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Friday, April 2, 2010

Out of Eden by Beth Ciotta

Out of Eden by Beth Ciotta
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full (379 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

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 all 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.
Shake it up, turn it upside down, and make a bold statement. Sounds like some motivational speaker jargon, doesn’t it? It also summarizes Out of Eden pretty well, too.

Ms. Ciotta’s sleepy little town of Eden comes to life in this fun story. The characters draw you in and hold you to your seat until past the last page. The quirky twists and turns will keep you entranced and on the edge to see what will happen next. And when the loving starts? Whew! It’s hot stuff.

When I first opened this book, I thought there were a lot of characters and a little too much going on. But as I got into the story, I realized everything and everyone came in for a purpose. You will love the secondary characters almost as much as the primary ones—I did. When you get a hold of Out of Eden, it’ll work its way into your heart and stay there as a favorite book.

Jack is a complex hero. He’s got some serious issues that you want to help him get through; well you want to see Kylie help him through them. He’s not into commitment, but then again, he’s not against it either—he’s afraid that if he allows himself to feel, he’ll let everyone down. He’s the kind of wounded hero you want to wrap your arms around and cuddle. No joke.

Kylie, for all her off-the-wall antics and her need to change or shake it up, really is a little girl lost. She knows what she wants to do with her life and her shoe store (and the fact that she owns a shoe story makes me envious... anyone who loves shoes will see what I mean), but at the same time, she’s living in a big shadow—her brother’s. I liked seeing her grow through the story. By the time she sets her plans into motion, you love her character.

Now the secondary characters make the story. From Jessie and Maddie to Travis, you want to know what’s going on in their lives. Even Kylie’s adventurous brother, Spenser (who is part enigma through most of the story), piques your attention. Put all the ingredients together and you have a wonderful story you’ll want to read again and again.

If you want a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and smile, then you need to read Out of Eden.