White Nights Really Isn’t My Favorite & Not Recommended

White Nights is the first book I’ve read by author Jenna van Berke. I absolutely love that she has no social media presence. Yes, she has social media profiles, but you have no idea what she looks like. This is something I will copy when I start publishing online: no pictures of me. We’re not even sure she really is a woman. Ever heard of a pen name? I received an ARC on Story Origin in exchange for an honest review. This is an incredible site where you can read books before they are published. I just love it and I’m glad I’ve found it.

What attracted me to White Nights is the cover, then the blurb. The author did a great job with these two. Seriously. Looking at the cover, it just screamed, “Suspenseful murder mystery in the middle of nowhere (with some romance)” to me. And I like a murder mystery with some romance.

Just a quick sideline here, but… wasn’t Patrick Swayze HOT? “Nobody puts Baby in corner!” May he rest in peace.

White Nights didn’t quite make the list of ‘favorite reads of 2020.’ Too bad, to be honest.

Can you trust your instincts when they have betrayed you in the past?

Nature lover Litza York is thrilled when she gets the opportunity to finish her PhD in Eastern Finland, researching the rare Saimaa seal. The landscape’s magical beauty and the residents’ friendly hospitality lure her to believe she has come to the right place to forget about her troubled past. 
But the idyll is soon disrupted when someone starts poisoning the object of her study, bringing the Saimaa seal to the verge of extinction. 
Together with handsome park ranger Niilo Vuorokoski, she does all she can to protect her favorite animal and ends up bringing herself in mortal danger…

Romantic suspense meets cozy crime in Finland’s lonely countryside. 

The blurb drew me in and I was super excited to read it… and then it just fell flat.

But no, I wouldn’t recommend this book because I think the author made some sloppy mistakes.

Yours Truly received a copy of this book (Story Origin) from the author in exchange for an honest review. The cover and the blurb drew me in, but it kind of fell flat for me. I thought it would be filled with romantic suspense, but it didn’t do it for me.

I thought maybe Litza would be courted by many eligible bachelors in the village since she was the shiny new Ph.D. student the entire village knew about. I’d hoped Niilo would have some competition to make things interesting. Niilo sounds like a complete asshole, not someone I would want to date. Cristiano Ronaldo is cute, but he gives me gay vibes. I just couldn’t picture a guy who looks like the metrosexual Cristiano doing the manly things Niilo did. It just didn’t do it for me. Now, if she’d said Tom Hardy, then HELL YEAH! 

I suspected more suspense, more danger, more sexual chemistry between Niilo and Litza. 

This really irritated me about White Nights. I find it funny that the author did kind of write a sex scene between Niilo and one of his ‘girlfriends’, but there were no love scenes between Niilo and Litza. I get this isn’t erotica, but I would’ve liked something… at least to show their attraction and unspoken love they felt for one another. 

For me, I still can’t get over Niilo’s reason for disliking Janne… He dislikes him because he saw Janne kissing one of his many girlfriends when they were teenagers? Oh, great… what a douche. He sounds immature. 

I can’t say that I could relate to any of the characters. Litza never talks about her abusive husband until the last three chapters of the book, where everything feels forced and rushed. And she talks about it while chasing after a killer… but she mentions it in the sauna with Niilo when he says he wants to spank her with something… and then a new chapter begins… *REALLY?!!!* 

Sigh of disappointment…

There were some typos in there, they didn’t bother me all that much, but you can’t miss them. 

While reading it, I had NO CONNECTION with any of the people in this book, but I liked this book enough to read to the end. I do have to admit that I skipped most of the three last chapters. They just felt too rushed and so much happening all at once. The content did not live up to the blurb and the book cover.

Would I read other books by Jenna van Berke? Sure! She has a captivating writing style… but this book didn’t do it for me. I like writing book reviews now. 🙂

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Buy the book here.

Tiara Ray

I am grateful & blessed to have the life I live. (Soon to be) Traditionally published & self-published author in her mid-thirties. I unsuccessfully tried changing this picture numerous times, so I just left it. I wish you lots of love & may you get what you need. <3

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