Monroe. They don't expect a woman who uses a wheelchair. As the host of the All Access Podcast, I'm breaking barriers, crushing stigmas, and creating sexual connections that are fulfilling for my fans. I'm like cupid, but with pink hair and fewer diapers.Only, I've hit a snag. A lovely listener wants some advice about accessible rope play and I'm drawing a big fat blank. Which leaves me with no option but to get out there and give it a go.Which is how I meet Jay Wood—rigger, carpenter, and all-round hottie.I'd be open to letting him wine and dine me—only Jay isn't my type. He's not a one-girl kind of guy. Monogamy isn't even in his vocab, and I'm not a woman who'll settle for being second choice.But the closer we get, the more Jay has me tied up in knots.And it's making me think, maybe I could compromise and accept a little Wood in my life. Even if it's only temporary.
JayFrankie's funny, intelligent, and ridiculously sexy. This should be a no-brainer. A little fun in the sheets, and a little romp with some ropes—simple.Only the infuriating woman is asking for more. I'm not that kind of guy. I wouldn't even know how to be that kind of guy. I'm the definition of easy.It'll be fine. We'll be friends. Just friends.So, why does my heart feel frayed? And why is it I can't help but consider taking the ultimate leap of faith—tying myself to Frankie. Permanently.

My thoughts:

So this one also sounded soooooooo good! And I read a review from another blogger about how good it was. And I love the idea behind this series and even what the plot was supposed to be. But then, it was just kind of boring. Until the guy seemed to get an erection out of nowhere. And then the story just went on as if he hadn’t just thought to himself about the erection. And at that point I gave up.

Say It Like You Mane It by Erin Nicholas:

I received this book for free from Social Butterfly 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 #10 – January 2022Say It Like You Mane It by Erin Nicholas
Series: Boys of the Bayou Gone Wild #6
on February 1, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Social Butterfly PR
Format: E-galley
My Rating: DNF

What happens when a hellraiser turned hot cop is stuck with a headstrong heiress he’s determined to protect...and resist?
A run-away bride, wearing a freakin’ tiara, and carrying a stolen lion cub, of all things. This was not how rowdy, bad-boy-turned-small-town-cop, Zander Landry expected his day to go.
He really didn’t expect his night to end with her sleeping in his bed after her near-kidnapping.
But his intense attraction to her and the feelings of protectiveness she stirs up? Oh, yeah, he knew those were coming.
She’s stunning, whip-smart, and trouble with a capital T.
Which means, he needs her to head right back the way she came. ASAP.
His town is exactly the way he wants it . . . crazy and trouble free.
Well, the crazy trouble he’s not related to anyway.
Stranded in a tiny town in her half-million-dollar wedding gown with no money and no place to go . . . today is going pretty much exactly the way Caroline Holland expected it to.
But the grumpy, tattooed, oh-my-god hot cop being the answer to all her problems isn’t at all what she expected.
Now that she’s turned all the criminal (and obnoxious) info about her exotic-animal-dealing ex-fiance over to Zander, she can kick back in a hammock with some sweet tea and relax.
Or not.
Turns out Caroline’s not the spoiled heiress Zander thinks she is. The gorgeous hellion wants in on the action and soon discovers just how dirty things can get in the bayou. And the bedroom.
More and more, Zander just wants her safe on the sidelines. But Caroline isn’t going anywhere until justice is done.
It’s a clash of wills that’s gonna get hotter than a crawfish boil in July. And the most fun the Landry family has had watching sparks fly since . . . well, the last book.

My thoughts:

Okay, so I really enjoyed the first book I read by this author, last year I think, Four Weddings and a Swamp Boat Tour, and I’ve been eager to find time to read another one. So when I saw I had room in my blog schedule, I jumped on the chance to read this one. I was enjoying it for the most part, but by about halfway through I realized it just wasn’t keeping my attention. I needed more. I don’t know if this will keep me from giving more of this author’s books a try since I did enjoy the other one I read, but we’ll see.

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8 responses to “The DNF Report #10 – January 2022

  1. It’s never fun to DNF a book you were looking forward to. Unfortunately, I have been there too. I liked In Harmony. I am a Emma Scott fan so maybe that’s why it worked for me?

    Sam@WLABB recently posted: #AmReading
    • Lisa Mandina

      I think In Harmony might have been good, I just can’t do the smoking thing. I have liked other Emma Scott books I’ve read I think? Maybe it’s just one other? But I will still try another book of hers.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I was so sad because I was so excited for it! I just didn’t feel any kind of connection because there didn’t seem to be a lot of actual interaction between the love interests. Too much time in their own heads. 🙁

    • Lisa Mandina

      And I don’t know that other people might not like them, I just gave my reasons in case that would affect anyone else’s thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!

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