Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: Trouble in Paradise by Karen Tuft

Trouble in Paradise by Karen Tuft 
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 4th 2015 by Covenant Communications Inc.
Genre: LDS romantic fiction
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Description: Andy Kendrick has always dreamed of bigger things than tiny Eagle Bluff, Arizona. So when the opportunity arises to shake off the dust of his hometown and move to the tropical paradise of Hawaii, he grabs it. But he never imagined that apiece of his past would follow him to his new life . . .Kimberly Briggs has lived her life on the fringes of the crowd, timid and afraid since the death of her brother, but when she learns that Andy, her lifelong crush, is moving to Hawaii, she's finally ready to step out of the shadows and take a risk.

Kimberly is the last person Andy expected or wanted to see in Hawaii. But when fate incessantly throws the pair together, there's little to be done but make the best of the situation. As the awkwardness fades and Kimberly begins to emerge from her shell, Andy realizes there's much more to her than he realized. But even as they revel in the adventures of island life, drawn together by a growing attraction, an unforeseen peril threatens Kimberly's life.

Can the once-timid young woman now draw upon the inner strength Andy has helped her discover so the two of them can build a life together? Will Andy grasp that love knows no geographical bounds?

My Review: I love Hawaii and I love books that take place there. Since I was just there last summer, it was very easy to picture where everything happened. In fact, I could almost feel the ocean breeze on my face.

Kimberly grew up watching Andy from afar in their small hometown in Arizona. When her brother died in an accident at a young age, her parents really sheltered her. I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. She always seemed to be on the outside, looking in, and her parents are extremely overprotective. A move to BYUH was exactly what she needed to break out of the shadows, but still, she's hesitant to take risks. I loved watching the changes in her and seeing the joys of her successes, especially with her art and her fears. I really liked that she's not a perfect character and has plenty of room for growth.

When Andy moves to Oahu to work for his sister and her husband, he's ready to find a tropical beauty and enjoy life. He comes across as very materialistic and shallow at first. Everything seems to be a competition with him. As the story progresses, I grew to like him and understand him more. The growth he goes through is amazing and fun to see unfold.

As I mentioned before, the setting is incredible. The story flows at a nice, laid-back pace that really shows character depth and immerses a reader in the culture. It was fun to see the characters from Reality Check in this story--I like to get past the happily ever after sometimes. I love the other side characters, chickens included, and the dash of mystery that really adds to the plot. I'm a sucker for a good, clean romance and I really enjoyed this one.

Content: mild romance (kissing); mild violence (murders, deaths--not graphic); mild religious elements (LDS missions, temple marriage, BYUH--not preachy); no language. Clean!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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About the Author:

Karen Tuft was born with a healthy dose of curiosity about pretty much everything, so as a child she taught herself to read and play the piano. She studied composition at BYU and graduated from the University of Utah in music theory, where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies.

In addition to being an author, Karen is a wife, mother, pianist, composer, and arranger. She has spent countless hours backstage and in orchestra pits for theater productions along the Wasatch Front. Among her varied interests, she likes to figure out what makes people tick, wander through museums, and travel whether it's by car, plane, or paperback.

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