I hate, HATE not finishing books, which is why I very rarely DNF, but in this case, I just had to. The story wasn’t going anywhere and everything about it just annoyed me. So my first DNF for the year, and I feel so bad because Grace Burrowes writes wonderful historicals. Unfortunately, her contemporary effort failed to impress me.

Now onto my review…

The First Kiss (Sweetest Kisses Book 2)The First Kiss by Grace Burrowes

My rating: DNF

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Call me defeatist all you want, I just couldn’t continue on anymore.

DNF @ 50%

I don’t usually rate DNFs but I will make an exception on this case. As per GR rating standard, 2 stars is okay. So 2 stars it is.

So before I go on to my review, let say something about the cover first. It’s a lie. Don’t get me wrong. It’s cute and all that but it doesn’t represent the book correctly in my opinion. Looking at the cover, you would think New Adult. This book is not. It’s so not.

Regardless of the cover I would have enjoyed this book more if not for the awkward and jarring dialogue. Grace Burrowes is known for her historical romances. I was excited to see how she’d handle CR. Alas, except for the contemporary setting and the obviously 21st century technology peppered throughout the narrative, there’s nothing remotely modern about this book. Especially not in the characters’ speech.

I guess, one could call it a thing but I felt like I was transported to the set of Downton Abbey, which was weird because the story is set in rural Virginia or something. I can’t be quite certain.

Anyway, everyone calls each other by their first and second name, and uses words “Greetings!” or “Hullo, insert full name here” when acknowledging another person. And their inner monologue weren’t any better.

This prospect appeared to daunt Vera, while Donal the Slasher had merely pissed her off. Had her priorities straight, did Vera Waltham.

Merle didn’t need James’s avuncular companionship quite so much.

The word for that realization was lowering.

“Has marriage addled your wits?”

“Hannah doesn’t have a suitable mount.”

Not too many young swains are afflicted with the horse crazies…

“But, Vera, I will tell you I’ve been thinking about that hug I didn’t cadge, and that kiss I didn’t steal.”

“Hannah Knightley is your wife, for one thing, and ass over teakettle in love with you for another.

There isn’t really nothing wrong with those examples I posted above but while I expect them on my HR novels, it’s a bit jarring to see them on a contemporary book. It’s unfortunate because I happen to like the premise of a twice-divorced heroine, but I could not, for the life of me enjoy the book because of it.

And don’t even get me started on the characters…James and Vera had no chemistry. I waited and waited until 50% to see if things will turn around at least, but nope. Things didn’t get any better. James and Vera are still not together and James is acting like an adolescent boy who just wants to find a hobby instead of seducing women.

So DNF. Would I recommend this book? Surprisingly, I think some people would like this one very much. It’s very different from what’s popular and selling in the market right now. Unfortunately, it’s just not for me.

ARC courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.

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