Banner's Bonus, by Carole Ann Lee

>> Friday, January 26, 2007

I think 2007 is going to be the year of the TBR. Already this month I've gone into its deepest depths and brought up books that had been there for years. This last weekend it was Banner's Bonus, by Carole Ann Lee.

Tressa Loring could think of much better ways to spend her time than traveling through space with an arrogant brute-especially one she had secretly adored for years. But duty forced her to journey with Nick Banner to a far-off world, even as desire led her to unknown realms of passion.

Banner's assignment was supposed to be simple: He had to keep his friend's daughter safe from kidnapping threats without letting her know she was in danger. The hard part for the dashing rogue was he had vowed not to lay a hand on his headstrong passenger.

If he succeeded, a fortune would be his reward. If he failed, a love without end would be...
There's been a lot of talk about DNF reads lately, with Kristie posting her RTB column about INYIM (It's Not You, It's Me) DNF reads and Janine from DearAuthor posting about how sometimes a DNF isn't really a book that's so bad you couldn't be bothered to finish. My Banner's Bonus' DNF was a mix of the two.

I love romances in which the hero and heroine spend a long time together in a spaceship (or the hero and hero, as in Vaughan's Off World), so the set-up of this book had me rubbing my hands with glee. Jonathan Loring (who I suspect must be the hero of an earlier book of this author's) has received an anonymous note warning him that there's a plan afoot to kidnap his daughter, Tressa. He doesn't want to scare Tressa, so he devices a plan to get her out of danger without actually telling her she's in danger. He asks his friend, Nick, who captains a ship of his own, to take her with him on a run and stash her somewhere safe. Tressa, meanwhile, will be told she needs to go because her security clearance is necessary for a made-up mission Nick is undertaking for Jonathan.

So far so good, although I was a bit worried about how young Tressa seems. But ok, I thought. They'll be together in the spaceship, and it's a tiny one, so oh, good, I'm looking forward to some nice sexual tension. Well, I didn't get it. In the 150 pages I managed to read, all I've got is Tressa acting feisty and Nick behaving like an asshole for no reason. The only remotely sexual scene was one in which Tressa is drugged and she starts telling Nick how attractive he is, and this scene just felt silly and embarrassing, not sexy.

I guess I've changed. A few years ago, I would have liked this well enough, maybe even loved it, but today? I'm just disappointed at how annoyingly feisty Tressa is and at how shallow the characterization seems. At this point, continuing to read feels like a chore.

Add to this two more factors:

a) This is a long book. At over 400 pages, and not particularly gripping pages, either, it would have taken me a while to finish it.

b) My reading time just got a lot more valuable to me. When I leave in a few months, I won't be able to take my physical TBR with me (thank heavens for ebooks!), and I want to read as many of the books there as I can. It's just not acceptable anymore to spend a few days struggling with a book, when I could be using that time to discover hidden gems still lurking in my TBR.

... and I'm done!


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