"Nothing but Trouble" is Rachel Gibson’s 16th novel. I hadn’t heard of this US author before, but from looking her up, I soon found she has a strong following and has written a series of books revolving around Chinook’s Hockey team players, including this one. The press release sells the book as ‘more brilliantly funny and red-hot sexy drama from the rebel of women’s fiction’. I was intrigued to see what the work of a ‘rebel’ in women’s fiction may look like!
The book centres on two characters, Mark Bressler and Chelsea Ross. Mark is a famous and successful hockey player who now faces the battle of his life as he struggles to come to terms with a recent car accident which effectively ends his playing career just before his team strikes gold. After several failed attempts to match him with a carer, feisty and happy-go-lucky Chelsea Ross is brought in, what’s more she’s offered a five figure sum bonus if she can stick it out. Will she be able to help someone who doesn’t want or 'need' to be helped? Tired of bit parts in slasher movies, buxom but petite actress Chelsea sees this as a opportunity to earn some much-needed cash for the breast-reduction operation she feels will sort out not only her bad back but elevate her from being type-cast in busty roles.
We follow the pair as they repeatedly clash over everyday matters; initial hate turns quite quickly into a descriptive lust/hate relationship. They soon secretly want to rip each other’s clothes off, much to their annoyance, and we certainly hear about this a lot! The story is quite basic and does really just centre on the "will they, won’t they" of the pair, there aren’t really any twists to keep you guessing. There are other good characters, such as Chelsea’s sister Bo, but for me these weren’t drawn on enough. I think one of the difficulties I found with this was that I didn’t really grow to care for either of the main characters and the story was more centred on their physical longing for one another rather than anything more substantial. I also didn’t find myself believing in the developments towards the end of the novel for this reason.
There are some comical moments, but for me personally, not enough to warrant the ‘brilliantly funny’ description, may just be my humour though! It’s definitely ‘red-hot sexy’; containing probably some of the steamiest and prolonged bedroom scenes (and kitchen, stairwells..etc) I’ve ever read in this genre.
Overall I’d say this is a nice light read, predictable, not gripping or profound but we’re not all looking for that. If you like saucy chick lit with lots of sexual tension this is for you!
(Top left: UK cover; Bottom right: US cover)
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