Nothing But Trouble, by Rachel Gibson

>> Sunday, March 27, 2011

TITLE: Nothing But Trouble
AUTHOR: Rachel Gibson

PAGES: 354

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romance
SERIES: Has some characters from True Love and Other Disasters


Chelsea Ross's acting career has been a total bust. The closest she ever came to stardom was her brilliant performance as "Pretty Dead Girl #1." But leaving Hollywood to become the personal assistant to a famous hockey player could be her stupidest career move ever.

More trouble...

Injured superstar Mark Bressler's glory days are over. The bad-boy ex-jock could at least be civil to the pint-sized, pink-haired bombshell who the Seattle Chinooks hired to be his P.A. If Chelsea didn't need the money, she'd be running from the world's biggest jerk as fast as her feet could carry her.

Big trouble!

Chelsea can deal with Mark's rotten attitude and dark moods. The problem is those biceps and that red-hot bod! And when the bad boy starts to put the moves on her, Chelsea knows it's time she banished him to the penalty box . . . if only she could resist the kind of trouble he has in mind!
I used to love Rachel Gibson's books. See Jane Score was especially fantastic. Since that time, however, I was put off by a couple of her books. Nothing But Trouble reminded me of what I loved about her earlier books

Hockey player Mark Bressler had a great life, including a brilliant career as captain of a successful hockey team. But then his car hit a patch of black ice. It was a bad accident, and he was lucky not to die. He sustained pretty bad injuries, though, bad enough that his hockey career is over. Physically he's recovering, but mentally, he's not in a good place. He's bitter and has no idea what to do with his life now that he can't do the one thing that defined him.

Mark's team's management have been doing their best to take care of him, but Mark is having none of that. They keep hiring health care workers to help him in his recovery and rehab, but he's pushed every single one of them to quit. Chelsea Ross is made of sterner stuff, though. The $10,000 bonus if she hits the 6 month mark without quitting is enough for her to put up with all sorts of boorish behaviour. She has plans for that money. But then it turns out the man hiding behind Mark's rude and uncooperative mask is a lot more attractive than she expected.

I started this one after struggling to finish another book, not because it was bad, but because it just didn't flow right and I kept stopping. Nothing But Trouble was such a change. Flow? It flowed, it flew, I couldn't put it down and finished it in a day. Before I knew it, I was coming to the end, and wishing there were more pages.

This is especially remarkable, because this is a plain, old contemporary romance with no suspense subplot or anything "exciting" going on. It's just about Mark and Chelsea falling in love, and that was more than enough to keep my interest.

I really, really liked Chelsea, with her pink hair, ditzy look and huge boobs that keep getting her sexually harassed by the scumbag Z-list celebrities she's been working as PA for. I felt for her and the way she felt like she was the loser in her family, the one screw-up amongst all her overachiever relatives.

Mark is a nice hero, too. He's grumpy, but not really as mean as he tells himself he is. He does give Chelsea a hard time at the beginning and can be a tool sometimes, but he knows when not to push. I loved the scene when they discuss Chelsea's decision to have breast reduction surgery. It showed that this was a guy who really got her and appreciated her for who she was.

The only thing wrong with this book was the very annoying ending, with a big mis (or rather, a brouhaha about the discovery of a big secret) that made no sense. It made no sense in a couple of ways. First, that Chelsea wouldn't have mentioned this from the beginning. There were a few times where it would have made sense for her to tell Mark about it, when it wouldn't have been a big deal at all (in fact, it would have been a great weapon for her to needle Mark with) and inexplicably, she shuts up. And second, that Mark would have been so offended. It's hardly a big thing, and very much NOT the betrayal he takes it to be. I just didn't get it, and it made the book end in a somewhat WTF? note.

Still, this was great fun, and I'm glad to have a former favourite back.



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