Paradise City

Paradise City

by C. J. Duggan

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There's trouble waiting in Paradise.

Quiet country-girl Lexie Atkinson is about to get an education she'll never forget. Sent from her family's remote rural property to live in the glittering beachside Paradise City for her final school year, she is plunged into a place where looks can kill and vicious rumours can make or break you. Lexie just wants to fly under the radar...until she meets Luke Ballantine.

Impulsive and charming, one thing is clear: Luke is sexier than any guy she has ever known.

Suddenly good girl Lexie is breaking all the rules - getting detention, sneaking out to late-night parties, hanging out with boys - and then rumours start swirling...about her! Everything changes fast and Lexie will soon find out if Luke Ballantine is going to be good for her...or very, very bad?

A funny, sexy and romantic novel from the bestselling author of the Summer series.

'Paradise City is the same brand of feel good, fun and sexy romance that I have come to love from this author' - Book Briefs

'I love Duggan's writing and Paradise City was a hoot. I cannot wait for the next book! Is it August yet?' - Reading With ABC

'I loved this book - it's the perfect beach read.' - Flying Through Pages

'I loved every moment . . . C. J. is a born storyteller that breathes a realism into her characters and situations that we've all found ourselves in.' - Diva Book Nerd

'Duggan's writing is addictive, and I really didn't want to put this book down.' - Escape Into Words

'Paradise City is going to be on my mind until I can get my greedy eyes on Paradise Road. I need that book yesterday!' - Book Cat Pin

'A fast paced fun read with so many steamy situations.' - Dreamy Addictions

'Guaranteed her readers will come back for more.' - My Guilty Obsession

'Drama, deception, love and a little mystery . . . the ending left me hungry for the next book! I can't wait for Paradise Road!' - Paranormal Tendencies on Goodreads

'A bit of Home and Away meets Puberty Blues feel about the novel makes is a great read for older teens and YA. I will be desperately waiting for part 2 in September.' Samantha on Goodreads

'Again Ms Duggan had created a winner. Paradise City was a perfect introduction to the series and characters. I was left needing more and it had so much laugh-out-loud fun. This really did have everything from intrigue to addiction, realism of high school antics, steamy sizzles and fast paced readability. I am certainly hooked and desperately want more of all these characters. I highly recommend this to all new adult readers, fan-bloody-tastic!' - Turner's Antics

'This is my first taste of Duggan's work and it won't be the last ... It's a story that will have you coming back for more.' - Sassy Book Lovers

'convincing and authentic ... Perfect for fans of Abbi Glines and Anna Todd, Paradise City is a fun and exciting read about love, family and surviving high school.' - Fictional Thoughts

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780733633874
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Publication date: 04/26/2015
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 706,859
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

C.J. Duggan is an internationally bestselling author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales. When she isn't writing books about swoony boys and 90s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos. Paradise City is C.J.'s eighth book, and the first book in her new series of New Adult romance.

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Paradise City 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
So, this book is marketed as a New Adult Romance, but there is no HEA. I am going to assume this means that this is a romantic series that will eventually get there. But for those of you that want a traditional romance, this one isn't for you. If you are looking for a small town (I'm talking like 15 people live there small) girl that finds herself swept up in a total culture shock as she enters high school in a very big city, Paradise. Lexie is feeling quite overwhelmed as she is thrown face first into the whirlpool that is high school social structure. Adrift on her own, she begins to develop a new indentity and branch out a little. I really loved watching her transform from a niave and awkward girl to a person that was happy (most of the time) with who she was. The romantic interest was a little too dramatic for me. They are on agan and off again, and then sort of inbetween for awhile - and as you can see from the beginning of my review here - we don't end with as HEA or a HFN. I certainly hope things get worked out in the next book. While I enjoyed the writing very much, since it was presented as a romance I was really hoping for a good, happy ending. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
I loved this author's Summer series so, when I saw this new series, I knew I had to read it too! This is a completely unrelated series with all new characters in an all new location from the Summer series, but it still has the beachy, Aussie feel with the steamy romance and swoony guys. The ARC of Paradise City by C.J. Duggan was kindly provided to me by the publisher through Net Gallet for review. The opinions are my own.
BookwormBrandee More than 1 year ago
*3.5 Stars* I'm a big fan of Duggan's Summer series so I jumped at the chance to read a new series from her. While Paradise City started out a bit slowly for me, I ended up delighted with this new set of characters and my introduction to their life in Paradise. As a home-schooled girl from a tiny town, Lexie was a bit sheltered. But she always dreamed of living her cousin's life - a life of sun, ocean, and boys - in Paradise. So she's thrilled when she learns her good grades earned her a spot to complete her education in a public school. And bonus - she'll be living with her cousin, whom she was once very close to. Unfortunately, Lexie learns Paradise isn't all she dreamed it would be. Lexie made me laugh. Her life in Paradise was a comedy of errors. This "good girl" was constantly getting into trouble - usually completely innocently. Her cousin has become a "mean girl" and doesn't have much to do with Lexie. However, Lexie does attract the attention of the "it" boy - a gorgeous surfer, Luke Ballantine. Several misunderstandings and Lexie tripping up, more than once, seem to have the odds stacked up against them though.  Duggan has created another fun cast of characters that I'm completely invested in and wrapped a compelling story around them. I'm dying to know what's going to happen next between Lexie and Ballantine following yet another blunder by innocent one. And I'm anxious for answers about certain members of her family as well. I don't want to wish my summer away, but I'm looking forward to August. ;) **I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rockygirl1 More than 1 year ago
One of the best things I ever did was email a new, Australian author to ask to review a book that she was publishing.  I did that back when I was starting off blogging.  I didn’t know that I would strike up an amazing friendship with said author, or that I would discover this semi-hidden jewel.  See, C.J. Duggan hadn’t been really discovered at that point, she was self-publishing, and writing kind of as a hobby. But whoa baby, you have come a long way since then! Paradise City is published by Hatchette Australia! Such an amazing accomplishment for a self published author. I know a lot of Pepsi Max and chocolate went into this book. Way to go C.J.! Okay, onto the book! I am tearing myself away from the Onslow Boys to bring you this update. But I can promise you it is ALL GOOD.  Oh yeah. Except for the ending.  That is a bit of a cliff hanger, but I digress… See, Lexie decides to go to school in Paradise.  She has been homeschooled all her life, so this is a big deal.  The biggest.  And she finds herself the center of attention, and especially catching the eye of one Luke Ballentine. The guy in school. All I gotta say is I’m glad I got this one when there was snow on the ground cause this book was super hot.  And, this book also made me forget that I’m thirty something. It totally took me back to the days of high school and crushes and sneaking out and first kisses and all that crazy angsty high school stuff that I never want to live again, but at the same time just seems so great when you read it, ya’ know? I lost a lot of sleep reading this book, but it was so worth it.  And I am now DYING to read the second book (and, yes, I am well aware that I sound exactly like my overly dramatic ten year old to who I would tell that I am not ACTUALLY dying and I WILL live until the book comes out, but still!) I sit here oh so not patiently, waiting in agony to know what is going to happen, cause it it not nice to leave a reader hanging like that. But seriously, this one is not to be missed. Trust me.
Oanah More than 1 year ago
How bad can i good girl get? Well,it seems that all that C.J Duggan writes ends up on my "Favorite book list".And i'm not kidding! From the moment i heard that she was starting to write another book series i practicaly started typing like crazy ,trying to find out about what she was writing or when it was due to be published. Now?Can i just say that i'm a happy girl?Yup,that's exactly what i am! I'm starting to think that the best stories are those in which the good girl tries to be bad and ends up doing a lot of crazy things,but at the end she gets one thing:the bad boys attention. I love those kind of stories cause it keeps me intrigued and makes me laugh a lot.And ,of course,every time i read them i'm asking myself a lot of questions. Yikes. So,this book made me laugh like crazy.Even my boyfriend asked me a few times why i was laughing or why i wasn't paying attention to him. Yikes! Imagine dreaming about a place called Paradise City.A place you think it's Heaven on earth..But maybe that place is more than you think.. Lexie Attkinson's dreams about Paradise City.All she wanted was to see how paradise is and enjoy her life more than she did until that point.But what if Paradise City isn't the place she dreamed about?What if by going there her life will change completely? The funny part was the she did a lot of things i never expected.Like starting big rumors and breaking into places she wasn't allowed.But the best part was:falling in love. Meet bad boy Luke Ballantine.He's the one who makes Lexie realize that Paradise City is exactly how she dreamed.Luke is charming,handsome and a bad boy!You know what they say about bad boys.right?They are trouble. I loved every chapter and every moment .That's what i liked about C.J's book: they are full of surprises,crazy moments and amazing characters. It was fun to read this and i enjoyed every second !It made me dream of Paradise. Yup. You know how i rate the book i love? EPIC 5 stars for this AMAZING book. 
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
What should be your number one reason for reading Paradise city by C.J. Duggan?  Luke. Ballantine.  A sexy, bad boy surfer who does bad in such a sexy way. Lexie Atkinson has been home schooled for pretty much her entire life.  At seventeen years old, Lexie has been nothing but the epitome of “good girl”.  When her parents decide that it would be a great idea to send Lexie away to Paradise City to finish off her Grade 11 and for Grade 12 and perhaps reconnect with her cousins Amanda, Lexie is beyond excited and so ready to enjoy her teenage life. That is, until her daydreams of a joyous and momentous reunion with her cousin is anything but.  Amanda seems to be the complete opposite of what she remembers as a child.  Rebellious and not at all happy to have Lexis living under the same roof.  And on her first night in their shared bedroom, Lexie is awoken by her cousin sneaking out of the house with a couple of guys, and her eyes fall on Luke Ballantine. With hopes and dreams of what her first day at school with her cousin would be like, things continuously get worse and worse for Lexie, and Amanda does not help at all.  Being sentenced to detention because of a cruel trick played by her cousin, it is here that things between Lexie and Ballantine start to stir, and it’s one ride that you do not want to miss. Paradise City by C.J. Duggan is a cute coming of age story that will leave you a little hot and bothered and craving the next book.  I had a lot of chuckles and felt the embarrassing moments with Lexie.  And I also felt the swoon worthy moments that she and Ballantine shared, and I couldn’t help but smile for her. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand her cousin, Amanda.  Back and forth personality, and she was nothing but a user in my mind.  Only befriending Lexie when she needed something, and then turning around and being impossible again (at least, that’s how I saw things).  I also didn’t understand what the Uncle’s problem was.  It didn’t really explain why he was being a douche towards Ballantine. I guess also because the storyline takes place in Australia, there were some terms and lingo that I didn’t really understand, but that’s just a minor thing.  There are also parts where the characters seemed way to immature to be seventeen years old (i.e. rumor mill thing).  I don’t if it’s because Lexie did not have the experiences due to her homeschooling, but even her daydreams seems immature-ish for her age. I’ll tell you what I did like about this book though…Luke Ballantine.  Author C.J. Duggan does a great job of painting a picture into your head of this sext surfer bad boy that all the girls are lusting over.  His smirks, his dimples, his one liners…it all melded together to create this guy that is so drool worthy.  If you’re looking for your next book boyfriend, look no further my friends.  Ballantine will make you swoon all over the place.  I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a cute coming of age book that will make you chuckle and grin.
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
I’ve read a couple of Duggan’s Summer Series books, and I really enjoyed them! (Note to self: Read more Summer Series books this summer!) So when I was asked to review this book, I jumped on it. I only skimmed the synopsis and knew it was a book I would enjoy. Lexi is dying for a little change in her life. Having been home schooled in a tiny little town, she’s dreaming of the day her parents will agree to let her branch out a bit. When her parents agree that a little change would be good for Lexi and agree to send her to life with her uncle, aunt and cousin in Paradise City she can’t stop smiling! A real school with friends, a locker, social gatherings… all things she’s dreamed of for so long. Her cousin, Amanda, who was her best friend growing up, is just an added bonus! But when she gets to Paradise City she sees all too quickly that it isn’t all “paradise” like she had hoped. Paradise City was one of those books that I picked up, instantly loved, and wanted to finish in one sitting. If life wasn’t so hectic (and if I was a faster reader) I would have definitely done just that. The pacing was perfect! There were little curve balls thrown in here and there, the romances proceeded at the perfect pace, and the excitement, drama and fun adventures never ended! This is definitely a book I would have loved in my teens. This was basically my dream at this age too, since I grew up in a small country town where the population of cows was greater than people. I always dreamed of the beach, watching the guy you like surf, sneaking out for late night walks on the beach or at social gatherings. I really enjoyed the realistic nature of this story. The characters were all authentic and each brought their own little added touch to the story. I loved watching sheltered, sweet little Lexi come out of her skin as the story progressed too. And Amanda’s mood swings had my feelings all over the board from frustration, to anger, to flat-out laughter. Another fantastic book from C.J. Duggan! I have to admit I had no idea this wasn’t a standalone when I first started it. So when I found out the ending was a bit of a cliffhanger I wasn’t too happy. But honestly, the ending wasn’t too bad! I’m definitely eager to get my hands on Paradise Road, which comes out in August, but I think since the wait isn’t too long it will be okay.  :) And this is coming from someone who loathes cliffhangers, so take it for what it’s worth. I’m not sure if this is a duology or series with several books, but either way, count me in!
LauraRoberts8 More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down, I read it within hours, I was hooked. And i need Paradise road now!! Cj Duggan is one of my favourite authors and this book just proves why she is so ace! Lexi is desperate to get away from her super quiet home town where she is home schooled. She cant wait to go to an actual school, One that her cousin also attends. She wants to experience what most teenage girls do. And boy, does she get plenty of new experiences. They also all link back to one sexy, surfer bad boy, Luke Ballantine. Although everything doesnt turn out or run as smoothly as Lexie had imagined it would. School isnt how she thought it would be at first, Her relationship with her cousin, Amanda, is strained and never in her wildest dreams, did Lexi think she would be sneaking out of her bedroom window in the middle of the night to meet up with boys and hang out at a bar. Luke Ballantine certainly brings out the bad girl in Lexi. The secondary characters, Amanda, Boon, Laura and Dean are fun and i look forward to seeing what they are up to in the next book. I so dont want to wait until September for the next book, I need to know how Lexi and Luke move forward. Paradise City is a great romance and YA book. I always highly recommend Cj's books and Paradise City is no exception. I am already super excited for Paradise Road.
ravenwolf_EPTX More than 1 year ago
SERIAL (cliffhangers)! YA drama w/ Mean Girls / Twilight vibe.  PARADISE CITY  (Paradise, # 1) C.J. Duggan April 28, 2015 Publisher: Hachette Austalia approximate pages: 336 (print) Romance: Contemporary, New Age/College  ** Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review. **  -- MY THOUGHTS -- Judging a Book by it's Cover:  Bright and bold color choices immediately catch the eye. The synopsis sounds like a typical coming-of-age, teen drama. Nothing too extra-ordinary or unique from the tons of others out there already: Naive, small-town girl moves and meets local bad boy. It's all very cliche' when you think about it. Hope it reads better!  Looking Deeper:  Written from Lexie's first-person POV. How to explain this book.... Lexie's fascination / obsession with school hottie / bad boy is akin to the Bella / Edward saga that I'm sure everyone is familiar with, except Ballantine does not sparkle (thank god for small favors). Then there's Amanda, the estranged cousin that she idolized. My first thought on Amanda: "Mean Girls". It's not a loving reunion. Add in a few more characters and plenty of pop culture references and you have a rather full cast and substance. The plot plods along steadily but sedately, chronicling the mundane life at school, mostly. Nearly a third of the way into the book, Ballantine had made one comment and asked two questions to Lexie. His friend, Boon, has interacted with her more! I think he's fast becoming a favorite character. The dialogue and interaction is mostly realistic and natural feeling, although it really does perplex me how someone can be THAT naive and trusting of everyone. I found myself struggling with the pace and the mostly one-dimensional content. The main characters are okay, but they are awful young (Ballantine's 18 and Lexie's 17) and still have a LOT of growing up to do. I was a bit thrown that the boys are always referred to by their last names. There's a lot of Australian terminology in this book, so be sure to have your translator ready if you are not familiar with words like ute, esky, doona, and bitumen.   There were many conflicts ranging in degree. Most were resolved, some were not. There were a few plot twists that were not predicted and I can only speculate on some of the other elements that are yet to reveal themselves. The conclusion is left open to continue in the next book, due out in September of 2015. I wish I had prior knowledge of a cliffhanger. I prefer not to invest my time in partial stories, but rather I wait until all parts are available to read as a whole. This story *IS* a High School drama-laden SERIAL saga with a cliffhanger. You've been warned. ------------------------ Heat Level: 3.5 ------------------------ Score: 3.7 Stars: 4 ----------------------- -- ABOUT the AUTHOR -- C.J Duggan is an Internationally Number One Best Selling Author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. When she isn't writing books about swoony boys and 90's pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos. The Boys of Summer is Book One in her highly successful New Adult Romance Series. -- REVIEWER INFO -- Tina J / Happily Ever Chapter
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
It's been far too long since I've read one of C.J. Duggan's books. I love the way she writes New Adult. And I’ve already fallen in love with this new series just as much as her Summer series. These new characters from Paradise City have stolen my heart, too. The sexy, beautiful bad boys are known as the Kirland Boys of Paradise High school and also as the Beach Bums of Paradise City. They are the surfer delinquents, the sporty types—you know, not much between the ears but pretty good between the sheets. But,don't let these bad boys fool you. The Kirland's boys have brains as well as their sexy bad boy reputations. Yep, that's the Kirland's bad boys. And these sexy surfers who are yummy between the sheets are Luke Ballantine, who's known as the Lord of the Beach Bums, and Boon, Boppo, and Woolly. Then we have the new girl that comes to Paradise High, Lexie (no middle name) Atkinson. She’s been wanting to stay with her cousin, Amanda, and experience the big city life of Paradise. Lexie has lived in the small town of Red Hill all her life, where the most exciting thing to do is to watch Hoarders on TV each week. Lexie is feisty, and she’s ready for some excitement in her boring, mundane life. She’s also ready to be let out of her Red Hill cage and spread her wings in the big city. Lexie’s breaking every one of her boundaries; she comes alive in the city and so does her heart, for the beautiful, dimpled smile, bad boy Luke Ballantine. Lexie had me laughing with her adrenaline rush overload. She's wanting to experience every thing she’s been missing as a teenager living in a boring town. But those experiences didn't include Paradise High’s sexiest bad boy, Luke. Lexie didn't plan on falling for Luke Ballantine, but her heart had other plans. Lexie and Luke had me flipping pages like crazy with the sexual tension between them. Along with their relationship always hitting a bump in the road and taking a detour. And one of those detours is Dean Saville, who owns the Wipe Out Bar. C.J. Duggan had me hanging on to the edge of my seat, wondering how this was going to end with Dean. Yes, readers, Paradise City is a sequential series, and this a first for C.J. Duggan, as her Summer series are companion books. And I will be waiting anxiously for Lexie and Luke and their steamy hot, first love romance on August 28th in Paradise Road. I highly recommend Lexie and hottie Luke and their Paradise City romance as a must read.