2015 Reading Challenge – Book #21 – Just Perfect

Book #21 – A trilogy – Just Perfect by Julie Ortolon (Perfect Trilogy #2)
Preceded by: Almost Perfect
Succeeded by: Too Perfect
Genre: Romance/Chick Lit
Published: 2005
Country: USA

Just Perfect by Julie Ortolon

The premise of this trilogy is as such: Three best friends – Maddy, Christine and Amy – in their early thirties, get very miffed when they find out that their very successful old college flat mate Jane has used them as examples in her best-selling book How to Have a Perfect Life of people who did not face their fears and settled for less. The three make a pact amongst themselves that they would prove their friend wrong by doing the very things that scare them and complete their individual challenges in a year’s time.

I wasn’t planning on reading this book. I really hated Almost Perfect (Maddy’s story) but I loved Too Perfect (Amy’s story) and since I didn’t feel connected to Christine’s character at all from the little I had read about her, I had completely planned on skipping this one. However, I decided to read it for the sake of completing the trilogy part of the challenge mentioned in the 2015 Reading Challenge. And I am glad I did.

The story goes something like this : Christine Ashton, a thirty-three year old successful ER doctor in Austin, goes to Silver Mountain, Colorado on a three-week skiing vacation during Christmas. Although she had been a good skier once upon a time in her teens, she has developed a deathly fear of heights to such an extent that she gets serious anxiety and panic attacks if she tries to get on a chairlift. As part of the one-year challenge pact made with her friends, she has to overcome this fear and once she meets her cute ski instructor Alec Hunter, sparks fly instantly from both ends.

Although the strong attraction is mutual on both ends, Christine’s impression of Alec is that of a young ‘unemployed ski-bum’ (he was temporarily employed as a ski instructor as a favor to his friend). Since Christine has had several loser ex-boyfriends who have done nothing but mooch off of her, she tries to keep him off limits. But Alec is persistent, oh so persistent. He tries to break down her walls and eventually succeeds when she finds out that he isn’t an unemployed loser but is actually a search-and-rescue coordinator for the county as well as a licensed paramedic.

I was all prepared to hate Christine or be bored by her. From the little I had read about her in the other two books, I thought she had to be a snooty, rich and uptight woman. I was wrong. Christine was likeable. She was funny, kind, helpful and didn’t have any false airs on account of her family’s rich connections. In fact, she had a lot of self-esteem issues that she was dealing with due to the fact that she knew she had been an unwanted surprise for her stuffy parents. Her mother was indifferent towards her and her father always favoured her older brother over her. Christine’s whole life had been spent trying to win her snobby family’s approval.

Alec was just perfect (pun intended). In fact, one might even say he was too perfect (pun intended again). He was cute in a boyish way, charming, friendly, easy-going, calm, patient, confident, extremely happy, kind, gentle, sweet, sensitive, generous, fun-loving, adventurous and to top it all off, he had a job which he loved from the very depths of his being. There was nothing, and I really mean nothing that you could find faulty in Alec. He was just so nice and down-to-earth. The ideal man to take home to your parents.

I enjoyed reading about Alec’s dynamics with all his friends and colleagues who were all friendly small-towners. He had a trained rescue dog Buddy, a golden retriever who adored him to the moon and back. In fact, everyone around him loved him and it was not difficult to see why. I did like his character a lot but even as I write this, I realize that he was unrealistically flawless. But even so, I liked his chemistry with Christine. They were totally meant for each other. He understood her completely and loved her unconditionally. I admired that he knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. I sympathized with Christine but also got extremely exasperated with her desperation to win her father’s approval so much all the time.

The book is fun for a one-time read. It’s waaaay better than Maddy’s boring story and it matches Amy’s story on a page-turning level. If you’re feeling blue and in the mood for a feel-good romance, then this book is ‘just perfect’ for you (pun definitely intended!)

Book Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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