We don’t review everything that we read. I mean, who has time for that?! We try valiantly to post our thoughts on most of the books we complete (or don’t complete!) but life gets in the way, or our thoughts are too jumbled to organize, or we’re just too impatient to wait to read our next book, or we begin but then…squirrel!! We’re all for going with the flow and following our moods, but there are some notable reads that we feel deserve at least a mention on the blog, for whatever reason. So, each month we’ll put together a post of quick reviews for memorable recommendations and DNFs.
Cristal’s Quick Recs and DNFs
I loved reading this book. Jennifer L. Armentrout usually delivers for me because of her memorable characters who are easy to identify with, and her engaging plot lines. The Problem With Forever has all of that and more. I fell in love with Mallory and Rider at first sight, and devoured this novel like I was starving. This is Armentrout’s most diverse work, and I loved loved loved that she showcased some aspects of the Hispanic culture with these characters and the setting. Sure, there are cliche bits, but the message hit home, and I couldn’t get enough of it. The Problem With Forever is equal parts heartbreaking and sweet, filled with moments when I teared up, caught off guard by the poignancy. And of course, it’s filled with humor and the easily recognizable JLA feel. I definitely recommend this book to YA lovers, and if you’re not a YA reader but appreciate a second-chance romance, then you’ll love this too!
I waited to read this duology until it was complete. I waited because after reading Arsen by this sadist, I knew that there was no way in hell I could trust her with a love triangle duo that had a cliffy. After all, I’m not a masochist. It’s a good thing that I waited, because I inhaled these two books in less than 24hrs, completely disregarding my Slow Reader pledge. There’s no other way to read Blaire’s story, though. These two books are a little over 200 pages a piece, and together they are 400+ pages of sexy, delicious, irresistible angst, with complex and vivid characters who are impossible to categorize. Blaire is a superb and interesting heroine and I loved experiencing her journey. I’d recommend this to anyone who doesn’t shy away from pushing their boundaries and isn’t afraid to shatter their preconceived beliefs. I love Mia Asher. I hate her too.
Oy vey. I am just so disappointed because this series let me down, and it let me down hard. Exiled, the final book in the Madame X trilogy was just a convoluted, crazy mess. Now, this series started off as an over-the-top erotica, filled with secrets and intrigue, and after book 1, Madame X, I was so ready to continue on this ride and see where Jasinda Wilder took these characters. Well… welp. After investing in this series, I was left with an anti-climactic resolution that was so unrealistic that even a Young and the Restless groupie such as myself couldn’t help rolling my eyes repeatedly. I almost DNF’d this, and only ended up completing it because I scanned the last 40%. I’m sad to say, I don’t recommend.
Tara’s Quick Recs and DNFs
DNF – This just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’ve been branching out lately and stepping more and more out of my comfort zone, but I couldn’t connect with this one. I’m not especially fascinated with vampires, but I can deal if the story is good. I have a more difficult time connecting when it’s written in third person so this one was an up hill battle from the start. I got really bored and I just couldn’t make myself continue, no matter how badly I wanted to like it.
This book totally surprised me. The cover and title are both super cheesy but I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. They weren’t wrong. It was funny, sweet, and hot. I was surprisingly emotionally invested in the characters, especially considering that the book is written in third person, which I normally struggle with. If you’re a fan of M/M, don’t skip this one!
DNF – This one was a big disappointment for me. I really loved Him and Us, both of which Sarina co-wrote with Elle Kennedy but for some reason, I can’t connect with just her writing. I didn’t connect with the characters, and was pretty bored overall. It reminded me a lot of Nuts by Alice Clayton and it was hard to get past. Eventually, I just had to give up on it.
Melissa’s Quick Recs and DNFs
Alexis Hall is a goddamn magician. The writing was simply the hero of this book. The serious and profound prose is juxtaposed by clever dialogue that charmed the hell out of me. I was completely blindsided by it that when the story lagged here and there, I couldn’t be bothered to care. Sensitive issues such as suicide, depression and mental illness are penned with contradiction and irony, a new approach for me. In the past, when characters have been presented with the same problems, I’ve felt sympathetic or had some other kind of soft responsiveness to them. However, with vivid imagery and unlikely metaphors I was able to truly understand the depths of these illnesses that I can now find beauty and delicacy in. Despite the cover, I didn’t think the characters were glossy or manufactured; instead I found Ash and Darian to be genuine and agreeable and their chemistry powerful. I loved it and it absolutely goes on my all-time-favorites shelf. An absolute must read for romance lovers, flowery prose lovers and m/m lovers.
DNF – This book was extremely difficult to connect to. I applaud the author for attempting to tackle sensitive topics, however the execution was quite poor.
I found Corin to be insensitive and immature. Beckett’s insta-love for Corin felt counterfeit and purposely used as a tool to redeem Corin’s character.
There was nothing memorable about this story and was boring despite its potential for being an emotional powerhouse. I love A. Meredith Walters, but am wholly disappointed with this one. — Side note from Cristal: I didn’t finish this one either! It bored me.–
DNF at 61% and just can’t go any further. The storyline is not engaging and the characters are written without complexity which presents them as flat and uninteresting. The emotional/physical chemistry between protagonists feels manufactured and insincere.
So there you have it! Our quick recs and DNFs. Don’t forget to comment below with some of yours! 😘