RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson


Title: Nothing But Trouble
Author: Rachel Gibson
Publication Info: Avon 2010
ISBN: 9780061579097
Genre: Contemporary Romance

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.It’s Lindlee, reading one book from every category for the RITA® Reader Challenge. This book finaled in the Best Contemporary Romance category.

Book CoverPlot Summary: 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.

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.

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!

And here’s Lindlee’s review:

The build-up for Nothing But Trouble was Awesome (with a capital A), but I felt like I wanted more from the ending. The initial chemistry between Mark and Chelsea was great. He’s recovering from a pretty horrific car accident and still in a lot of pain. Not to mention that as a professional hockey player, he now has to rethink his entire future. Chelsea is an out-of-work actress and has been living in LA working for celebrity assholes. So even though Mark acts like a jerk, she knows how to handle him. Chelsea is also offered a $10,000 bonus if she can stick it out with Mark for three months as his home care worker. So when he tries to run her off, Chelsea just smiles and manages his life whether he wants her to or not. I found it amusing how often Chelsea baffled Mark.

As for Mark, I didn’t think he was that bad. He’s just one of those guys who is blunt and honest. And since he’s in pain and wants to drive people away, he’s removed his filter so nearly everything out of his mouth is an insult of some kind. However if I was in a place where my entire future was in chaos and in so much pain I was popping Vicodin, I’d probably be a raging bitch. And some of his tricks on Chelsea were clever and funny (like sending her to buy magnum condoms and other intimate items).

I also thought it was rather obvious that Mark was depressed. However, no one in his life seemed that worried about him. Yes, the team organization made sure he had a home care worker and his teammates came to visit him, but no one seemed that concerned about his emotional well being. I found it odd. Especially since Mark comments more than once how important his father and grandmother are to him, but he doesn’t have one conversation with them the entire book (They live several states away, but I’m assuming they own a phone?).

So Mark and Chelsea move from dislike to like to lust. And this is where the story stalled for me. The sex wasn’t too soon, but once they did the deed, I expected more depth in their relationship. I expected them to share more of their inner self. I just kept expecting more than I got. There was also a contrived ridiculous misunderstanding at the end to break them up for a time. I hated this especially since there was an actual serious issue that the author could have used instead to throw an obstacle in their path.

One plot line that I did really like was Chelsea’s decision to have breast reduction surgery. Chelsea has natural DD breasts, which she wants reduced down to size C. She wants the surgery for two reasons: (1) she’s short so her big boobs cause her to have shoulder and back pain and (2) she’s type cast as the slutty cheerleader/nurse/etc. As someone with large breasts, I liked the realistic portrayal of big breasts, both the good and the bad. And it was pretty awesome how supportive Mark was of the decision.

As much as I enjoyed this book, I did feel like there were a lot of things the author could have explored and didn’t: Mark’s depression, Mark’s career change, Chelsea’s career change, Chelsea’s family’s opinion of her choices. I think if she had explored any of these more in depth it would have made for a better book. As it is, I finished the book wishing for just a little bit more.

This book is available from Amazon | Kindle | | WORD Brooklyn | Kobo | Sony

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    abschli says:

    Good review and I concur – parts of the book were terrific, but taken as a whole it lacked depth. Still, Rachel Gibson hasn’t written a bad one yet!

  2. 2
    Renda says:

    Ditto.  It has been awhile since I read it, but your review brought it back.

    Touched on uncommon elements, but did too much of a surface view of situations that should have been dealt with.

    But I enjoyed it for what it was.

  3. 3
    cleo says:

    Oddly enough this one did stick with me more than I expected it to, mostly because of the Stanley Cup scene.  As part of the team that won the cup (before he was injured mid-season), Mark gets to spend one day with the cup – of course his day involves champagne and hot sex with Chelsea.  That probably wouldn’t have stayed in my memory on its own, but I live in Chicago, the Blackhawks won the cup last year, and any time there was coverage about the actual cup, it reminded me of that scene.  And it turns out this is a real tradition – the Chicago Trib had this huge article, complete with map, about where each player took the cup and what they did for their special day with it – lots of charity events, a couple fishing trips and maybe a few parades, as I recall.  No mention of sex in front of the cup, but I’m sure it’s witnessed a lot of private celebrating.

  4. 4
    Weasy says:

    I’ve read this one too and completely agree with your review. It started out fun but the end felt lacking. It was decent enough to get me to buy another in this series “Any Man of Mine” when I came across it. I enjoyed the second book a bit more than this one, so I might pick up another. I’ll admit to being a little bit of a sucker for hockey player heroes.

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