Quickie Review: Out of Eden by Beth Ciotta

Publisher: HQN

Where did you get this book from: E-Arc Galley from NetGalley.

Release date: Out now.

Blurb taken from author’s official website:

Sometimes paradise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

That’s what I, Kylie McGraw, have discovered since sacrificing my dreams of traveling the world to run the family shoe store. But if I have my way, peaceful Eden, Indiana, is in for a major shake-up…

It all began on my birthday, when I got drunk and disorderly over Eden’s hunky new police chief (and my former high school crush), Jack Reynolds. Then I may have, in my Cosmo haze, witnessed a murder in progress. Now I’m almost certain I’m being stalked by the mob, while he-of-the-distracting abs Jack continues to think I’m nuts. However, there comes a time when a girl has to kick off her sensible shoes (size 7, cushion insoles) and go after what she wants. So if I can just survive long enough to put on my sexy new red heels, that’s exactly what I intend to do…

Out of Eden is a pleasant, fun and warm hearted romance about a small town girl in Eden. Kylie, on her birthday night celebration, decides that she’s not happy with the way her life is going. She’s sick of the same routine day in and day out, and she announces loudly in the local town’s bar – while steaming drunk – that she’s going to shake things up. And Kylie starts off shaking things up by trying to seduce her ex crush, and her brother’s very good friend, Jack, who’sbecome the town’s new Chief of Police. She then decides to decorate her shoe store despite fierce opposition from the town residents.

I found that Out of Eden had a nice pace to it with quirky humour. But I thought it sometimes went off into goofball comedy territory when connections with the mob started to entwine into the story. I understood Kylie’s frustrations in not being able to expand on her choices in life, and not having the chance to go off to China, the one place she dreamt of going since childhood, due to family obligations.

The romance between Kylie and Jack was very fun, and Kylie really knew how to tie Jack up into knots with her escapades. Jack was very likeable, and I thought he was the perfect foil to Kylie. And it was great seeing Kylie seducing Jack, the guy she had been crushing on since she was a teen. Even though Jack is the straight shooter to Kylie, he had to contend with his own personal problems with his estranged sister and niece coming back to live with him, and Jack also has to deal with his own problems of shutting people out, and not wanting to commit fully due to his past as a cop in New York. So Kylie’s and Jack’s romance is quite slow, with both of them taking hesitant steps in the emotional side of things.

Overall, while I liked this book, the storyline of the mobsters was a bit too over the top for my liking. But Jack and Kylie’s romance made for a cute read, and I would pick up the next book, Into The Wild, that features Spencer, Kylie’s brother, as the hero.

I give Out of Eden 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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