Friday, June 25, 2010
I should state up front I am a Victoria Dahl fangirl. I loved Lead Me On and Start Me Up. When I saw she had a new book, Crazy for Love, I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed!
Chloe Turner is was a typical bride-to-be... until her fiancee faked his death to avoid marrying her. When the story opens, it's getting close to his court date to face charges involved in his crashing a plane to fake his death. Chloe's best friend Jess has taken her to White Rock Island to get away from the paparazzi, who have dubbed her "Bridezilla". Her fame-whore niece has been feeding all kinds of fake stories to the press about what an awful bride Chloe was.
Meet Max and Elliot Sullivan: Max is a treasure hunter/diving supervisor and his brother Elliot is a doctor who works for the CDC. Elliot has just gone through a divorce and bought a boat to try to relax. Max is using his off time from work to teach Elliot how to sail. They are staying in the cabin next door to Chloe and Jess.
Max has successfully sworn off women for the last nine months, and Chloe is trying to get over the devistation and humiliation thrust upon her by her ex-fiancee's actions. Max doesn't know that Chloe is the infamous Bridezilla - he's been treasure hunting the last several weeks. Their flirting together is engaging and sweet; I really like them as a couple. Max has a secret that he ends up sharing with Chloe early on, and she "gets" him. She sees through his facade to the great guy underneath.
She shifted and tried to cross her arms, but the fishing rod and life vest interfered, so she just edged away from him. "So...you're sending mixed signals here. Flirting with me and then telling me you're celibate."
"But I'm going to have sex with you," he insisted, just before the roar in his ears warned him that this was getting very bad, very fast. His pulse pounded, pushing a headache to life behind his eyes.
"Really?" Chloe drawled
"Am I going to like it?"
He ran a hand through his hair, aware of the drop of sweat snaking down his neck. "I meant that I really wanted to, even though I told myself it was a bad idea, and I couldn't stop thinking about you and that red bikini. And your eyes!" he added belatedly. "And you're such a normal girl. You're not glamorous or....Um."
"I'm starting to believe you really aren't a player, because this is the worst seduction ever."
Max is constantly putting his foot in his mouth around Chloe and it's very sweet. He did have one very big personality issue that was part of the storyline, and I must admit I found myself wondering several times why he didn't just seek out help for it, as it was affecting his life. Once Max did find out who Chloe was, the story got a bit darker. The attraction was still there but now each of their issues are getting in the way and muddying the waters, so to speak.
And guess what, folks - this book is a 2-fer!!! Not only do we get Chloe and Max's story, we also get Jess and Elliot's story: *cha-ching!*. Jess and Elliot are attracted to each other, but between Elliot's divorce and the dysfunctional example set by Jess' parents, their story is much more delicate and tentative and is left a bit open-ended. Maybe a second book in the series?
The "runaway groom" storyline kept me me saying "No!...Yes?...No way!...Maybe?" I found I kept this part of the story running through the back of my mind while I was reading and I was constantly flipping back and forth between possible scenarios.
Ms. Dahl writes characters that are endearing and easy to root for. I really enjoyed this book and gobbled it up in a day. I give Crazy for Love 4 stars!
Crazy for Love is available for purchase July 1, 2010.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley free of charge in exchange for an honest review.