We do our best to only accept books for review that we think we will enjoy, but it is impossible to safeguard 100% against bad reads. These are the books we Did Not Finish (DNF). We do not give up on books lightly. In fact we hate not finishing a book, even a bad book, but there are times when for one reason or another, we just can’t bring ourselves to reach the end. We’ll be posting them when we collect a few DNF reads once or twice a year depending.
Born of Illusion
by Teri Brown
A gifted illusionist, Anna assists her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums, and mentalists in 1920’s New York. As the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini—or so Marguerite claims—sleight of hand illusions have never been a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her own gifts secret from her opportunistic mother. Because while Marguerite’s own powers may be a sham, Anna possesses a true ability to sense people’s feelings and foretell the future.
But as Anna’s powers intensify, she begins to experience frightening visions of her mother in peril, which leads her to explore the powers she’s tried so long to hide. And when a mysterious young man named Cole moves into the flat downstairs, introducing Anna to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, she is forced to confront her past and rethink everything she’s ever known. Is her mother truly in danger, or are Anna’s visions merely illusion? And could the great Houdini really be her father, or is it just another of Marguerite’s tricks?
From Teri Brown comes a world bursting with magic, with romance, and the temptations of Jazz Age New York—and the story of a girl about to become the mistress of her own destiny.
by Laura Powell
Fangs for Nothing
by Erin McCarthy
Attending their bandmate Saxon’s wedding seemed simple enough for Johnny Malone and Drake Hanover. But after waking up in a dominatrix’s dungeon, they realize their cash and cell phones have been stolen—along with the bride’s wedding dress and the groom. And then there’s the matter of the two women in the room
Loose cannon Johnny is handcuffed to Lizette, an uptight paper pusher. She wants to help save Johnny from the horrible fate in store for him at the hands of the Vampire Alliance, but he won’t sign the paperwork. Then there’s Josie, the waifish caterer from the reception, who rescues Drake from a sex swing. Josie may be cute and make a great cupcake, but Drake knows she might also be the thief. Or it could have been that gang of drag queens all dressed as Cher
Regardless, Johnny and Lizette need to get out of these handcuffs. Drake and Josie need to find their missing belongings. And Saxon needs to be located before the Vampire Alliance comes down on them hard
Lord of Snow and Ice
by Heather Massey
Mystery and speculation surround “the Dark Prince,” a sorcerer who dwells in a kingdom cursed by endless winter. Though shunned by all, Prince Stellan secretly crusades against a zombie plague unleashed by his tyrannical father against the Five Lands. But only an alliance with Aldebaran will provide the support he needs to eradicate the plague once and for all.
Clarysa, daughter of the Aldebaran king, struggles under the weight of her role as princess. She yearns for adventure, but her father prefers to keep his youngest daughter safe within the palace walls. During one of her rare sanctioned trips beyond the walls of the castle, Clarysa comes face to face with the answer to her prayers.
She’s heard the tales of Stellan’s dangerous nature. She knows a romance with him is forbidden. But one smoldering glance draws her deep into a world of dark magic and sensuous rapture.
CONTENT WARNING: Magic, mayhem, and epic snowfall
Life’s a Witch
by Brittany Geragotelis
The first book in this series was candy coated frivolity that totally took me back to the 1980’s guilty pleasure movie Teen Witch. This sequel, however, wasn’t nearly as fun with a super shallow, super self absorbed protagonist who failed to grab my attention after the first 100 pages. Apparently, LIFE’S A WITCH is the original self-published book that caught the attention of S&S and it’s now been reworked as the sequel in the series. What that means is it’s a totally different character from WHAT THE SPELL? The problem was that it had all the vapidness of the debut, but none of the guilty pleasure fun. This one is probably only going to appeal to tweens.