Tag: DNF

Book Review:  Never Saw Me Coming, by Vera Kurian

Image belongs to Harlequin.
  • Genre:   Mystery/thriller
  • Rating:  DNF

Meet Chloe Sevre. She’s a freshman honor student, a leggings-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties, and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.

Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study for psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. The study, led by a renowned psychologist, requires them to wear smart watches that track their moods and movements.

When one of the students in the study is found murdered in the psychology building, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins, and Chloe goes from hunter to prey. As she races to identify the killer and put her own plan into action, she’ll be forced to decide if she can trust any of her fellow psychopaths—and everybody knows you should never trust a psychopath.

I read almost half of this before stopping reading. I thought the writing was solid and the characterization good, but I just couldn’t connect with the characters. I mean, they’re psychopaths, so it’s a bit hard to care what happens to them, honestly. And Chloe manipulates and lies to everyone, and those are both character traits that I can’t stand in real people, so I’m certainly not going to waste my team reading about them.

Vera Kurian lives in Washington, DC. Never Saw Me Coming is her debut novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review and Blog Tour: The Wildest Ride, by Marcella Bell

Image belongs to Harlequin/HQN.

At thirty-six, undefeated rodeo champion AJ Garza is supposed to be retiring, not chasing after an all-new closed-circuit rodeo tour with a million-dollar prize. But with the Houston rodeo program that saved him as a wayward teen on the brink of bankruptcy, he’ll compete. And he’ll win.

Enter Lilian Sorrow Island. Raised by her grandparents on the family ranch in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Lil is more a cowboy than city boy AJ will ever be. It shows. She’s not about to let him steal the prize that’ll save her ranch, even if he is breathtakingly magnificent, in pretty much every way going.

The world watches on as reality TV meets rodeo in a competition like no other. In front of the cameras, Lil and AJ are each other’s biggest rivals. Off-screen, it’s about to get a whole lot more complicated…

I read about 30% of this, but just couldn’t finish it. The writing was solid, but AJ and Lil’s characters seemed to consist mainly of arrogance and attitude, so they just weren’t people I wanted to continue reading about. This just wasn’t a good fit for me.

Marcella Bell was born in the Pacific Northwest. The Wildest Ride is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/HQN in exchange for an honest review.)

Blog Tour: The Summer of No Attachments, by Lori Foster

Image belongs to Harlequin/HQN.

TitleThe Summer of No Attachments
AuthorLori Foster
Genre:  Romance
Rating:  DNF

Summer flings with no strings mean nobody gets hurt.

At least, that was the plan…

After putting the brakes on her dead-end relationship, local veterinarian Ivey Anders is ready to soak up this summer on her own terms. The way she sees it, no dating means no disappointment. Why complicate life with anything long-term? But when she meets Corbin Meyer—and his troubled young son, Justin—Ivey’s no-strings strategy threatens to unravel before she can put it into practice.

Trust doesn’t come easy for Ivey’s best friend, Hope Mage, a veterinary-clinic assistant who’s affected by an incident that’s colored every relationship she’s had. Though Hope’s happy for Ivey, she can’t quite open her own heart to the possibility of love. Not just yet… Maybe not ever. Soon, however, she’s faced with a dilemma—Corbin’s older brother, Lang. He’s charming, he’s kind…and he may just be the reason Hope needs to finally tear down her walls.

And as the sweet summer months unspool, the two friends discover love won’t give up on them so easily.

I read about 25% of this before DNFing it. I found the characters low-key annoying, especially Ivey’s dramatics. If I wouldn’t want to hang around these people at all, what’s the point of reading about them? The dog and her elderly cat were almost enough to keep me reading, but in the end, I decided it wasn’t worth it.

Lori Foster is a bestselling author. The Summer of No Attachments is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/HQN in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: The Rooftop Party, by Ellen Meister

Image belongs to Harlequin/MIRA.

TitleThe Rooftop Party
AuthorEllen Meister
Genre:  Mystery/thriller
Rating:  DNF

Dana Barry, the Shopping Channel’s star host, stops by the company’s rooftop party to pitch the new CEO her brilliant idea that just might save the flagging business, her job and possibly her love life.

As she chats with the smarmy executive, he backs her into a dark corner. For Dana, it’s a quid pro oh-hell-no. She escapes his lecherous grasp and grabs her drink on her way to the dance floor. Woozy, she blacks out.

When she comes to, the CEO is dead, fallen from the roof. Or was he pushed? And if so, by whom? It’s hard to know, but one thing is certain: Dana was close enough to be suspect.

Sure, she loathed how the creep moved in on her, but she’s no killer. Or is she? Truth is, Dana can’t remember much about those minutes. Now she has to use all her skills to prove her innocence to everyone, including her police detective boyfriend—and herself.

I only read about 15% of this before stopping. Dana comes across as vapid and self-absorbed, and the other characters were about the same, so I just couldn’t continue reading. And…if Dana is supposedly so smart and savvy, would she really have left a drink beside a guy who creeped her out and then returned for it a few minutes later and drank it? Really?

Ellen Meister is an editor, book coach, ghostwriter, and teaches creative writing. The Rooftop Party is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/MIRA in exchange for an honest review.)