Just Another Day In Paradise
What happened? I always look forward to Justine Davis’s series romances and was eagerly anticipating this one. She is one of the authors whose entire series catalog I have glommed. Her Trinity Street West mini-series is one that I keep in my conversion kit. Several of her single titles, including Lord of the Storm, are also on my keeper shelf. So I bought Another Day In Paradise, read it and a couple of hours later, I closed it with a sinking feeling.
Of all the series romance writers, Justine Davis is one who writes with real sensuality. Anyone can write a scene where characters connect body parts, but the ability to write scenes that convey real desire, real passion and overwhelming love, and to do it with no silly purple patches, is rare. When Justine Davis is at her best, the sense of connection between her characters is strong and tangible. That is not the case here. There is one tepid love scene and the sexual tension between heroine Paige Cooper and hero Noah Rider is cool to the point of being almost cold.
Paige Cooper is a teacher at a resort owned by Redstone properties. Several years ago, her workaholic, indifferent husband had been on a plane highjacked and crashed by terrorists. The company he worked for had recently been taken over by Redstone; they sent Rider to help Paige out. She had thrown herself into his arms in grief and they had shared one passionate kiss that left them shaken and guilty. (To add to the confusion, everyone calls Noah “Rider” but the heroine.)
When Paige decides to get out of Los Angeles to get her son away from bad influences, Redstone offers her a job at one of their resorts. The resort, named Paradise, is about to open, and Rider is finalizing its operating procedures. He and Paige reconnect. The guilt is still there, but so is the attraction and they begin to spend some time with each other. One day when he is at the school watching Paige teach a class, a group of terrorists take over the resort and hold Paige, Noah and all the children hostage.
I love action plots and this book has a potentially exciting one. But the terrorists in this book were the biggest bunch of doofuses I have come across in a long time. Rider manages to sneak off and cripple the electrical system, Paige’s son manages to steal a gun out of one of the terrorist’s duffel bags, and finally Rider and Paige smuggle all the children off to a conveniently hidden cave where their parents come and get them. Paige herself is supposed to be a brave woman, and her reaction to being taken hostage is not whimpering terror but anger. Good for her. Yet she does one of the most idiotic things I have ever seen. To keep the children quiet, she goes on with the class and gives them a lesson on terrorism, managing to insult the man with the gun trained on the children. Bravery is admirable, but she put many innocent lives at risk.
Do me a favor, and go get a copy of Stevie’s Chase and read its love scene. Okay – wasn’t that intense, sensual and everything a love scene should be? Now read the love scene in Just Another Day in Paradise. Okay – wasn’t that perfunctory and bland? To add to the problems with this book, it has the most hideous cover I have seen this year. The man on it looks like an orange alien with a sickly caterpillar on his lip. Oh, the title is good, but still, I’m wondering – what happened to the book?