Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: Paradise Road (Paradise #2) by C.J. Duggan

*Review contains spoilers.

Paradise Road by C.J. DugganParadise Road
(Paradise #2)
by C.J. Duggan
November 22, 2015
336 pages

Goodreads Summary:
The Road to Paradise is never easy

After a year on the coast, Lexie Atkinson can't settle back into country life. She’s missing the glitzy, gritty nightlife of the big city and the group of misfit friends she’d loved to hate. She knows to move forward she has to go back – back to face the guy who stole her heart.

But when Lexie arrives in Paradise City to work out if her future includes bad-boy surfer, Luke Ballantine, he is nowhere to be found.

With no home, no money and no Luke, Lexie gets a job slinging drinks at the wild Wipe Out Bar. Soon her heartache is eased when broody bar owner, Dean Saville, starts taking an interest and stirs more than just her drinks. But nothing is ever as it seems in Paradise City and when Luke barrels back into town, Lexie has a choice to make. But who will end up with the broken heart: Luke, Dean … or Lexie?

If you don't know yet, I'm a huge CJ Duggan fan. I've enjoyed all her books and the Paradise duology is no different. Paradise City left me dying for its sequel. Paradise Road took a wild turn for the story but I was satisfied with the conclusion.

This is the part where I warn you that this review may be a bit ranty. There will be spoilers because there's no proper way to express my thoughts unless I talk about what happened in this book. It's mostly going to be about the relationships because this is a love story so the romance is everything :P

I was beyond surprised with the path CJ Duggan went down in Paradise Road. I was prepared for some Lexie and Dean interactions given the synopsis but I was not expecting how few of Ballantine there was. Even when he was back 0n the scene, he had a mere few lines. I was anticipating his reunion with Lexie and to see how they would patch things up but that didn't happen. The love interest was completely flipped around. Ballantine became a splash in the background while Dean moved into the forefront. It took me some time to get through the initial shock but I managed. I expected an explanation, a closure from Ballantine but got none. He just came in and issue an ultimatum. I get that life is like that sometimes, a simple yes or no but I expected, wanted, more complexity. Ballantine and Lexie had a connection in the first book but in this book it was like it never existed. Ballantine wasn't important anymore and I found that hard to accept. It almost feels like we got cheated from making an actual choice.

So basically I knew Lexie's choice even before she made it. It was obvious. What I really can't comprehend is why Dean would pick Lexie? He's this mature business owner and she's barely an adult. Lexie annoyed me in this book way more than she did in the first. Her actions were childish and I didn't really believe some of the enthusiasm she was spewing out. Except for some cute banter with Dean, I saw no real attraction between them. I'm not quite convinced that their feelings for each other extends beyond lust. I'm not saying I wouldn't have made the same choice because Dean is yummy but their connection (beyond a physical one) didn't really show.

Overall, I was unhappy with how some things were swept under the rug. I do support the final pairing but the logical side of me can't help but scream there were too many questions left unanswered. After all my ranting I guess it's weird for me to say that I enjoyed this book. But I actually am comfortable with the ending. Even if Paradise Road pretty much threw out the romance from book one. I can't recommend this book if you're looking for something deep but if a fun summertime read is what you're after, then the Paradise duology will for sure show you a good time.

4 Cats


  1. I really don't like when things get turned around like that on a series, when one book is all about one guy and then without good enough explanations things turn around and it's all about the other guy...


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