Haole Wood by Dee DeTarsio
Published: May 2012
My rating: 5.0/5.0
Haole Wood is a very fun and entertaining book that adds in a great suspense plot. Ms. DeTarsio has created a very interesting protagonist in Jaswinder Park and a great plot to read. Add in the beautiful setting of Maui and it's interesting people and you have the makings for a very fine summer (or any time of year) novel.
Jaswinder Park had me as a character from the very first page. Nothing seems to go her way, but she keeps trying. I know how that feels and I could relate. Now I am happily married, but I could still feel her pain. As she jets off to Maui to save her grandmother, the proverbial black cloud seems to be over her then she meets not one but two handsome men, but one is murdered. And then there is that guardian angel that no one else can see but her that doesn't seem to do anything but make fun of her and pop in at inopportune times. Add in a grandmother she adores but can't understand (literally) and you have Jaswinder Park and the story of Haole Wood. The characters are great from Jaswinder to her grandmother, her romantic interest, Jac, and of course the wonderful guardian angel, who when I think of him still makes me laugh. Also add in a great supporting cast as well. I loved them all as I got to know them. They each contributed to the story and each felt like a friend (or enemy) by the time the novel was done.
The suspense plot was great. Moved along by the murder of an islander who was not very well-liked, Jaswinder has to clear her grandmother's name. But it seems likes she's blocked when she tries anything. There is also a great subplot when Jaswinder really finds her niche with the sunshminas. Since I love to sew and watch all the fashion shows on tv, I loved this part of the book as much as the suspense plot (and I love a good suspense plot).
To me, Ms. DeTarsio wove all the stories together so well that the book flowed from beginning to end. I loved it. The suspense was a part of the book, the career path was a part, there was a place for the romance and the character development was stellar. Haole Wood is a fantastic book that has me wanting more from this author. Not only did she give me an outstanding story and remarkable characters, but she also gave me an intriguing culture and setting. This made Haole Wood a notch above for me. I just have a thing for Hawaiian books and Haole Wood filled that niche for me.
About the Book:
When San Diego weather
caster, 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.
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.
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!
***I received this book from the author for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free. ***