Nothing but Trouble by Rachel Gibson
published by Avon in April 2010
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!
Genre: contemporary, sport romance
Series: Seattle Chinooks, Book #5
The Story: Chelsea Ross needs a break from Hollywood. Her career is going no where and she's tired of seeing talentless people making it. Thus, she's visiting her sister Bo who works in the PR department of the Seattle Chinooks. Despite her family pressure, Chelsea is not giving up her dreams. She actually has a plan, but needs some money. Therefore, she accepts to become the personal assistant to Mark Bressler, even though she knows it's going to big challenge - the 10,000$ bonus to last 3 months makes it obvious. Mark Bressler was the captain of the Seattle Chinooks until a car accident ended his career and he can't help but feel bitter that his teammates claimed the Stanley Cup. He wants to be left alone and so far has chased away 3 home care workers... He's determined to do the same with Chelsea. However, this colorful and optimistic woman is determined to fulfill her job...
Nath: What did you think of Nothing but Trouble, Monroe? I thought it was better than Ms Gibson's last release, True Love and Other Disasters, but still a weak book.
Monroe: As you know I'm a huge Rachel Gibson fan and all in all I thought this was a pretty sturdy story! I enjoyed Mark AFTER he got over himself and I truly adored Chelsea! I loved how Chelsea was a free spirit and Mark was the total opposite! Now... does that make this story typical... somewhat yes I think it does but it all pretty much worked for me! =)
Nath: Hmmm, I'm not sure about the solid part, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I did like Chelsea. I like optimistic characters and she definitively was. I'm glad that she wasn't moping around because her acting career hasn't gone as she wished. Although Chelsea was a bit down on her luck, she had a plan :) She enjoyed life and did her best at being Mark's assistant. I didn't feel that Chelsea was such a free spirit though... I mean, yes, she likes to dress flashy, but that doesn't exactly equal free spirit :) While Mark wasn't as fun a character, it was understandable though considering what he's been through in the past few months. Of course, understanding doesn't mean his attitude endears him to us. However, I felt his character wasn't very consistent and there are things that I don't really get. I think it would have helped if we had more details about his accident. For some reasons, I kept having the feeling it was drunk driving or something like that - but really, it wasn't. Anyway, inconsistency - I find it bizarre that he didn't have more contact with his father and grandmother, even when he was healthy. I found it weird that they didn't move temporarily to take care of him, etc. Mark seems such a loner, but it didn't really fit his personality.
Monroe: It was really odd that he didn’t have more contact with his family and I too wondered about the accident. So in that aspect I felt a bit disconnected from him in the beginning. Like we didn’t know too much about him. I learned to love him once he opened up more and started to like Chelsea. I felt as a reader I got more out of his character.
Nath: I wonder if there was a way for Ms Gibson to make the readers a little bit more sympathetic to him... One thing I do wonder though. Mark was 35 years old already. He might have played a few more years, but realistically, his was at the end of his career... Didn't he think about his future after hockey. I mean, there is a difference between having your career ended abruptly at 20 and 35... I can believe that Mark was very focused and wanted to win the Stanley Cup, but seriously, I find it hard to believe that at 35, he didn't have a back up plan. That his whole life was only woman and hockey.
Monroe: One thing that bothered me was the main plot about how she didn’t tell him about the bonus money. I mean like really... was that an issue?!?!? It was part of her pay. He claimed that was the only reason she stuck around but if he said that he could also say that about her wages in general ya know?!?! So I think the plot could’ve been a bit deeper than that.
Nath: I don't think the bonus money was such a big deal either; however, it was obvious the author wanted it to be. Personally, I don't understand why Chelsea kept it secret or why he'd be so angry about it. Like you say, it would be part of her wages and he knew she was getting paid. Seriously, did he think that she initially stayed for his sunny disposition? That part didn't make much sense to me either. Personally, I felt the ending was rushed. There were a couple of issues such as the breast reduction, Chelsea's acting career, Bo and Jules relationship... and instead of wrapping those loose ends, Ms Gibson focused on a conflict that shouldn't have been a conflict and popped up out of no where :(
Monroe: As for unresolved issues. I felt the only thing I wanted elaborated more was for Bo and Jules story.
Nath: Perhaps they'll be the secondary relationship in the next book as well? What did you think of the whole Derek thing? I don't know, a kid finding his way to a superstar home - I can believe... but to actually get access to that home and even have the superstar train you? It wasn't very realistic, although I liked the interaction between the kid and Chelsea LOL.
Monroe: Ok... the Derek thing... Yes very unrealistic but then again I don’t always look at realistic things when it comes to my books ya know?!?! So that didn’t bother me one bit BUT I will say I read into that MUCH more than what care out. I thought the woman that emailed him about having sex with Mark and him not calling and the Derek thing would’ve been related. I almost thought Derek (while emailing) was the woman trying to trick him. Remember Mark saying he (at first) didn’t remember a Derek??? So I thought that there would be some crazed fan plot…WRONG! Lol But hey it would’ve made for a good twist! ;)
Nath: LOL, you totally read too much into the whole Derek thing! I don't need everything to be realistic, but in a contemporary setting, it's harder to suspend disbelief ^_^; I felt Ms Gibson had an idea with Derek, but she just didn't carry it out. Either she should have taken out the whole Derek episode and focused more on Mark and Chelsea or she should have integrated Derek and kids more into the storyline.
Sigh, am I too harsh? LOL.
Monroe: No, I see all your points!! Are you too harsh or am I too sweet? LOL The world may never know! ;)
Nath: LOL, we need Ames!! She'd be the voice of reason! LOL. So, final say?
Monroe: Overall I thought this was an enjoyable read! Do I like it better than her other hockey books? No, but it did give me my fix of contemp romance like RG always seems to do. There are some areas I felt could’ve gotten more attention like his accident; his family. Like what is Chelsea got to meet them? And maybe we learned about his past and accident through his grandmother? Oh and I kinda wanted to see time go by and her move back to Cali before he came to his senses! lol
Nath: LOL, that would have been a whole different book, Monroe! :) Nothing but Trouble was a fluffy read. This is sometime a good thing, but not in this case. I personally felt that Ms Gibson had a good premise. I think it's always interesting to see how an athlete copes with a career-ending injury, but in this case, it's even more dramatic for Mark, because it was an accident not involving hockey. I would have liked to see Ms Gibson focuses more on that. I felt that Nothing but Trouble lacked depth and as a result, it was pretty superficial. It was a C+ for me.
Monroe: Yes Nothing but Trouble was a fluffy read but I have to say that it overall worked for me. I didn’t read too much into the down plays of the book b/c I thought the ups overshadowed them! =) So I guess we differ in that aspect but hey…makes for good reviews! Lol HOWEVER that being said I have to give Nothing but Trouble a B-.