Friday, January 20, 2012

The Trouble With Paradise by Jill Shalvis (Non-YA, 18yrs+)

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One phone call has turned Dorie’s dead-end life into an adventure: she’s won a trip on a singles cruise to Fiji. With her cutest outfits packed and the Love Boat theme in her head. Dorie boards – and soon meets two men: a pro baseball player with an irresistible Texas drawl, and the ship’s dark and mysterious French doctor, Dr. Christian Montague. She’s sure to fall head over heels in no time. She just never expected to do it so quickly, or so literally, tripping over her luggage.

With her foot twisted and her ego deflated, Dorie’s dream vacation is about to take the biggest detour yet. A violent storm has wrecked the ship and cast everyone ashore. A deserted island would be the perfect setting for a steamy romance, if something sinister wasn’t lurking. Whose alluring arms will Dorie to? Being stuck never felt so…liberating.

My fellow BiblioJunkies know of my severe aversion to romance novels. When I used to commute to the City for work, I’d notice all these other well-dressed professional women on the train reading those ridiculously cheesy romance novels with the Fabio-like model on the cover holding some dainty damsel in his arms. Seriously? I swore that would never be me. 

Fast forward a few years, a few kids and several dystopian novels later, I felt a change of pace was desperately in order. So when Shel and I went on one of many trips to Borders (RIP) I charged her with the responsibility of  choosing my first romance novel. 

Whatever I thought I was in for definitely surpassed my expectations! Jill Shalvis has such a wicked sense of humor that had me in stitches throughout the book. Dorie is a sweet, klutzy heroine. She may not be able to speak when she’s in front of a hot guy (literally - her tongue swells up which provides for plenty of comedic dialog) but she’s still lovable.

On the cruise around the islands of Fiji, Dorie meets a variety of characters that are so worlds away from the humdrum life she left behind. Almost immediately she finds herself torn between laid-back hottie baseball player, Andy and the very reserved and gruff French doctor, Christian. The story is told from both Dorie’s and Christian’s perspectives. Their reactions to one another are hilarious especially when they don’t want to admit feeling an attraction to each other. In the midst of all the flirting, Shalvis also introduces a murder mystery, cleverly weaving it between the comedy and romance thereby upping the “awesome” factor several notches. Even the absurd situations that Dorie finds herself in are believable because of Shalvis’ outstanding writing.

So my first foray into the world of romance novels was a success. I mean Shalvis had me wrapped up in the story and I have to say that if it weren’t for her, I would never have known that nipples could have so many emotions. Did you? Jill Shalvis, I bow to you and your awesomeness!

I highly recommend The Trouble With Paradise to anyone (18 yrs+) who wants a quick escape, several laugh-out-loud moments, of course the (steamy) romance and may be a little mystery to keep those brain cells working. :-)

~ Bel

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