December 28, 2010

Trouble in Paradise by Jennifer Greene

TroubleGriff Anderson wasn't Susan's ideal man - he was 11 years older, and father to 3 children (2 boys 10 an 17, and a girl 14) - but, after one somewhat blotched date, they fell into bed together and fell in love. After just a few months of knowing each other, they decided to get married.

The first few weeks of their marriage are filled with honeymoon-ish bliss, as they put together their new house. But then a crisis forces Griff and Susan to forget their plain of slowly introduce Susan to the kids' lives, and they have to bring them to live with them.

Tom isn't much of a problem, he likes Susan and it's all good, except when Susan tries to mediate between Tom and Griff, much to her husband's annoyance. Barbara wears too much make up and is constantly testing her boundaries, and hating Susan just because her neglectful mother hates her. Tiger, the youngest, is sweet but demanding, taking up most of Susan's time.

Susan struggles to find balance between wife and step-mother, and tries to figure out her place in Griff's family...

Okay, I'm going to be as gentle as possible and start by saying that Trouble in Paradise is a book of it's time. I believe Jennifer Green first wrote it during the early 80's, and it shows, even though the author tried to give it an updating, it's just a bit staid in this day and age.

I had big issues with both Griff and Susan. Susan has a martyr's spirit, that might have sounded more true 20 years ago. Due to personal beliefs, I found her I need to be the perfect mother/perfect wife/perfect business owner more than annoying. Griff always wanted to 'have a talk' with Susan but mostly they ended up having sex. And it was one of those books where I went "What, no grovel?"

That being said, it's not bad a story, but it has to be your type of story. I have to say the summary provided is a bit misleading - I expected something very different from it - but over all, there were parts that were quite compelling.
Alex

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