Author: Dee DeTarsio
Published: October 15, 2012
Source: From Author
* A review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. *
When San Diego weathercaster, Jaswinder Park, is mysteriously summoned to the island of Maui in Hawaii to help her grandmother, she ends up losing her job. This fair-haired, light-skinned foreigner, called haole by the natives, decides to stay in Maui for a couple of days until she can figure out what to do with her life. She realizes that her quick trip to Maui may not be all she’s hoping for when:
-She has to bail her Hawaiian/Korean grandmother out of jail for possession of pakalolo.
-The only thing she can understand her grandmother say is: “Not that.”
-She can’t decide which hurts worse, her sunburn, hangover, or memories of the night before.
-She’s labeled the “Liquor Licker” on the front page of the Maui News in a photo that shows her doing a shot of tequila with a hunky Hawaiian who’s been found dead.
-It seems she’s had orgasms that have lasted longer than her career.
-She scrapes the bottom of the barrel to find her guardian angel.
Beautiful fabric found in her grandmother’s closet unfolds a future for Jaswinder as she designs sensuous silky wraps called sunshminas that provide sun protection. She tries for a Hollywood connection, but her company, Haole Wood, has some growing pains. From trying to find a killer, to selling her sunshminas, to lusting after Dr. Jac, the island dermatologist, to trying to ignore her so-called guardian angel, can Jaswinder learn to embrace the island way of life? Aloha!
When I was contacted by Dee DeTarsio about reviewing her chick lit story, I quickly accepted. I mean, seriously, a story taking place in Hawaii with that amount of drama... How could I deny myself the pleasure of reading this story?!
Jaswinder definitely deals with her share of stress. From losing her job for pre-taping a weather report to fighting to find the killer of a murdered man to get her grandmother off the hook, Haole Wood is fun and witty. I enjoyed the murder mystery aspect while also being entertained by the natives of Hawaii. There were a few twists and turns throughout the story too, which kept me hooked.
The one part I wasn't too sure about was the whole guardian angel thing. I liked the idea of a guardian angel showing up and helping out... but it seemed a bit weird at times. Maybe just too much. But Dee definitely pulled it all together beautifully at the end. (Nope, not giving any hints. ;))
Overall I really enjoyed the story and I will be looking into Dee's other books as well. If you like chick lit and you love yourself some Hawaii like I sure do, you should check this one out.
DEE DeTARSIO is a TV writer living in southern California. After growing up in Ennui, Ohio, and graduating from The Ohio State University she vowed never to be cold again (in a tantrum more worthy of Suellen than Scarlett) and ended up in Tucson, Arizona, producing the news for the CBS affiliate, oddly enough called KOLD-TV. She moved to San Diego where she worked in the SeaWorld entertainment department as a producer/writer. (Penguins are mean!) She then became a producer/writer for the NBC affiliate.
Dee is the author of hopefully-ever-after novels: THE SCENT OF JADE, THE KITCHEN SHRINK (both finalists in the prestigious San Diego Book and Writing Awards), 'TIL SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, ROS, and HAOLE WOOD.
Though her mother never beat her (that hard) and her father is not a celebrity, she suspects one of her four sisters is a vampire.
Dee DeTarsio is a graduate of The Ohio State University and lives in southern California with her family. (She only goes back to visit Ohio for two days in early October because she is equally scared of tornadoes and getting trapped in a snowstorm.)