Two disappointing DNF

>> Thursday, July 11, 2013

TITLE: Forbidden
AUTHOR: Lisa Clark O'Neill

I'm always looking for good self-pubbed romances, and this one came highly recommended. However, it started badly, and the direction it seemed to be heading into didn't interest me.

Basic setup? Clay is an FBI profiler, taking a holiday to recover from a particularly traumatic case. At the beach, he falls in lust at first sight with Tate. She initially turns him down, but then they run into each other again at her family's bar, where she works. There also seems to be something going on with some people traffickers operating in the area. That's where I left it, about 15% in.

I took against Clay pretty much from the first moment he appears. His first action when he sees the heroine at the beach is to come over and put his hand on her back, because "she missed a spot". This is supposed to be an FBI profiler, with a PhD in psychology, so I would really, really expect some awareness of how creepy that is. Tate seems a bit of a doormat as well, rolling over at his aggressiveness, and this type of dynamic continues the next time they meet. I didn't find Clay's behaviour sexy, I found it sleazy. Add to this a potential suspense subplot that didn't intrigue me in the least and mediocre editing (not awful, just a few things like using 'in principal' and a mismatch of tenses in a sentence, but enough to make it clear there wasn't proper editing done here), and I really didn't feel like investing any more time in this.


TITLE: Badlands
AUTHOR: Seleste deLaney

*sigh* I loved the idea of this book. It's steampunk set in North America post the American Civil War. As far as I could tell, in this version of reality, the country split and in between the previously warring factions there's a strip of land called the Badlands. It's a matriarchy ruled by a Queen who is attacked and killed as the book starts. The heroine, Ever, is one of her guard, and her first priority becomes getting to the heiress to the Crown and protecting her. To do so, she needs help from Spencer, who captains an airship which happens to be in the area.

The execution just didn't work for me at all. Ever is just a completely nonsensical character. She’s supposed to be this experienced, seasoned warrior, a leader, with a crucial mission she needs to accomplish as soon as humanly possible. But she acts like a mindless, brutish idiot. She keeps picking fights, making trouble and seems always on the verge of changing ships (thus losing loads of time) for the most stupid reasons, like whether she can wear her clothes on the dirigible! Plus, I didn't feel the romance. There was no chemistry that I could perceive, so when they start going “oh, the yearning!”, it feels silly and tedious.

Bah, it was a short one, at barely 100 pages, but after reading about half of it I decided to cut my losses.



Maili 11 July 2013 at 17:33  

Bugger. I have Badlands in my TBR pile. Ah well, I'll give it a try when I have nothing to lose. :D

Barb in Maryland 11 July 2013 at 19:14  

Yeah, 'Badlands' looked interesting when I first read of it, then it fell off my radar. Good thing, it looks like.
I have been having a whole string (about 8 in a row!!) of DNFs. Very frustrating. And it looks like the new book I'm currently 75 pages into will be joining the crowd. Sigh...
So I've turned to re-reading old comfort reads. Just gobbled down 'The Curse of Chalion' by Bujold. Next up, I think, will be 'The Element of Fire' by Martha Wells.

Rosario 12 July 2013 at 06:32  

Maili: Well, at least it's short, so even if you don't like it, it shouldn't take too long.

Barb: Oh, I hate it when that happens! I do the same thing and go back to old faves. Unfortunately, though, the last 2 or 3 I reread didn't work particularly well for me this time around, so maybe it's me, not the books. I haven't read The Element of Fire; it sounds great!

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