Paradise City (Paradise #1)
by C.J. Duggan
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Release Date: 28th April 2015
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Internationally bestselling author C.J. Duggan is back with the first book in a quintessentially Australian steamy New Adult romance series.
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?
I am a huge fan of C.J. Duggan’s Summer series and was super excited to read this new one, Paradise. It was certainly another fabulous read by Ms Duggan and the characters fun, addictive and intriguing. Lexie is one cool character that has everyone underestimating her ability to get into trouble. I loved the realistic high school antics and it certainly brought back a lot of my own high school experiences.
Seventeen year old Lexie Atkinson is tired of living in her one horse town with no social life, no excitement and no school. Lexie has been getting her education via satellite and her dream is to move to Paradise City. For the past year, Lexie set herself a challenge to maintain top grades so her parents would allow her to complete school in Paradise City. Her cousin, Amanda moved there four years ago and ever since Lexie wanted to experience the sun, surf, sand and of course the BOYS.
Lexie was excited to see her cousin, they’re only a few months apart and were close before Amanda moved. Amanda was like the sister Lexie never had and it was like a piece of her left when Amanda did. Arriving at Aunty Karen’s place, Amanda appears to be avoiding her. When she goes in search of Amanda though, she finds a body snatcher in her place. The only thing Lexie recognises was her big blue eyes. Lexie’s plan just went out the window and paradise now seems to be a lie.
The first time Lexie heard the name Ballantine, she was waiting to see the principal of her new school. Even his name intrigued Lexie, she wanted to know more.
Sharing a room with Amanda was not ideal and it becomes even worse when Lexie is woken by her hair being pulled and kicked in the head. Lexie found Amanda climbing out her bedroom window. Out the window Lexie could hear voices and then that name, Ballantine. Now she could put a face to the name and boy what a looker; his dimple is unforgettable. Amanda swears her to secrecy and off she goes.
Lexie is looking forward to a new start, new friends and a new Lexie, but her first day doesn’t go to plan either. Amanda abandons her and Lexie loses her way. Though every time she spots Luke Ballantine, he seems to be just as intrigued with Lexie as she is with him.
Lexie makes a friend in Laura Boon and quickly gets her up to speed on school politics. Lexie is causing all sorts of trouble and land herself in detention. It’s a blessing though when she gets to spend time with the elusive Ballantine.
Will Lexie and Ballantine get together? With him being the “popular” surfie boy at school, will Lexie believe if he’s interested? Will Lexie really fit in at Paradise City? What is Amanda’s problem with Lexie? What is Ballantine’s history with Dean? Will Lexie stay in Paradise City?
Again Ms Duggan had created a winner. Paradise City was a perfect introduction to the series and characters. I was left needing more and it had so much laugh-out-loud fun. This really did have everything from intrigue to addiction, realism of high school antics, steamy sizzles and fast paced readability. I am certainly hooked and desperately want more of all these characters. I highly recommend this to all new adult readers, fan-bloody-tastic!
About the Author
C.J. DUGGAN is an internationally bestselling author who lives with her husband in Mathoura, a rural border town of New South Wales. Her self-published Summer series has sold over 180,000 copies worldwide, and PARADISE CITY is her eighth book, and the first in a new series of New Adult romance.
When she isn't writing books about swoony boys and 90s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.