Author: C.J. Duggan
Series: Paradise #1
Published by: Hachette Australia
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
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?
If you look at my history with C.J. Duggan, you’ll see that I’ve loved every one of her books so far. I absolutely adore the Summer series to pieces, so of course I was extremely excited to read Paradise City.
The loveable –
I always love Duggan’s Australian settings. Lexie grew up in a super tiny town out in the middle of nowhere. There isn’t even a school, so she does online course. She convinces her parents to let her stay in Paradise City with her aunt, uncle and cousin to go to real school. They live right near the beach, so it has that small beach town vibe about it; including sneaking out, surfing, and late-night bonfires on the beach.
Lexie is a hoot! She has this naivety about her from being so sheltered, so jumping into a real school in a city is quite a culture shock. The girl is funny though, and showed she has a bit of a defiant wicked side to her. Ah, then there are the Kirkland boys. They’re a group of surfers who are a grade older than Lexie, and bring the fun times. Luke Ballantine is the hottie who has Lexie’s eye, but Boon is for sure my favorite. I do love me a goofball.
The romance is cute with sort of a slow-build going on. The chemistry between Lexie and Luke is really good, but there’s plenty of drama and angst to go around.
This felt more on the younger side most of the time, then it would have these bursts of NA-ish moments. When I thought about it, that is pretty much how it is at seventeen, especially for Lexie.
Just like with the rest of Duggan’s books, this has that addictive quality about it that completely pulled me in.
The not as loveable –
I don’t understand why she was deemed a slut because of a rumor about her and a certain someone else, especially since she was single. So what if they were hooking up. And why was her cousin pissed about that? It seemed so … weird. Then at the same time, her cousin and everyone else are actually getting it on. It’s even made a point several times about how things move faster in the city and that a guy like Luke will get bored and move on, so Lexie needs to be ‘faster’. And what the heck, why is it such a big spectacle with everyone gossiping every time two people started dating? If everything moves so fast there, why do they act like they’ve never seen two people date? It all seemed a bit contradictory.
The cliffhanger. Okay, I actually don’t mind this too much, but I wasn’t expecting it. I believe this is a duology, so it’s like the story is just cut in two. Thankfully we don’t have to wait too long for the next book.