Double Trouble
By Dorine Linnen
Feb 1, 2005 - 2:32:00 PM

If you've never tried chick-lit or have tried it without success, DOUBLE TROUBLE is not to be missed.  Claire Cross has created a unique story around an imperfect heroine, combined with humor, heart-warming characters and a major twist that had me glued to the pages.

Maralys is narcissistically funny from the very first page of this intriguing novel.  I immediately felt I knew Maralys through her thoughts in this perfectly executed first person narrative.  Maralys is a loner and a computer geek, who is completely satisfied with the world she has created for herself.  Although she has family, she seems to put up with them out of a sense of duty, rather than admit to loving them.  On the other hand, maybe it's just the entertainment that their idiosyncrasies provide her with, which allows her to escape her lonely space for a mild break.

Nothing is as it seems, when circumstances force her to care about more than herself.  What could be worse than to have her sister's family forced upon her, when sister-dear has decided she's had enough of her own life.  Now Maralys' quiet world is faced with a soon to be ex-brother-in-law… jobless no less, and two nephews pining for their mother.  Not to mention her cranky father who swears this dear, sweet sister of hers can do no wrong.

Much more than she bargained for, Maralys finds herself lusting after her sister's soon to be ex-husband.  Just when you think Claire Cross has gone too far with this quirky heroine, a new twist is thrown into the mix.  It comes when you're least expecting it and it left my jaw dropping to the floor.

Claire Cross magically creates a conflict so entwined that you read further just to see how she will be able to create a happy ending.  Thinking you've got it all figured out, is just about the time Claire Cross reaches into your heart and soul… and twists again.  DOUBLE TROUBLE is a book to laugh with, squirm with in anticipation, rage with in anger, despair with in sorrow and has such a sigh-wrenching ending; you want to start the book all over again just to recapture those emotions.  Add in some of the best snarky lines of the heroine's innermost thoughts that sent me into fits of giggles, which makes DOUBLE TROUBLE one of my top picks.

If you want a book that will take you through a gambit of emotions and some outrageous laughter, run and get a copy of DOUBLE TROUBLE.  This January 2005 edition is a trade paperback re-publication of a previous novel.  Claire Cross is also known as medieval author Claire Delacroix.  Watch for the re-publication of THIRD TIME LUCKY by Claire Cross, coming in August 2005 from Berkley.

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