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That's What I'm Talking About

I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent. 


Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.


A+  Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A    Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A-   Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+  Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B    Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B-   Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+  Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C    Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C-   Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D    Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E    Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish


updated July 9, 2015

Currently reading

Operation: Endgame (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Book 6) (English Edition)
Philippa Ballantine, Jeanne H. Ballantine, William Morris
Just You and Me (A Contemporary Romance Collection)
Fiona Miers, Caitlyn Lynch, Liz Durano, Deelylah Mullin, Cate Farren, Jacquie Biggar, Vicki Batman, Kate Richards, Brenna Zinn, Dalton Diaz, Tierney O'Malley, Desiree Holt, Nicole Morgan, Ashlyn Chase
Bitter Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 14
Audible Studios, Jennifer Estep, Lauren Fortgang
Progress: 27 %

DNF Review: Prince's Gambit by C.S. Pacat

Prince's Gambit: Captive Prince Book Two - C.S. Pacat

After finishing Captive Prince earlier this year, I was disappointed that the book was mislabeled as an m/m fantasy romance, but rather, it was the first book in a duo or trio that together is one story. I ranted about this in my review, so I won't go into it again here. So why did I pick up the second book, Prince's Gambit? For two reasons: 1) I found the second half of Captive Prince to be engaging and interesting; and 2) in reviews I'd read from the original Captive Prince, it mentioned reading "both parts" so I hoped the story would conclude after Prince's Gambit was over. However...


Prince's Gambit begins right at the point where the first book ends. Again, I will stress that these books are not stand alone stories. It is one story that has been split up into three different books. So if you didn't read Captive Prince, you will be lost. Even I had trouble recalling which men were loyal to the prince and those who belong to his uncle the Regent. Because of the "re-entry" factor, I wasn't fully reengaged in the story until the 15-20% mark. 


Once I found my reading stride, I continued to enjoy the complexity of Prince Laurent and the slow reveal of his true prowess and intelligence as shared from the point of view of the captive prince, Damen. I also enjoyed Damen’s surprised realization that the Prince sparked "some sort of feelings" within him, giving me hope that eventually, the story will be a romance. Finally, the pair start to respect one another, listen, and share solid advice, making the balance of power more equal.

However, as I continued to read, it became pretty evident that there was no way the story would conclude by the end of Prince's Gambit. At the 53% mark, I felt that the book was starting to drag, and it felt never ending. I skipped ahead and verified that the story does not conclude at the end of this book. So I was torn: do I continue to trudge through, knowing I still have another book and hope it's better? Or DNF?
Unfortunately, I picked DNF. I was enjoying this story, sort of. I knew I couldn't keep it up for this and one more book. I felt cheated and that I wasted my time. But why keep reading in the hope that I will eventually find the gem hidden in the rough? If the entire story had been told in one book, even a long book, I think I would have really enjoyed it. But split over three books is too much. I feel the story should have been edited down for consumption as an m/m fantasy romance, which is how it was marketed to me. While the story appears to be heading that way, the effort doesn't seem worth the eventual payoff. 
My Rating: DNF, did not finish
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by the publisher.