In brief: Sophie is a quiet librarian with a hidden secret and a family past that everyone knows about. But when Alex turns up in town, the tension between them simmers as their family’s pasts get entangled.
The good: Fun, cheeky and with a glimpse of characters you’ll remember from other Jackson Hole books.
The not-so-good: If you’re easily embarrassed, this is not the audiobook to have your car windows down for at the traffic lights (or for car park attendants).
Why I chose it: Enjoyed Victoria Dahl’s previous books.
Narrator: Celeste Ciulla
Duration: 9 hours, 24 minutes
(the paperback is 352 pages)
Setting: Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
My rating: 8.5 out of 10
Victoria Dahl always creates heroes and heroines that are interesting and a little bit quirky, yet realistic. Looking for Trouble is no exception. This time the plot is mixed up with a seriously crazy link between the two lovers in the small town of Jackson Hole and it makes for a plot full of conflict and surprise. It’s hot, sexy, funny and a little bit oddball in a good way.
Sophie is a librarian in town. She’s always dreamed of travelling, yet has never done so because she feels a duty towards looking after her father and brother. She’s got scrapbooks and routes planned for the big getaway, but…nothing. Sophie also hides what she feels is a dirty secret…she likes sex and short term encounters. However, she tries to hide this as her mother skipped town many years ago, running off with a local man. Her mother is depicted by the townspeople as shameful and Sophie fears that she’s gone down the same route. Unfortunately for Sophie, the hot new man in town (Alex) just happens to be the son of the man Sophie’s mum ran off with. Talk about awkward! But Sophie and Alex can’t keep their hands off each other. Alex encourages Sophie to fly away, just as he’s been doing since he was old enough to leave Jackson Hole. Can she do it?
What I liked about Looking for Trouble is that Sophie is unapologetic – she likes sex and she likes hot men. So what? She’s not ready to tie herself down to a family and stay put. But she’s also fragile – she’s scared of the reactions of the townspeople (and Alex’s mum – although anybody would be terrified of her). It takes Alex’s friendship and love for her to realise that she’s not a dirty woman, nor does she need to repent for her mother’s alleged sins. And likewise, Alex realises through Sophie that he doesn’t need to keep on running and that slowing down is not a sign of weakness.
The drama involving Sophie’s mum and Alex’s dad continues on from Shane and Merry’s story in Too Hot to Handle. It’s not necessary to read this book to understand what’s going on – basically the pair left town many years ago and never returned. Sadly, their bodies were found by Shane and Merry (Shane is Alex’s brother) and now the time has come for the boys’ dad’s memorial service. But their mum is convinced that Sophie is a demon, intent on ruining Alex’s life. Not only does she scream blue murder when Sophie is around, but she starts doing some creepy things, like breaking in to Sophie’s house and mistaking her for her mother. This was freaky, especially in audio! Celeste Ciulla does a great scary lady!
There’s also some very, very hot scenes in this book – please be aware if you are listening to this in a car, during summer. I had an er, interesting moment while listening to this while putting my window down to enter a car park. Let’s just say that the car park attendant hasn’t offered to assist me with swiping my card since! But the narrator does a great job here again – Celeste has good range!
All in all, this is a steaming hot story combined with redemption and closure. It just goes to show again that Victoria Dahl is one of the best contemporary romance authors writing today.