Tag: DNF Reviews

Review: Lies by Kylie Scott

Posted September 23, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Lies by Kylie ScottReviewer: Casee
Lies by Kylie Scott
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 21, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First & Third Person
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 242
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Betty Dawsey knows that breaking things off with Thom Lange is for the best. He’s nice, but boring, and their relationship has lost its spark. But steady and predictable Thom, suddenly doesn’t seem so steady and predictable when their condo explodes and she’s kidnapped by a couple of crazies claiming that Thom isn’t who he says he is.

Thom is having a hellish week. Not only is he hunting a double agent, but his fiancé dumped him, and thanks to his undercover life, she’s been kidnapped.

Turns out Thom is Operative Thom and he’s got more than a few secrets to share with Betty if he’s going to keep her alive. With both their lives on the line, their lackluster connection is suddenly replaced by an intense one. But in his line of work, feelings aren’t wanted or desired. Because feelings can be a lethal distraction.

I loved Repeat. Holly loved Repeat. Tracy loved Repeat. Rowena really liked Repeat. After the that awesomeness, my expectations were extremely high. Way too high as it turns out.

I really had a problem with Betty from just about the start. She had this gung-ho attitude that was completely unbelievable. Her fiancé, the man she was getting ready to dump, is a totally different person. Like another life, different. He’s some kind of secret agent and she decides she can be one too. It was awful.



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DNF Review: If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

Posted June 17, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

DNF Review: If It Makes You Happy by Claire KannReviewer: Holly
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

High school finally behind her, Winnie is all set to attend college in the fall. But first she's spending her summer days working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. Winnie lives in Misty Haven, a small town where secrets are impossible to keep—like when Winnie allegedly snaps on Dr. Skinner, which results in everyone feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for her own good. Because they care that’s she’s “too fat.”

Winnie dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it'll go away if they can't make money, and fast. Winnie has a solution—win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn't want her to enter—so Winnie has to find a way around her formidable grandmother. Can she come out on top?

I discovered this book while browsing NetGalley. I don’t usually read YA, but the cover caught my eye (I absolutely adore it..that girl is super cute) and the blurb was interesting, so I decided to give it a try. It started out great. I like Kann’s writing style – simple, yet beautiful. The story flowed well and I was really feeling Winnie, her family and the town.

Sadly, things went downhill around page 40. I thought I was getting a fun story about a girl trying to save her granny’s diner, but that’s not what this is. Part of the problem stems from the stream-of-consciousness writing style. The chapters don’t really seem to go anywhere. Every thought Winnie has is on paper for us to read, so the chapters feel like rambley thoughts, rather than a story that’s headed somewhere. The blurb mentions a baking contest, but aside from a slight mention, there was little of that in the first quarter of the story. Winnie is supposedly happy with who she is, but suddenly the entire focus of the story shifted to her weight. The sudden shift in focus took me by surprise and turned me off the story.

This may have worked better for me if I’d gone into with different expectations. As it is, I wasn’t invested enough in the story or the characters to continue.

Rating: DNF


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DNF Review: Ice Hot by Tracy Goodwin

Posted May 29, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

DNF Review: Ice Hot by Tracy GoodwinReviewer: Holly
Ice Hot by Tracy Goodwin
Series: New York Nighthawks #1
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 248
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

The Nighthawks are hockey’s new expansion team. They’re ice hot. And they’re all about the chase.  
They call me a hockey god because I’m a beast on the ice . . . and off. Men want to be me and women just want me. But now that the New York Nighthawks expect me to lead their team to victory, it’s all work and no play. My eyes are on the prize. Until I meet Serena Ellis, a sexy, curvalicious blonde who doesn’t know me from jack. And just like that, I’m hooked.

I don’t do one-night stands—especially with celebrity jocks who date models. Lots of models. But the god of hockey is a temptation that’s hard for mere mortals to resist. And after the best kiss of my life, I’m ready to throw my one-night stand rule out the window. Except Christian Chase won’t let me. He doesn’t want a one-night stand. He wants it all.

This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Ice Hot by Tracy Goodwin is the first book in the New York Nighthawks hockey series. I love hockey books and the blurb intrigued me. Sadly, it didn’t work for me.

Christian has been called up to lead the new NY Nighthawks expansion team. He’s building it from the ground up, and it’s a lot more pressure than he anticipated. The only bright spot turns out to be dumping an Icee on an unsuspecting woman in a parking lot. Serena isn’t big on one night stands, but when she runs into Christian again (not literally this time, thank goodness), she can’t help but take him home. He might be a player, but she wants him between the sheets. Only Christian wants more from Serena. She thought she was getting a one-night stand. He’s determined to make it last.

I ended up quitting this book around page 70. The characters were both really immature and the writing drove me crazy. Christian would say and do things that were so silly and strange, it pulled me out of the story. He was supposedly a killer hockey player, but he lacked confidence.

I toss a hundred-dollar bill on the wood-grained counter to get the bartender’s attention. She orders a Gray Goose on the rocks with lime. I order the same. I probably won’t drink it, though. I ordered it to impress her, or to fit in with her. I can’t quite figure out which.

The way the heroine acted in the beginning didn’t make sense to me, either. She had attitude for days, and immediately accused him of trying to grope her. Then later, she hides in her bedroom to talk to him on the phone, while her friends listen at the keyhole. These are adults who own their own business. Not teenagers.

I wasn’t curious enough about the romance to power through. I’m pretty sure this is a debut novel, so I might try something by the author in the future.

Rating: DNF

New York Nighthawks


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Bookish Thoughts: #CopyPasteCris, KU Scammers and #NTRomNov

Posted March 8, 2019 by Rowena in Discussions, Features | 5 Comments

Holly: For the past few years, Rowena and I have been sort of bouncing in and out of Romance Twitter and Facebook. We keep up with what’s happening, but only on the peripheral. This year, we’re going to make an effort to stay informed and keep all of you informed, about what’s happening in and around Romancelandia. To that end, here’s a brief recap of some of the major stuff that went down in February.


For those who aren’t familiar, last month a reader contacted romance author Courtney Milan saying she thought Courtney had been plagiarized by author Cristiane Serruya. Serruya initially denied the accusation, then later claimed a ghostwriter she hired had done it. As time went on, more and more passages were found, and it turned out over 34 authors had been “copied” from, including Nora Roberts, Maya Banks, Diana Gabaldon, Tessa Dare and many others. These are not small names in the publishing world.

Here’s the the most recent list CaffeinatedFae put together.

List of authors copied from

I have to say, Nora Roberts is the Queen of the Smackdown. She’s posted several times about the #CopyPasteCris situation. Her initial post “Plagiarism, Then and Now” really brought out why this is such a personal thing. Since then she’s updated her blog several times as more details come to light.

Which brings us to..

KU Scammers

From NR’s “Not a Rant, But a Promise” blog post, that went live 2/23/19:

I’m getting one hell of an education on the sick, greedy, opportunistic culture that games Amazon’s absurdly weak system. And everything I learn enrages me.

There are black hat teams, working together, who routinely hire ghosts on the cheap, have them throw books together, push them out–many and fast–to make money, to smother out competition from those self-pubbed writers who do their own work. Those who do their own work can’t possibly keep up with the volume these teams produce by these fraudulent tactics.

They tutor others how to scam the system.

Let me backtrack a minute. Last year, when Faleena Hopkins TM’d the word “Cocky” and created a shitstorm in the publishing community (Read our thoughts on #cockygate here), we learned about “book stuffing”, which is basically writing a short story for KU, but then stuffing a bunch of “bonus” content in the back (usually previously published books from the same series), which upped the pages read, and therefore the amount of money the author made. If you aren’t aware, KU pays per page read by the reader, so a lot of authors scam the system by “book stuffing”.

Now, with the #CopyPasteCris scandal, it’s come to light that more authors are scamming the KU system by doing what Cristiane Serruya did and hiring ghostwriters to help them throw together books to push them out as fast as possible.

Then it came out that authors are also buying and repackaging the same novel under different names/titles.

Shiloh Walker has a great thread up about it.

These people are literally SELLING & RESELLING manuscripts & copyright only to repackage, recover & release as a brand new book under another author’s name (with a shiny, new fake copyright, too). This is deceptive as hell. @AmazonKDP @Amazonhelp has been notified to no avail.

There’s a lot of stuff out there about the whole KU scamming thing and it’s a lot to sift through but here are some posts that went up on it all that you guys can read if you want.

Dakota Willink’s Thread on KU Scamming

I don’t even know what to say about that. I mean, as a reader I certainly don’t want to be scammed. I don’t want to contribute to the earnings of “authors” who do this. Yikes. But I have no idea how to stop, either, since Amazon makes it so easy for these authors to flourish.


After all of that gloom and doom, how about something that cheered us all up at the end of February? Did you guys check out the #NTROMCOM hashtag? Jennifer from Romance Novel News started up the Name that Romance Novel game on Twitter and it was so much fun. I will admit to not being as good at guessing these books as I thought I would be but it was still a lot of fun to read through the hashtag and make my guesses. I knew a lot but there were a few that stumped me good.

Here are some good ones from the bunch:

How did you do? There are so many other guesses to be made in the hashtag on Twitter and it’s a lot of fun to read through and participate in so if you’re in the mood for some great romance novel fun, head on over to Twitter and jump in!

We’ll be back with more hot takes, our thoughts on them and anything else that comes up soon. Have a great day guys!

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