There's bound to be trouble in Paradise . . .
When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they'd send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she's sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she's thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie's not so sure.
Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie's never experienced, but all that's about to change. It's new, terrifying . . . and exciting. But when she meets Luke Ballantine, exciting doesn't even come close to describing her new life. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one. The resident bad-boy leader of the group, he's sexier than any boy Lexie has ever known.
Amidst the stolen moments of knowing looks and heated touches, Lexie can't help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?
Kristine's Review:Reviewed: April 2015.
I was a newbie to CJ Duggan before picking up Paradise City, I have her Boys of Summer series sitting on my bookshelf and on my kindle, just waiting on some down time to start making my way through them. I went into Paradise City completely blind, knowing very little about the story. Overall I enjoyed this story, but unfortunately it didn't wow me, despite how much I wanted it to.
CJ Duggan writes with such passion, creating such a beautiful sense of imagery, I could smell the salt air, feel the sun beat down on my face, I was easily lost in Paradise City, with Duggan's word jumping off the page, and while I was wowed by her writing style, and the images she creates unfurling through my mind like a movie reel playing, I wasn't lost in the characters the way I had hoped. Lexie intrigued me, she made me want to know more, this young girl used to small town country life, finally getting to experience city life, getting to experience everything that comes along with normal teenage life, with meeting boys and going to an actual high school. Luke Ballantine had me swooning and wanting to know more, but I was never quite invested enough to be desperate for new information. I wanted to be so completely invested that I couldn't put Paradise City down, that I couldn't step away for even a second but I never quite got there.
There's a simmering chemistry between Lexie and Luke, a slow burn as these two learn more about one another, while there are moments of heat, a hint of a spark, it felt as though it never quite reached that peak, I never felt that connection that comes with intricate love scenes, I expected more heat with a NA book, I was left feeling like Paradise City veers very definitely within the YA genre. I feel like that may have been a big part of my disconnect, where I can usually find a connection to characters in more intimate scenes, I never found that here.
As much as Lexie and Luke seemed to be building towards something bigger which intrigued me, Dean always seems to hover on the side lines making me think there will be far more to their story, with Amanda, Boon and Laura rounding out the cast I was intrigued but again never quite felt that desperation that I was hoping for. For fans of CJ Duggan I have no doubt you will be swept away by her unique voice, and for readers who enjoy their NA a little sweeter this will hit the spot, while ultimately I enjoyed Paradise City, I needed something more, I needed that spark to ignite to grab hold of me by the collar, demanding I sit up and pay attention.
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About CJ Duggan:
C.J. DUGGAN is an internationally bestselling author who lives with her husband in Mathoura, a rural border town of New South Wales. Her self-published Summer series has sold over 180,000 copies worldwide, and PARADISE CITY is her eighth book, and the first in a new series of New Adult romance.
When she isn't writing books about swoony boys and 90s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.