Saturday, August 31, 2019

DNF&Y [20]

DNF&Y is used to explain why I gave up on certain books, and what about them just didn't work for me. What I disliked about a book might be something you love, so it helps to share your thoughts even when they're negative! If you would like additional information, please click on the DNF&Y tab at the top. If you want to join, you can link up at the bottom!

Discretion (The Dumonts, #1)
by Karina Halle 
Synopsis (via Goodreads): From New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle comes a delicious saga of wealth, luxury, and scandal—and the wicked secrets of success behind an envied family dynasty.

The Riviera means indulgence—if you’ve got money. For Sadie Reynolds, a down-on-her-luck student, the Riviera means dingy hostels and back streets. When a wrong turn puts her in jeopardy, the last thing she expects is to be saved by the most handsome stranger she’s ever locked eyes with. When she later wakes up in a luxury suite with a Mediterranean view, she’s in the tender care of her rescuer: Olivier Dumont, France’s most eligible bachelor, billionaire hotelier, and heir to the Dumont fashion fortune.

Olivier also owns his reputation for scandal. But Sadie is unlike any woman he’s ever met. Her humble persona and wild innocence promise real passion. He’s promising Sadie something too: anything she wants. From Bordeaux to Cannes to Paris, Sadie’s past in America is swept away and replaced with a fantasy too good to be true.

Pulled into Olivier’s orbit of wealth, glamour, and excess, Sadie discovers that the Dumont dynasty comes with a legacy of wicked secrets. And Olivier’s secrets may be the most damning of all…

DNF at 36%

Warning! Potential spoilers for this book! They're minor but necessary to explain myself.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Sadie is annoying. She apparently cannot function without a man in her life, and her decisions always seem to revolve around whatever person she's with at the time. She goes to Europe with her boyfriend, discovers he's been cheating on her and ends things, and then she attempts to scrape by on her own until her (already scheduled) flight home. She's in an unfamiliar city, an unfamiliar country, but chooses to walk around alone in the dark in the middle of the night. She only has her phone for directions, and continues walking down empty streets with little to no light. Are you screaming at her stupidity? I was.

After her perilous encounter with the bald man, she tries to brush off what happened like it's not a big deal. If someone attacked me in the middle of the night, it wouldn't be something I quickly forgot. I wouldn't care that my savior was handsome, or even notice what his eyes looked like, if I had just been fighting for my life. I would likely thank whoever it was and then wait for the police to arrive. I would not follow another stranger into their car with few reservations. Especially one that claims to be rich and willing to pay for my medical care. 

I get it. It's a romance book, and unlikely scenarios sometimes make amazing stories, but Sadie was incredibly frustrating. She had no sense of self-preservation, and very little self-respect. She doesn't think she's very attractive, slept with her best friend just to get the experience out of the way, and then chose to date someone boring, safe, and predictable. She didn't want spontaneity, and she didn't think very highly of herself. However, she's totally okay with finishing her trip through Europe broke and solo, getting into a strangers car in the middle of the night, and then proceeding to stay with him for the duration of her trip. Additionally, she complained nonstop at the start of the book about not wanting his charity, and repeatedly said she didn't want him to spend so much money on her, but then was fine with him surprising her with expensive champagne, lavish dresses, and luxurious dinners. *pulls hair out*

Sadie was so hot and cold, and it was difficult to keep track of her thoughts and feelings. Did she want to make it on her own, or did she want to let someone help her? Does she want to fight with him about money, or want to enjoy the experience? She was all over the place! I'm also okay with having adventurous sex and exploring your options, but she went from being a person that wanted to "get it over with" to someone that wanted to "have amazing sex nonstop" in a very short amount of time. It was too easy for her to dismiss who she'd been her entire life. She was shy one minute and cheeky the next𑁋it gave me mental whiplash. No one becomes a new person overnight.

"He might be able to fit me in a flattering and beautiful dress, but it might be akin to putting lipstick on a pig. Or at least designer clothing on a girl from a trailer park."

Also, if she couldn't walk on her ankle, she definitely couldn't swim on it. At least, not enough to tread water while making out in the middle of the ocean. It sounds romantic, but the logistics don't work. I had a similar experience in my youth, and sexy times in the ocean are difficult and really not that exciting. I'm not saying it cannot be done, but it didn't seem plausible in this scenario. 

I guess I had more to say about this one than I thought... but when woman in books act like airheads, it really grates on my nerves. I wish Sadie had been a little more confident in herself and what she has to offer the world, but she only talks negatively about herself. He tells her she's beautiful, and she's mentally congratulating herself for not correcting him and just being in the moment. I wanted to yell at her to embrace her beauty and enjoy the experience for what it was. 

Needless to say, this one didn't work for me. Although I am curious what "big secret" Olivier has been keeping for ten years. Details were trickling in, but what he did honestly didn't seem like that big of a deal. I'm assuming there's more to the story, but I just couldn't deal with Sadie anymore.

Furyborn (Empirium, #1)
by Claire Legrand
Narrated by Fiona Hardingham
Synopsis (via Goodreads): The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

DNF at 31%

I was really looking forward to Furyborn, so I hate that it didn't work out for me. I disliked both of the main characters, and couldn't make myself care about what was happening to them. I also found the history of the saints and angels to be a tad confusing, which made it hard to follow. At one point, Rielle is listing all of the saints and describing them to herself, and they sounded a lot like the Greek gods with a few variations. There were also so many of them to keep up with. Additionally, she was able to control various types of magic, and I never really understood why. It's also really frustrating when you have dual POVs and every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. After a certain point, I just didn't feel invested enough to continue. 

On the Hunt by Gena Showalter, 
Shannon K. Butcher, Jessica Anderson,
Deidre Knight
Narrated by Todd McLaren, Emily
Durante, Hillary Huber, Coleen Marlo
Synopsis (via Goodreads): New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter, Shannon K. Butcher, Jessica Andersen, and Deidre Knight present a steamy collection of all-new novellas featuring sexy paranormal hunters.

With shadowy creatures, intoxicating magic, vivdly imagined worlds, and sizzling passion, this is an anthology no fan of paranormal romance will want to miss.

In New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter's
Ever Night, Rose Pascal is swept into a dark, haunting world every year on her birthday - a world ruled by a warrior king who hunts her kind. Neither of them can deny the passion that soon consumes them both....

In Shannon K. Butcher's
The Collector, demon hunter Neal Etan sets out to acquire a powerful artifact, but finds much more in beautiful Viviana Rowan. The antique dealer's touch strengthens his magic - and her life may be in Neal's hands if they don't recover the artifact in time....

In Jessica Andersen's
Crystal Skull, archaeologist Natalie Albright's dig gets shut down amid rumors she has awakened the local demons. But when the terrifying underworld creatures attack, Natalie must team up with her ex to survive. As they fight the ancient menace, they discover a destiny that binds them together - and threatens to tear them apart....

And in Deidre Knight's Red Angel, Jamie Angel, leader of the deadly Nightshades, has tracked every kind of monster and demon that roams the darkness, but none of his experiences can prepare him for falling in love with one of the creatures he's trained to destroy....

DNF at 4%

As you can see, I didn't make much progress with this book. Why? The main character in Ever Night was abducted by horrible monsters and held against her will. She's brought before a terrifying and deadly creature, but all she can think about is how handsome he is. He threatened her and forced her to agree to something against her will, but all she wants to do is comment on how attractive his mouth is (or some other body part). Fuck. That. Shit. If someone abducts me and I see freaking monsters for the first time in my life, someone's pretty face isn't even going to register in my brain. I definitely wouldn't be considering what it would be like to have sex with them, ugh. On the Hunt wasn't for me, but I can only speak for the first book since I didn't get to the others.

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  1. I have On The Hunt in my wish list. I have't read the others. I hope I like it more than you did. lol

    1. I wish I had known! I would have mailed my copy to you instead of donating it.

  2. Sadie sounds like a mess of a character haha as far as consistency goes, but it was fun reading your take on her. :)

    1. Thanks! She made me crazy. She was ATTACKED in the middle of the night, but her rescuer had lovely eyes... ugh. Just no.

  3. It took me a lot to learn to DNF books, but it saved me a lot of time. Furyborn sounds like a great book, shame it didn't work for you.

    1. SAME! I used to feel bad about not liking a book enough to finish it, and those that did get left unread always disappeared from my TBR list on Goodreads. ;) I felt like that was being dishonest (to myself and the people reading my reviews). If I attempted to read something and it didn't work out, I should explain why. I shouldn't feel guilty about not finishing a book, because it's very unlikely I will like everything I decide to read. We're all different, so it makes sense that our tastes and interests are different too. I've been a lot happier since I started DNFing books, since that means I only stick with the books I'm enjoying. :)

      Furyborn had a lot going on... and I always struggle when I cannot connect to the characters. The premise was interesting, the world was creative and unique, but it wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe you'd enjoy it? If you think you would, definitely give it a shot! I know a lot of other people really love it. <3

  4. I hate female leads who are TSTL and I'm getting more cranky in my old age ;-) Sadie would grate on my nerves too.

    I feel pain, Lindsi, when a book you're looking forward to reading doesn't live up to it. Shame about Furyborn. X

    1. What is TSTL? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess... too stupid to learn? Hah! You're not the only one. I have a really hard time with characters that act like airheads. Common sense tells you not to walk down unfamiliar streets in the middle of the night, alone and needing to use your phone for directions. After being attacked, someone's good looks should not even register through the panic and terror.

    2. Too stupid to live πŸ˜‰
      Too stupid to learn wasn't too far off though!

  5. I haven't had too many DNFs this year. I guess I'm a bit more generous with garbage reads. Lol. Honestly, I think I've only DNF'd one book this year so far. *facepalm*

    1. If I'm going to read something, I want to enjoy what I'm reading. If it's not working for me, I don't want to waste my time dragging my mental feel through the mud. It's easier to just put it down and move on to something else! I've found it makes me a happier reader, and I've found a lot more books to love! <3

  6. Sorry Furyborn didn't work out for you! :(

    1. Have you read it? I tried listening to the audio, but I disliked that every chapter essentially ended in a cliffhanger, and I didn't really like either character. :/

  7. Oh no! I had Discretion on my TBR but from what you said I think I'd want to throttle Sadie so I think I'll let it slip down the pile...

    1. She was an incredibly frustrating character. I'm pretty sure I was making angry faces at the book while I was reading, haha. She's self-deprecating, TSTL (learn or live both work), and has no sense of self-preservation. It's just... "Oh! Shiny!"

  8. I struggled with Discretion. I didn't like the hero much either. But the setting was so pretty. I finished it, but it didn't make me want to read more in the series for sure.

    1. I think calling him a hero is a stretch, haha. He pummeled someone and then let them get away, while allowing his "damsel in distress" to take advantage of his lifestyle. Their connection felt forced and unrealistic. I'm curious what his secret was... the deal he made with his uncle?

  9. Furyborn is such a polarizing book, but it worked for me.

    1. I'm happy it did! I just really struggled with the characters. I also didn't care for the alternating POVs since we already knew what happened to the one... :/


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless