Crazy for Love in and around Virginia during the summer.
Her trademark humor is definitely present. But instead of our heroine having some self esteem or psychological issues, our hero is the one who needs help. Max is a dive supervisor for a treasure hunting crew. And he has a deep, dark secret. He only pretends to be charming to manipulate people into doing what he wants. Not for his own nefarious purposes, really, but out of a never-ending need to protect them from physical injury. In short, he's a pathological worry wart. And yes, it really is as funny and annoying as it sounds.
Our heroine, Chloe, is trying to enjoy a weekend away from the mess that her life has become. Besieged by the paparazzi due to the actions of her ex-fiance, she and her friend, Jenn, decide to take a vacation to an island that has limited connections to the outside world in hopes that the gossip rags won't find her.
What starts as an island fling develops into so much more during the few halcyon days of peace. Until all hell breaks loose with the intrusion of the outside world. And both Max and Chloe must decide if the summer fling they had in mind should be allowed to grow into something more.
Dahl has her own particular brand of humor. It may not be for everyone, but it certainly works for me. I found the whole Bridezilla concept a little on the far fetched side, but it seems like just the kind of silliness needed for what is essentially a beach read. A fun, well crafted read, but a beach read nonetheless.
I was really impressed by how skillfully Dahl shows Max's manipulation. Because it's subtle. And making that manipulation obvious to Chloe without it being obvious to the rest of the characters required some serious talent.
My only complaint was with the secondary storyline involving Chloe, her ex-fiance, and her two friends, Anna and Jenn. Anna appears only in the most superficial way, so her impact later on is a bit diminished. Maybe it would have dragged the story down, but I would have liked a bit more depth and page time devoted to the friendship between the three women.
I really did love this story. It was filled with quirky, laugh out loud outrageousness. Just the sort of thing you need in your beach bag or for that long road trip.
My Grade: A-
FTC disclaimer: ARC digital galley received from the publisher through Netgalley