A DNF Wrap-Up

May and Mandi have had a few DNF’s (Did Not Finish) recently. Here is a recap:


Lucky PennyLucky Penny by Catherine Anderson
Reviewed by May

The heroine is a single ‘mom’ (she cares for her orphaned niece), and apparently she would be unable to find work unless she pretends she is married and her husband out searching for gold in Colorado. I would have to think orphaned children were more common back then, and I just can’t figure out how taking care of your niece would be such a social issue that nobody would hire you. Anyhow – she pretends to be married and makes up a man.

Turns out, there is such a man by that name and one day he gets her 6 years worth of letters. Letters that apparently her employer forced her to write to her husband, then letters her daughter began writing when she could telling of their hardships, begging him to send money or come back, etc.

David is sheriff of the small town of “No Name”, and touched by the letters he sends money as well as goes out to meet this woman and figure out if he sired her child on some random drunken night, or if there is another David Paxton who he should find for her.

After 50 pages, and many audible groans, I have to call DNF on this book. I did skim it, to see if it would lighten up on the western clichés and descriptions of rickety wooden things and get engaging, but I simply can’t get into the book. The pacing feels really show, the characters far too dull (the saintly aunt who sacrifices everything and works to the bone for her niece, the sheriff/rancher with the heart of gold…) for me to invest the time to read all 413 pages.

If you like sweet historical western romance, then this may be a really good read for you. Between the descriptions of the swayback pregnant woman and the whore with her nipple peeking out to the up all night sewing fingers to her bones heroine – it just became clear very quickly that this book wouldn’t be a pleasure for me to read, that I’d be frustrated and annoyed at the pacing, wording, and characters.



Kiss of the Vampire (Warriors of the Rift, #1)

Kiss of the Vampire by Cynthia Garner
Reviewed by May

Nix de la Fuente is a half-demon who works as a liaison between humans and the counsel of Preternaturals that polices the vampires, weres, and all other ‘other’ beings that live in this world.

You see, aliens come through a rift now and then onto the earth and land in human bodies and then some DNA meshing goes on (?) that depending on the alien and the human will determine what the person turns into.

Her ex-boyfriend Tobias left her five years ago because he worried about her control over her demon half and if she could lose her grip on her humanity. Tobias arrives on-scene of a grisly murder of a vampire that was a friend (of both him and Nix) with his vampire pheromones swirling around Nix and making her body all lusty for him. They were so good together, and she believed he once loved her…

I only made it sixty pages into this book. While I expect a lot of questions to be raised and uncertainty at the beginning of a PNR book, there were enough personal red flags and lack of interest in general to make me give up.

While unique – I don’t believe I’ve read of alien and human DNA splicing to create preternatural beings – it just didn’t quite work for me. Between the vampire ex-boyfriend walking onto a murder scene throwing sex pheromones at the heroine (both gross and unprofessional), the clear ‘big mis’ that he doesn’t love her when he left her because he loves her, and the “I’m competent and confident, except I’m not really and this man could complete me…” heroine I felt confident that I was not going to enjoy this story.

The writing and details of this story left me uninterested, and I can’t bring myself to continue. I feel compelled to tell you that it is the only book in my possession for the last 4 days and I have plenty of free reading time here hanging out with my sick kid. Yet I find myself watching Sponge Bob re-runs and 80’s cartoons on VHS rather than pick the book back up.


Kidnapped by the Greek Billionaire

Kidnapped by the Greek Billionaire by Rachel Lyndhurst
Reviewed by Mandi

Kizzy Dean sunk her savings into a restaurant she managed which is owned by the Greek Billionaire, Andreas Lazarides, and now Andreas has closed the restaurant down. With no money or future prospects, Kizzy is determined to hunt Andreas down and demand a chance to turn the business around. She meets him, not knowing it is him, and then lies about who she is. Andreas quickly figures it out, and annoyance comes out on both sides. When Kizzy threatens to tell the recently retired owners of the restaurant what Andreas has planned, he freaks out. In no way does he want the retired owners to know. In order to make sure Kizzy doesn’t run off to tell the retired couple, Andreas decides to keep Kizzy close by him while he can hammer out a legal document to keep her mouth shut. They only way he can do that is to make her come to Greece with him.

So these two have known each other for mere minutes, and Andreas tells Kizzy she must go from London to Greece with him. And her first thought is, I have no spare clothes. I figured she was going to be kidnapped since it is in the title, but it didn’t make sense. I mean, she isn’t really kidnapped – she willingly goes – but why? I get she now has no money or house etc..but you are going to go to a new country with a complete stranger?? Without a second thought?

And on the boat, still the same day they meet she says:

“I wish I could afford to walk away from all this,” Kizzy hissed, standing motionless on the stone steps. She continued to stare into the abyss of his exacting gaze. “Away from you.”

“Well, I do believe you can’t.”

He pulled her firmly downward by the wrist, ensuring that she fell into the unyielding cradle of his chest and upper arms.

And then they end up kissing.  Meanwhile, I found Andreas kind of a skeevy hero.I felt like he was taking advantage of Kizzy and she wasn’t smart enough to realize it.  Honestly, I only made it to about the 30%ish mark, so he still had time to be redeemed, but I didn’t care to find out how or if it happened.



Circle of Desire (The Circle, #1)

Circle of Desire by Carla Swafford
Reviewed by Mandi

Olivia St. Vincent who is this elite assassin for a group called The Circle, who needs to let off some steam after her latest kill, plans on a one night stand with a random dude. However, this random dude is actually working for The Circle’s enemy. The problems start when she is making out with this guy and then it goes from kissing to handcuffing to the bed..and not in a sexy way. She actually fears he might kill her. She is confused at first but soon realizes he is not just a random lover.

We get scenes like this:

…dipping and massaging areas as if he was searching or maybe testing for something. When his hands cupped her heaving breasts and squeezed, she groaned, hating how good his touch felt. Unable to resist, she arched her back, wanting more of his firm touch.

WHAT? He has tied her up, gagged her – she has no idea if he is going to kill her – he is looking for some locater thing that is suppose to be implanted in her and she is turned on?

And then (as he is still looking for the implant):

She’d never been as turned on in her life. He moved onto the bed and jerked her legs apart, and she gasped. Open and wet, she throbbed in answer to his stare.
She kicked and he quickly clasped her ankles. His gaze returned to her mons. She wanted to tell him to go to hell, yet his hungry look sent heat skimming over her body. She liked his attention.

A few paragraphs later:

The handcuffs rattled and began to cut into her wrists. For heaven’s sakes, they weren’t even fur lined. He needed to learn no one treated her this way, even if it did turn her on. In the end if she lived, he would learn not to mess with her this way. She would stake his life on that fact.

Sorry- but an elite assassin would never act like this in my opinion. I don’t understand how she could be this turned on if she honestly thought this man was going to kill or torture her.



  1. may says

    oh mandi… that chained to bed scene. I’m dying snorting over here. No, I don’t think that’d work out.

    And I don’t get it – why would she put money into a restaurant she doesn’t own?! and skeevy hero too? dang. I’d DNF both those too!

    I really don’t like DNF’ing a book, but if I just can’t get interested and it feels like a CHORE to be reading, well that’s not my kind of fiction!

    • Mandi says

      Well that is just it. If I’m not enjoying the book, why keep reading it? I guess there is always the chance there will be a miraculous turn around but if that is the case, then the beginning should have been better.

    • may says

      interesting! It sounds like it had that same unreal “srsly? random dude is dropping his life to be a good guy and investigate/support stranger? and she keeps writing letters WHY?” though in this one, he felt it was possible it was his child from random one night stand.

  2. says

    I’m sorry to hear you couldn’t get into Lucky Penny. Although I completely agree with you on the slooooow part and the plot was kinda weak, I guess I just have a soft spot for , I did enjoy the romance of it. Although I think a lot of that had to do with David himself ;)

  3. Rain Maiden Jen says

    Thank you for the DNF post. I don’t have many DNF books, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone. Some stories are not for everyone.

  4. says

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later on. I want to encourage one to continue your great posts, have a nice day!

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