Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Review - Did Not Finish

Title:   Did Not Finish
Author:  Nicola Marsh
Publisher:  Parlance Press and Harper Audio
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Audiobook ARC
Narrators:  Kendra Murray; Connor Brown
Length:  6 hrs 40 min
No. of Pages:   253
Date of Publication:   October 4, 2022
My Rating:   4 Stars 


Stranded…with my nemesis.

AXEL: It’s bad enough an unseasonal blizzard means I’m stuck with my PA’s annoying cat, but to make matters worse, Mia Samson and her poison pen are in my house too. The renowned reviewer has tanked enough books with her dreaded DNF and I need to teach her a lesson.

But my enemy is not what I expect and if I’m not careful, I’m in danger of revealing my secret to the one person who can use it against me.

MIA: I know people in publishing call me the career-wrecker behind my back. What they don’t know is, I’m writing a novel, and when I’m lucky enough to win a week-long retreat with bestselling Axel Low in quaint Sugar Plain, Nebraska, I’m thrilled.

Until I discover being snowed in with the reclusive grump is merely the first trope my life has turned into, and soon I’m sorely tempted to enact enemies to lovers…

Which one of us will lose the plot first?

In this book within a book, Mia Sampson and Axel Lowe work past one of romance's most common tropes, enemies to lovers, as they embark on a professional relationship that turns personal in very short order. In every book group I am involved in (and there are many) readers and fellow book reviewers often discuss books they DNF (Did Not Finish). Therefore, this latest book by Nicola Marsh was very relatable.

While Mia’s guilty pleasure is reading, it is also her job as a professional book reviewer for a huge New York publication. Her reviews can make or break a book. Make or break an author. The author that is currently affected by Mia’s latest and upcoming reviews is the reclusive heartthrob, Axel Lowe. He is an author with a contract that has very stringent rules. While living a secretive life when it comes to the books that he writes, Axel knows the politics behind writing books, and even the responsibilities of the book reviewers that review his work. 

While Mia understands some of Axel‘s concerns from the very beginning, professional integrity is the one thing that she will not compromise on.  Beyond wanting her upcoming novel that she hopes to soon get critiqued the man who is her literary idol, she first had to get past being a fangirl when it came to Axel Lowe. While she is one of several other authors who won a one-week writing retreat at Axel Lowe's home, she arrived a day earlier than the other guests. That should promise Mia unfettered access to Axel and the advice she warrants. A drastic change in weather ultimately results in a drastic change in what happens between Mia and Axel. 

Did Not Finish is an engaging book with a surprising emotional edge. I loved the characters exhausting familiar tropes that many romance readers enjoy as they navigate their attraction to one another. This book only lost one star because Mia's reactions seemed a bit over the edge. To be fair, just as Axel had baggage when it come to any sort of emotional involvement, Mia has her own baggage, which might be why she had the reactions she did. However, with Axel living the life of a recluse who was living in guilt, the story kept me riveted. 

This engaging read landed in my TBR as an audiobook ARC. I loved the dual narration of Mia and Alex, aa it was narrated by Kendra Murray and Connor Brown. It was a true delight to sense the feelings behind the words as I listened to this delightful read. 

Many thanks to Parlance Press and Harper Audio and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review -


USA TODAY bestselling & multi-award winning author Nicola Marsh writes feel-good fiction with a twist!

She has published 68 books with Harlequin, Amazon and indie, and sold over 8 million copies worldwide.

She currently writes women's fiction/rural romance for Harper Collins Australia Mira imprint, emotional domestic suspense for Bookouture and contemporary romance for Harlequin Dare.

Her first mainstream contemporary romance, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD released to rave reviews, including a nomination for RWA's RBY, Romantic Book of the Year. 

Her first indie-pubbed contemporary romance CRAZY LOVE is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller, and was nominated for an ARRA award.

Her women's fiction novel SAVING SARA with Lake Union hit the #1 kindle romance spot on Amazon UK.

Her young adult fantasy SCION OF THE SUN won a National Readers' Choice Award for Best YA novel.

She's also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a RBY and National Readers' Choice Award winner, is a multiple finalist for awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers' Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has won several CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Awards. 

A physiotherapist for 13 years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two dashing young heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, barracking loudly for her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team, and her favourite, curling up with a good book!

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