Published by Hachette Australia on April 28th 2015
Genres: New Adult
Buy on Amazon
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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, the sexy bad-boy leader of the group, Lexie can't help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?
Welcome to Paradise.┬á For us non-Australians, youÔÇÖll get a crash course in the local slang and geography.┬á After a bit of head scratching, youÔÇÖll fall right into the groove of things.┬á What doesnÔÇÖt change on the other side of the world are the universal themes of teenage/coming of age situations ÔÇªregardless of where people may live.┬á Family strife.┬á Falling in love.┬á Getting out of your comfort zone.┬á First love.
Lexis and Luke appear to be two diametrically opposite individuals.┬á Well, what do they say?┬á Opposites do attract.┬á Lexie is the good girl, home schooled for years, and seriously lacking in the area of social interactions.┬á Luke comes across as the typical bad boy whose sole concerns in life are surfing, hanging out, and the ladies.┬á┬á Lexie left her home in the hopes of a new adventure, and finding ÔÇ£moreÔÇØ than what she had back home.┬á Yet, she quickly finds out that dreams and reality are two vastly different worlds.┬á What she didnÔÇÖt expect was a laugh in the dark to lure her out of her window and into a new world.
I feel a bit like a cougar because I fell pretty hard for Luke Ballentine.┬á ThatÔÇÖs how well C.J. Duggan wrote him.┬á HeÔÇÖs a lot more than meets the eye.┬á He has the crude teenage boy perspective (aka bay boy persona), but also the makings of a sweet, kind man who loves with his whole heart.┬á Lexie is a bit of a lost soul, not fully cognizant of how her actions will play out.┬á She mucks things up, but always with the best of intentions.┬á ┬áShe has the foundation to become an amazing woman, if she can grow out of naivety.
While I did fumble for a bit with the vernacular and setting, the story was compelling enough for me to power through.┬á This book left me wanting more.┬á ItÔÇÖs a good thing there will be a second book in the series.┬á IÔÇÖm just miffed I have to wait for it!
~Review by Loredana
(Previously posted on TBE)