Friday, July 27, 2012

Dante's Girl (The Paradise Diaries #1) by Courtney Cole Review Kismet Blog Tour

Dante's Girl

by Courtney Cole
Goodreads Summary:
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.

Okay this was an adorably cute and incredibly frustrating novel at the same time. But it worked!  Reece is a girl who is sure of herself. Her inner dialogue is so much fun to read as she tries to talk herself through embarrassing or uncomfortable situations. And she really finds herself in those when she's stranded at an airport and then whisked away with Dante also known as Apollo in her head in a helicopter to his island nation off the coast of Greece. There, instead of spending a summer in dreary London with awkward conversations with her dad, she's invited to stay and intern at Dante's family's olive farm. 

There were times when I wished she would have slugged Dante because he seemed to be acting totally opposite of what he was telling her. And then things would make sense. That was what was frustrating. But they are so cute together and things are really serious between the two as they develop over the summer. She might fall hard for him quickly, but it builds over the summer, so no insta love.

Dante, for all his frustrating signals, is actually a very nice guy. He is very chivalrous but he is also the Prime Minister's son, sort of like the Prince of the country. Certain behaviors are expected of him, certain things have already been planned for his life and just chucking those plans isn't an option.  It's difficult for Dante and Reece to understand each other's cultures and reach a happy medium for the two of them. And then, there is the danger of terrorists attacks against the Prime Minister and anyone around him. The terrorist was a little transparent but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the story at all.

The writing had a nice flow to it and Reece was easy to fall for. She was amazingly resilient being away from anyone she knew and without a friend to confide in when she was confused by Dante. She was kind of like a bulldog going after what she wanted. She would not be stopped no matter what her condition. I really liked that she didn't sit and whine when she was upset about Dante. She was really strong and stood up for herself even if she didn't expect it of herself. It would be really hard not to like Reece. She's a girl from Kansas stuck in the world of European royalty and winging it with the best of 'em!

If you love a great romance between two very different but well matched people, then this is the YA contemporary for you! You will absolutely love the country of Caberra and the people, or most of them.
And you will love Reece and Dante's story! Lots of fun! I highly recommend it!

This is for the older YA crowd as there are mature themes in it.



  1. Oh yay! This one sounds so good! I love some great inner dialogue too! I'm officially adding this to my WL.

  2. aww, this sounds so good! i've seen it once before but i can't remember where. glad you enjoyed it, heather!

  3. Even when I'm frustrated by what you described above (with Dante's actions being different from his words), it never fails to suck me into a story. I get all emotionally tied up in knots and I love it. I've been seeing this book around a lot lately and I'm really excited to try it. I think I'm in the mood for an awesome contemp romance. Thanks Heather!

    1. Well, while he's frustrating, they do communicate so the author doesn't throw a bunch of things in to keep them from being together and not let them at least talk about it. She doesn't make it predictable.

  4. Oh you are going to get me into more contemp YA, aren't you? This one sounds good plus who can resist a guy named Dante? :)

    1. Not me! This guy dresses up a lot, too! Can't beat a tanned guy in a tux with an accent grinning at you! Dante, doesn't that mean Devil???

  5. I have recently been hearing a lot of great things about this book. It sounds really fun. I like that your review pointed out what you liked about the characters, but also mentioned that they could still be frustrating (like Dante saying one thing and acting another way). Great review!


  6. This is new to me. I'm so glad you featured it. I'm such a sucker for a fun romance.

  7. Hmmm I'm not sure I can go for a guy like Dante in my contemporary reads. I might want to slug him and when I start yelling at books - it's either way good or way bad!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake


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