Saturday, June 9, 2018

DNF Review: Hanover House

I wouldn't say I'm cheap, more like frugal.  Yes, audiobook sales are about the only corner of the publishing industry making money right now - but yeah...I don't buy audiobooks.  That's why Sweet Baby Jeebus gave us libraries.  The downside to getting all of your audiobooks from the library is that, you know, sometimes you have to wait.  My glom of Marcia Muller is temporarily on hold while I wait my turn for the next book in the series, so I thought I'd listen to Hanover House by Brenda Novak to pass the time.

Oh Wendy.  Foolish, foolish Wendy.

This is a prequel novella to the author's latest romantic suspense series.  Evelyn Talbott is a psychiatrist who specializes in psychopathy.  It's not the sort of thing you would think a gorgeous (because of course she is...) young woman would be interested in - but when she was a teenager her boyfriend murdered her friends and held her captive.  The kicker?  She coughed up her virginity to this guy.  Needless to say 30-something Evelyn doesn't date and doesn't have sex.  Instead she has convinced the government to build a high security prison/hospital/whatever to house and study psychopaths.  The lower 48 were, naturally, not receptive to this proposal, which is why Hanover House is being built in semi-isolated (there's a town nearby) Alaska.

I'll be honest, I wasn't madly in love with this story from the get-go but it was hovering somewhere in middling C territory and I still needed to pass the time before my next audiobook hold came in.  What moved this from Meh Territory into Hell No Territory was at about the halfway point when the heroine heads to Alaska.

The hunky local State Trooper, who was (naturally) against the proposal to house a bunch of psychopaths in his town's backyard, calls to report that the still-under-construction Hanover House has been vandalized.  He suggests that Evelyn may want to mingle with the townsfolk a bit more.  If she's less standoff-ish maybe they'll magically be OK with Hanover House being in the neighborhood.  So he takes her to the local bar where she proceeds to get drunk off her butt (because of course she does), dances with a bunch of the locals, and when she starts dancing with the cop, she starts rubbing up against him and sucking on his neck.

You know, the girl who doesn't date or have sex because she was victimized by a psychopath.  Dump a few drinks in her and she's like a co-ed at a frat party.  Anyway....

Our hero doesn't want to take advantage and hauls her drunk butt back to her house.  She confesses she had to leave her gun in the lower 48 because she didn't want to deal with the hassle of bringing it on the flight to Alaska.  He pours her into bed and then LEAVES HIS GUN ON THE NIGHTSTAND NEXT TO HER BED SO SHE'LL FEEL "SAFE."


She wakes up in the morning, notices the gun and the events of the night before (including puking in the hero's truck - seriously) slowly come back.  Then she sees the note taped to her bedroom door "Don't shoot, I'm one of the good guys."


And that's when I was done.  I don't know what I was expecting here, but at the very least, a heroine with a background like this I was maybe expecting someone cool, methodical, analytical, with some vulnerable emotional baggage.  I was not expecting her to morph into a idiot damsel the moment she lands in Alaska, gets an eyeful of the hunky hero and bellyful of booze.

On the bright side, I can now weed the first book in this series out of my TBR because nope.  Nope, nope, nope.  I don't want to see these people ever again.

Final Grade = DNF


Jess said...

Wow. I can totally see wanting more from a 30-something heroine. Marcia Muller's books sound interesting though. I'll have to check them out.

azteclady said...


The gun shit alone would be enough, but the whole thing is beyond me. I have zero patience for that much BS right now.

Skye @ Planet Jinxatron said...

What a catastrophic mess!

Rowena said...

Holy cow, Wendy. You're reading a bunch of WTF books lately. I'm going to take a hard pass on this one. Thanks for the heads up!

Wendy said...

Jess: They should be fairly easy to find at the library. My only warning is that the early books were published in the late 1970s / early 1980s - so some aspects have not aged all that well.

AL: It was so not good. You'd expect the heroine to have some harder edges and instead you get idiot damsel.

Skye: Yeah, it wasn't pretty.

Rowena: Girl! Send help! LOL The #TBRChallenge is next week so it's time to go diving into my print stash. At this pint I just want something readable and mildly entertaining. Is that too much to ask?