Joint Review – Looking for Trouble (Jackson: Girls’ Night Out #1) by Victoria Dahl

Looking for TroublePublisher: HQN
Publish Date: Out now
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

A good reason to be bad…

Librarian Sophie Heyer has walked the straight and narrow her entire life to avoid paying for her mother’s mistakes. But in tiny Jackson Hole, Wyoming, juicy gossip just doesn’t go away, so the last thing she needs is for history to repeat itself. Falling hard for the sexiest biker who’s ever rode into town would undo everything she’s worked for. And to add insult to injury, the sexy stranger is none other than Alex Bishop–the son of the man her mother abandoned Sophie’s family for. He may be temptation on wheels, but Sophie’s not looking for trouble!

Maybe Sophie’s buttoned-up facade fools some, but Alex knows a naughty smile when he sees one. Despite their parents’ checkered pasts, he’s willing to take some risks to find out the truth about the town librarian. He figures a little fling might be just the ticket to get his mind off of family drama. But what he finds underneath Sophie’s prim demeanor might change his world in ways he never expected.
This blurb came from Goodreads.

E: About a month ago MinnChica and I reviewed Fanning the Flames Dahl’s introductory novella to her Jackson: Girls’ Night Out series and we both enjoyed it. Dahl has been teasing her readers with snippets from this series and her naughty librarian who meets a tattooed, shaved bald, biker engineer for several months so I was extremely excited to finally get my hands on this story. Once more Dahl provided me with not only extremely smoking sex scenes and chemistry between her hero/heroine but she also included some unexpected twists and heart-wrenching views on love, family, and how complicated life really can be.

MinnChica: I was pretty excited to read more in this series, especially since I really liked reading about the strong female friendships between the ladies of the series. I’m always in the mood for a good romance book that features right bonds between the heroine and her friends, and Dahl has an amazing way of delivering. 🙂 Add in the fact that this book had me going into full ugly-cry meltdown, it was a pretty awesome read all the way around.

E: I loved the contrast between Sophie’s outward appearance and behavior combined with what she really wanted and enjoyed. Those initial glimpses were just the surface of her extremely complicated character. At first, I couldn’t quite understand why she was so determined to take care of her father and brother when it seemed evident to me this might not have been the healthiest of relationships but as I continued to read I started to see. I think the scenes when her character came together for me were some of the hardest hitting emotional punches because my heart just broke for the child Sophie was and I enjoyed watching her mature.

MinnChica: I loved Sophie. I felt so bad for her, especially as she struggled to become the woman she truly wanted to be. Although I have no frame of reference for relating with her character, Dahl wrote her in a way that really resonated with me. For every struggle Sophie felt, I felt equally. I cried with her and laughed with her and desperately wanted her to get the happily ever after she deserved. Not just with her romance, but as it pertained to the town and her reputation.

E: Alex was so full of understandable anger. His childhood sounded like it was absolute misery and he returned back home to the same if not worse level of crazy. Yet as much as he couldn’t wait to get away, he stayed to see things through and during the meantime started rebuilding a relationship with his older brother Shane. Shane’s story is Too Hot to Handle. I could see the bond between the two brothers even though it was stretched and frayed start to rebound but I think they still have some serious work to do. Watching them with their mother was painful and made me think that mental degradation is one of the cruelest things about becoming older. It also made me think how changes can be so gradual you don’t realize there is a serious problem until it is almost too late.

MinnChica: I adored Alex as well. He was such a sympathetic hero. He grew up in an absolutely crazy environment, and yet he didn’t let it change him too much. He made it a point to be the man he wanted to be, and to leave the insanity that was his life behind. I adored that about him, especially as he was able to easily brush off his mother and her antics.

E: I really enjoyed watching Sophie and Alex interact. Their sexy times and their argumentative times were full of passion so I was glad to see they had some quiet interludes but even those held an unspoken tension demonstrating their attraction to each other. It was also fascinating each recognized flaws in the other but they didn’t matter when their encounter was “temporary” yet, watching them shift towards addressing those problem areas was certainly indicative of their transition towards a relationship. I thought the way Dahl ended the story and where she left Sophie and Alex really made me feel they had a HEA in their future. It fit quite nicely with their slow growing romance.

I give Looking for Trouble a B+

MinnChica: All in all, I really enjoyed this book from Dahl. I thought this book was such a wonderful and incredible kick off to her newest series. I loved the friendship between the women, and the romance was amazing as well. The emotional journey that both Sophie and Alex had to go through touched me in ways I never imagined (that might be partly because of pregnancy hormones), and I loved everything that had to go through.
I give Looking for Trouble a B+

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