Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review: Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl

Chloe Turner thought she was going to marry the perfect man-until her fiancé's plane crashed. And then she got the really bad news: he'd tried to fake his own death to avoid marrying her. Now America's most famous bridezilla (a tag she most definitely does not deserve), Chloe escapes to a remote island to avoid the paparazzi. And right next door is a man who just might be the cure for Chloe's heartache....

A magnet for wild, complicated women, Max Sullivan is relieved to have finally found someone "normal." Chloe is his girl-next-door fantasy come to life, and best of all, she gets him. With her, he can be himself, a treasure-hunting millionaire who desperately wants out of his sexy but reckless job. But when Chloe's notoriety catches up with them, will their torrid romance make it to the mainland?

I thought I would really, really enjoy Crazy for Love.  The Tumble Creek series (Talk Me Down, Start Me Up, Lead Me On) only got better as the series continued, but while they excelled at chemistry and the hero and heroine oozing sexual tension, Crazy for Love left me feeling meh.  And again, it's a shame because I so wanted to like this book. 

The premise itself never solidified for me.  Chloe, having been dumped in the most spectacular way -- her fiance crashes his plan and instead of being presumed dead, he's alive! and doesn't want to marry her -- escapes the media crush with her BFF Jenn for a vacation.  My question throughout was: why should we the reader care? 

I didn't buy a hoarde of paparazzi stalking Chloe's every move, branding her a bridezilla, making her life a living nightmare.  If this were set in Hollywood?  Sure.  But Chloe is an accountant from Richmond, Virginia. How this is (she) worthy of such national attention?  Was Ms. Dahl writing a Runaway Bride nod?  (Julia Roberts' character is written about in USA Today; her runaway antics were well-known within the confines of her small town.)  Maybe if there had only been one wiley reporter and a cameraman involved, one person who dogged Chloe wherever she went and interviewed her "close relatives" or other sources, sussing out the truth, writing from his/her point-of-view. 

I remember a runaway bride making national headlines a few years ago.  I can't remember the specifics, but she was from Georgia, perhaps she faked her death because she got cold feet (again, I don't remember).  It was reported on by various news outlets, though I don't think she got a month's worth of attention, like Chloe.  So I'm left asking -- how is this worthy of such attention? 

Certainly the criminal aspects related to Chloe's fiance are important.  Those are federal charges and he seemed like he was from a well-to-do Richmond family.  *That* is least for 15 minutes (his initial federal court appearance, the trial, the sentencing). 

Max, on the other hand, has a hero/savior complex, yet he cannot save himself from said complex in order to make himself happy.  What a vicious cycle.  The two of them certainly had some steamy moments, but I didn't believe their attraction once they stopped making out (or having sex).  I didn't connect with them; I didn't believe in their love.

I really wanted to see more of Jenn and Elliott.  

Regardless, I won't give up on Ms. Dahl just yet.  She's a great writer with a lot of snap in her dialogue and steam in her sex scenes.  Crazy for Love unfortunately didn't work for me.

(Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Crazy for Love.)   

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