Jill Shalvis, The Trouble with Paradise
Dorie Anderson desperately needs a vacation. She’s single, overworked, underpaid, and stuck in a dead-end job at Shop-Mart when she’d rather be designing her own clothing line. So when she suddenly wins a spot on a luxury cruise to the South Pacific, she jumps at the chance to have an adventure. And adventure seems to be headed her way in the form of adorable baseball star Andy Hutchinson. He’s sweet and kind, and he has a sexy Texas drawl…so why can’t Dorie stop thinking about the brooding ship’s doctor, Christian Montague? As Dorie struggles with her feelings for these two men, she also faces much bigger problems, including a storm, a shipwreck, and even a potential murder.
I’ll admit, I picked up this book solely because I needed something set in the South Pacific for the Around the World in 12 Books Challenge. I’ve also heard really good things about Jill Shalvis, who is apparently a very popular author in the contemporary romance genre. Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly impressed by this book. It’s a fun, beachy read with a fair amount of bodice ripping (or the modern equivalent), but that’s about it. I enjoyed the direct writing style: Shalvis doesn’t waste a lot of time setting the scene or developing backstory, preferring to dive into the action instead. But the dialogue did make me cringe on occasion, and there wasn’t much character development in either Dorie or her hero. The “mystery” subplot also felt completely unnecessary and uninteresting. I might give Shalvis another chance, but I’ll look for one of her more recent and more popular novels.
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