Jungle Rock by Caroline James – 4*s #bookreview @CarolineJames12

Handsome young chef Zach Docherty is feeling the heat. Following an exposé in a national newspaper, his fiancée Poppy Dunlop has broken their engagement. Heartbroken at the thought of life without Poppy, Zach drowns his sorrows and, when his agent suggests that Zach becomes a contestant in a reality TV show, Jungle Survival, he reluctantly agrees. Plunged deep in the jungle, into a bizarre mix of talent and trials, Zach meets glamour model Cleo Petra, and the cameras go crazy.
Will Zach survive and be crowned Jungle King? Or will his latest exploits push Poppy further away…

My Review

I’ve had all Caroline’s books on my Kindle patiently waiting to be read for a while, but along with many others they are buried underneath my to be reviewed pile. However when this novella came along, it was the perfect opportunity to sneak in a short read to let me know what I’ve been missing and can look forward to.

As it happens this novella is an ideal intro to Caroline’s writing in more ways than one, as it features characters that appear in her previous books, as well as looking forward to her next title Boomerville which is due In Spring 2017.

In this outing Zach, a Michelin celebrity chef has left behind his messed up love life by joining other ‘celebrities’ in a jungle reality TV show. As someone who will admit to having ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ as a guilty pleasure, this scenario was an ideal one for a plot line. At the same time, his erstwhile fiance is struggling with her own work related problems across the Atlantic. Zach’s newly single manager has accompanied him to Australia and back at home his mum Jo and her friend Hattie are cheering him on to win.

In true rom-com fashion it was a case of “the course of true love never did run smooth,” and misunderstandings and false friends abound. For me though, the stars were not restricted to the jungle, and my favourite’s were found back in England, namely Jo and Hattie. They are brilliant characters, with Jo presenting the perfect foil to the comic and larger than life Hattie. Maybe it’s an age thing, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. I understand the next book will feature their exploits running a retreat for the over fifties not yet ready to settle into old age, so sign me up for that one!

All in all, this does what it says on the cover. It’s a perfectly packaged slice of feel good escapism with a festive background that’s perfect for curling up with as the nights draw in.

I received an ecopy of this book for review purposes.

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