Monday, August 11, 2014

REVIEW: "Looking for Trouble" by Victoria Dahl

Looking for Trouble (Jackson: Girl's Night Out, #1)
Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl
(Jackson: Girls Night Out #1)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Contemporary Romance

Harlequin -- Published July 29, 2014
Ebook, 384 pages
Read in August 2014
Received from Netgalley

THEMES
Alpha Hero, Small Town Setting

SUMMARY
Librarian Sophie Heyer has walked the straight and narrow her entire life to avoid paying for her mother's mistakes. But in tiny Jackson Hole, Wyoming, juicy gossip just doesn't go away, so the last thing she needs is for history to repeat itself. Falling hard for the sexiest biker who's ever rode into town would undo everything she's worked for. And to add insult to injury, the sexy stranger is none other than Alex Bishop--the son of the man her mother abandoned Sophie's family for. He may be temptation on wheels, but Sophie's not looking for trouble!

Maybe Sophie's buttoned-up facade fools some, but Alex knows a naughty smile when he sees one. Despite their parents' checkered pasts, he's willing to take some risks to find out the truth about the town librarian. He figures a little fling might be just the ticket to get his mind off of family drama. But what he finds underneath Sophie's prim demeanor might change his world in ways he never expected.



FIRST LINE
"Alex Bishop was heading towards drunk at 11:00 am on a Wednesday, and he didn't give a damn."

MY THOUGHTS
Small town romances are not my usual genre of choice, but I wanted to try this book after reading and enjoying the prequel novella to this series, Fanning the Flames.  This series is a spin-off to Dahl's successful Jackson Hole books and focus on a group of female friends who couldn't be more different in their personalities and backgrounds.  Looking for Trouble is an entertaining read though it is far from perfect.

The basic plot of this book centers around an old town scandal where Sophie's mother and Alex's father ran away together and were never seen again.  Twenty five years later, their crashed truck was found in a ravine and all the old wounds were reopened especially with the impending dedication of a historical walking trail named in honor of Alex's dad.  Things get even more complicated when Sophie and Alex meet and discover that they have amazing chemistry.

I found myself rooting for Sophie from the beginning, mostly because she is a librarian!  As someone who works in a library, I'm always hunting down those types of characters.  I loved her retro fashion sense and how much her good girl persona hides her bad girl tendencies.  Her family life has been tumultuous ever since her mother abandoned her and caused one of the juiciest scandals in Jackson Hole history.  I liked how subtle the author was with revealing the scars that Mrs. Heyer's abandonment left and I completely understood why Sophie ended up the way that she did.  I also enjoyed the fact that she really grew as a character from the beginning to the end.

Alex, at first, seems like a typical bad boy biker, but it quickly becomes obvious that he has a very sensitive personality.  He left Jackson Hole soon after high school in order to escape his mother's desperate attempts to find his missing father and is none too happy about being dragged back to town for the memorial service/dedication.  Most of this book involves Alex working through his family issues (especially his previously good relationship with his older brother) and finding someone worth hanging around for.  I love it when bad boys show how deep they really can be and Alex is a great example of that.

As expected from a Victoria Dahl romance, the relationship between Sophie and Alex is super sexy.  Their chemistry is wonderfully written and I could feel the fireworks crackling every time they spoke.  I also enjoyed the fact that they really got to know one another and were desperate to escape their own pasts.  There is some expected drama to keep readers guessing, but I thought the resolution to their relationship problems was realistic and satisfying.

Besides the love story, the main plotline of Looking for Trouble is on the feud between Rose Bishop and the Heyer family.  I understood why Rose had a hard time getting over her husband's betrayal, but I just kept finding myself getting more and more disgusted with her and her actions.  She truly became a villainess when it came to her treatment of Sophie especially and found myself wishing that the rest of the townspeople would just stop feeding her insanity.  My main issue with this book dealt with the resolution to the family feud thing.  I had developed such a dislike for Rose Bishop that I had a really hard time sympathizing with her by the end even if her irrational behavior was sorta explained.

Overall, I did like Looking for Trouble and will be excited to try the sequel when it comes out next year.  I recommend this book for fans of steamy, small town romances with sexy librarians and bikers with hearts of gold.

I received a free copy of this book from Harlequin via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 STARS

STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
0.5. Fanning the Flames
1. Looking for Trouble
2. Flirting with Disaster (Coming 2015)

CHALLENGES READ FOR 


 

2 comments:

  1. I've been curious about Victoria Dahl's books. I've not read any yet. I like books with librarians, too, because I'm one. Although I hate when the librarians are super stereotypical. Or when people don't do their research on what it's like working in a library.

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    Replies
    1. Ms. Dahl obviously did her research on libraries for this one. Sophie does have a retro librarian look to her, but it is based on real issues with her characters rather than stereotypes. I think you would like this...you can probably get the prequel novella (Fanning the Flames) for cheap on Amazon which also has a librarian heroine and a firefighter hero.

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