I’m really glad that I gave another read of Victoria Dahl’s work, because I might be the only one who wasn’t crazy for…okay, I might as well say I didn’t care for them except for “Start Me Up”…the Tumble Creek series, but I ended up liking this quite a bit.
“Crazy for Love” is a light romance romp featuring charming characters, though each of them have their fair share of issues. The novel revolves around Chloe Turner and her best friend Jenn, two women escaping a horde of paparazzi to a tropical island getaway. Chloe’s involved with a very public breakup after her fiancee faked his own death then claimed that she was the cause – claiming her to be a “bridezilla” of sorts. She wants nothing else than to leave the scandal behind her, at least until it blows over. That’s when she meets Max, a scuba diver with his own issues (suffering from neurotic tendencies/possibly OCD). Max has kept the secret of his respective issues for much of his life, but after meeting Chloe, he thinks she’s the one he feels most comfortable being himself around. The novel focuses on his and Chloe’s growing relationship alongside Jenn’s relationship with Max’s brother, cute nerd Elliot (who I thought was awesome despite him having more of a background role in the novel).
The premise itself might seem a bit out of the ordinary or unbelievable, but to be honest I did believe that Chloe would be mixed up in something like this. If you hear about reality TV shows, internet videos going viral, and celebrities being formed in that way, it’s really not that farfetched in contemporary society. I thought it was hilarious the way Chloe tries to make herself over as “island Chloe” and how sweet her relationship with Max comes across, even with some of his issues leading to awkward moments between the two. I did somewhat wish that his tendencies were a little more concrete, because while Dahl doesn’t beat the reader over the head with Max’s issues and presents it in a realistic way, she never really comes out and says that he’s neurotic or OCD or whatever (aside from it being noted as “control issues”.) It’s realistic in the sense that he doesn’t really fully admit that he has the respective issue, but I don’t understand why Chloe doesn’t make the observation in her perspective? Hmm.
My issue with the Tumble Creek series was that there was too much focus on the sex and not as much the characters lives and development, whereas with “Crazy for Love” – I didn’t have that issue – the balance was better between character lives/thoughts and the sensual scenes. The sex scenes didn’t fail to make me blush, and the chemistry between the leading characters was solid. One awkward aspect of this novel for me were the transitions between the perspective characters. Chloe and Max’s perspective switches were fine, but I wasn’t always sure when the perspective would switch to Jenn, and considering she had less time in the book, I don’t know if it featured best balance/development of the main characters. I would’ve liked to have seen more scenes with her and Elliot, maybe even in a separate story of it’s own measure, but I think that was a minor quibble compared to what the novel was able to do in its respective scope.
The other quibble I had was probably the wrap up of the major plot threads toward the end, which came across as a bit haphazard in spurts (and the fight between Max and Chloe towards the end seemed a little forced to me, even given Max’s respective issues).
Still, I enjoyed this novel and I’m likely to give Dahl’s future works a go.
Overall score: 3/5