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Review: Paradise City

by C J Duggan

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publish Date: 26th April 2015

“‘The truth is if I’m with a girl, in the sea, in the car, in a bed or on a beach,’ he said, a wicked grin flashing,’it’s because I choose to be.’” Location 1945

Title: Paradise City
Author: C J Duggan
Published by: Hachette Australia
Book: #1 of Paradise
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Found: Netgalley
Rating: 3 Voodoos

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?


This is the second book I’ve read by C J Duggan. The first was The Boys of Summer, which still remains one of my favourite new adult romances. My review can be found HERE.

There’s something easy about the way C J Duggan’s writes. It has this flowing quality that means you can never just stop reading. That’s exactly what happened when I picked up Paradise City, I just had to finish it once I started.

After 8 hours of reading I found myself a little emotional because, as with The Boys of Summer, her characters were so easy to relate too. Again, they were angst filled teens who make silly decisions in the heat of the moment but, unlike The Boys of Summer, I felt as though some of the situations caused by their decisions, were slightly over done, especially towards the end. Paradise City is the first in a series and so ends with quite a large cliff hanger. This ending left me slightly annoyed, because it felt like the whole story had gone round in a huge circles only to end on a sour note. It all depends on where book two goes from here.

I really liked Lexie as the main character. She was quite naive, because she was homes schooled, and her gullibility was the cause of quite a few embarrassing moments. I liked that she was never afraid to put herself out there though, and she had a wicked sense of humor which proved a massive hit with the men.

And ooooh the men! I loved Boon and Ballantine. They were both cheeky and although they were supposed to be these huge bad boys at school, they ended up being really cute and funny. Ballantine especially turned out to be a real romantic.

I really enjoyed the dynamics of the various relationships. I liked that Lexie was always trying to play it cool so as not to give off a needy vibe and that Ballantine was always so direct. I especially enjoyed the different sibling relationships with Laura bating Boon all the time and Amanda and Lexie constantly yoyoing between love and hate. But I would love to know more about the family issues that Ballantine had. Mainly so I can understand why he and his brother had such an uneasy relationship.

If I were to be totally honest, I would have liked a little more certainty in the relationship between Ballantine and Lexie, it seemed as though there was always something making them doubt each other and it meant that I never really saw the connection between them. There were sparks, I admit that but I wanted more! I’m hoping book 2 will see them find that little bit more chemistry and perhaps a happily ever after?

The story itself had a good pace, even if the angst did cause the relationships to stutter and repeat from time to time. I would love to see where this goes next! I have no idea who i will be able to wait till September! especially after that cliff hanger!



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