Victoria Dahl is a masterful writer whose work keeps getting better and better. With LOOKING FOR TROUBLE she skillfully combines very real, very human characters with multi-layered conflicts and absolutely sizzling hot sex scenes. The result: a book I just couldn't put down.
The conflicts stem from a very dramatic event 25 years ago – Alex's father had an affair with Sophie's mother, with tragic consequences on both sides – and the way these characters have dealt and are now dealing with the fallout is so true to life that it becomes harrowing to read. Dahl truly makes you feel that Alex and Sophie are perfect for each other – except that their very real inner conflicts and patterns of learned behavior are destined to destroy any potential for each of them to live a fulfilled life, let alone have a successful, long-term relationship. And there are no easy fixes. Just like real life, these characters can't grow and change until they can acknowledge the difficulties they face and rise above them. Dahl's incredibly effortless-seeming and entertaining writing means that their journeys, difficult though they may be, are tons of fun to read.
And did I mention the absolutely scorching love scenes? If you love a dirty-talking hero, and a heroine who seems prim and proper but is hiding her scorching-hot side from the world, you're gonna love this one. It's pure filth, and I mean that in the best possible way. And it's not just sexy sexy-times. We get sex-positive sex with real adult characters who do real adult things and aren't afraid to use all the words.
Other key words I should mention: motorcycle, tattoos, shaved head, stockings with garters. There's even a KITTEN. To paraphrase Stefon from SNL: this book has everything.
And when we finally get that happily-ever-after ending it's a beautiful thing. More than any book I've read in a long time, I truly felt like these two are in it for the long haul.
Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book; it didn't influence my review.