July 6, 2012

Title:  Dante’s Girl

Series:  The Paradise Diaries

Author:  Courtney Cole

Published:  June 2012

I have spent every summer since I was ten years old with my father in London. Every summer, since I was ten years old, has been uneventful and boring.
Until this year.

And this year, after a freak volcanic eruption strands me far from home, I have learned these things:

1. I can make do with one outfit for three days before I buy new clothes.
2. If I hear the phrase, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” even one more time, I might become a homicidal maniac.
3. I am horribly and embarrassingly allergic to jellyfish.
4. I am in love with Dante Giliberti, who just happens to be the beautiful, sophisticated son of the Prime Minister of a Mediterranean paradise.
5. See number four above. Because it brings with it a whole slew of problems and I’ve learned something from every one of them.

Let’s start with the fact that Dante’s world is five light-years away from mine. He goes to black-tie functions and knows the Prime Minister of England on a first name basis. I was born and raised on a farm in Kansas and wear cut-off jeans paired with cowboy boots. See the difference?

But hearts don’t care about differences. Hearts want what they want. And mine just wants to be Dante’s girl.

My heart just might be crazy.

Ana will put Dante’s Girl on her second shelf!!

My Review:   You know that awesome moment when you pick up a book by an author you love and then you just devour it?  Yeah, me too!  I started Dante’s Girl on a flight home and found that I couldn’t put it down…even as I waited for my luggage, sat in the cab on the way home or put my key in the lock (which made actually opening the door quite difficult).

Sweet baby monkeys…this is a fun read!  It’s a romantic story you can fall in love with pure and simple.  An exotic location, a super swoon-worthy boy, a spunky girl and a little adventure….what’s not to love?

We know Courtney for books that are filled with mythology and this is quite a departure.  I’m not sure why she chose to venture in this direction but I’m awfully glad she did.  Maybe I enjoyed it so much because it was a light contemporary read amongst all the paranormal and dystopian books that have been filling my TBR lately.  But, more likely, I enjoyed it because I fell in love with the characters and it put a smile on my face.

Reece is so real.  She’s witty and smart and sassy.  She has a wonderful inner voice that, my like most of us, keeps reminding her that some of her thoughts are ridiculously crazy.  Dante is just that perfect dream boyfriend.  He’s good-looking, sweet, sensitive and “complicated”.  “Complicated how?” you ask?  Well, he’s the son of a prime minister, has security following him at all times, friends who can be overwhelming and his life has already been planned out for him.  The expectations of him are high and his commitment to his family is strong.  Enter a girl who changes his outlook and you’ve got the makings of an interesting situation.  In truth, the secondary characters were really just that.  They were there to help move the story along.  But, there’s a very interesting twist with these characters…one that sets up what will be a great second book!

Now, I know some of you will say that it’s a typical girl meets boy love story.  And, in some ways that’s true.  But, as usual, Courtney’s writing flows effortlessly and lures you into the book, making you feel like part of the story.  She speaks to the girl in all of us who longs for her dreams to come true but can’t quite believe it when they do.

If you can open up your heart, remember what it’s like to fall in love for the first time and embrace a story that just makes you feel good, then go ahead and pick up this book.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry!


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