Giveaway & Review: The Scent of Jade by Dee DeTarsio

Title: The Scent of Jade

Author: Dee DeTarsio

Published: 2010

Synopsis: “Romancing The Stone” meets “Survivor” for Julie Fraser, who was minding her own business, living her life as snug as a bug in a rut in San Diego, California. As the least adventurous person she knows, Julie finally whooped it up one day to jet off and surprise her husband, who was on a business trip in Costa Rica. Reeling from the discovery that her husband wasn’t who she thought he was, she accidentally steals an ancient artifact and is chased through the wilds of the rainforest, not knowing where to turn, literally, or whom to trust. She knew she should have stayed home. Can a monkey, a blond Juan, a foreign scientist, a mysterious ‘love potion’ and the jade stone itself (that may hold secrets to global warming), help Julie on her mission to find and forgive her husband?

Status: Read from March 11 to 12, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

The Scent of Jade is a fun and fast paced tale of misadventure in the Costa Rica jungle. Julia Fraser uncharacteristically decides to surprise her husband on his latest business trip in Costa Rica but their holiday idyll is short lived when Julia finds him inflagrante delicto amongst ancient ruins. Furious and upset, Julia flees into the jungle only to become hopelessly lost. After two nights in the bug infested rainforest, Julia is grateful to be found by blue eyed Juan until she discovers the jade stone she has been carrying since running away from her husband is a national treasure, and everyone wants to get their hands on it. Julia has to evade the bad guys and the police, rescue her husband from jail and figure out how to return the idol to it’s rightful place.

The Scent of Jade is a fun story though not without its flaws. I had a few small issues with the plot, but the major problem for me was the lack of reason for Julia to have taken the jade stone that becomes pivotal to the plot. Whereas some of the more outlandish facets of the story (like the pot smoking monkey) can be taken in the spirit of comic misadventure, I feel that this plot point is something that should be resolved (perhaps she picks it up to throw at him but runs before she throws it?) as it is a sticking point that has the potential to derail a reader.
The story has a small element of romance but really its an adventure/comedy and there is plenty of both. Julia has to deal with a thieving monkey, a big breasted opportunist, gun toting mercenaries, annoyed police and a stone that controls the climate of an entire country. While the accumulation of the events verge on the ridiculous, the pace is convincing enough to ensure almost everything makes perfect sense. It’s obvious DeTarsio’s intent is to exaggerate for comic effect, which she does well.
The humour of the writing makes up for the minor technical errors with the occasional muddled tenses. I giggled quite a few times at Julia’s witty one liners, though being in the first person, much of the dialogue is internal rather than conversational.
I liked Julia, despite her self involvement and questionable common sense. When she has to she fights for what she wants and tries to do the right thing. The other characters, including her husband Colin, rescuer Juan and his sister Julia (Hoolia) play their part well enough and fill out the story.

It would be a shame to dismiss the entire book based on its flaws though because with its snappy one liners, likeable characters and plenty of action The Scent of Jade a light and entertaining read. It certainly made me smile and distracted me for a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon.


About the Author

 After growing up in Ennui, Ohio, and graduating from Ohio State University, Dee 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. Dee 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 with NBC for a live, comedy/variety show. After working for Children’s Hospital, Dee totally sold out and became the Marketing Director of a cosmetic dermatology group where she got free Botox. Her husband is a Director of Photography and travels around the world while she stays behind as the indentured servant of their two children. Though her father was never famous and her mother never beat her (that hard!) she suspects one of her sisters is a vampire.

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Also available by Dee DeTarsio

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The Scent of Jade by Dee DeTarsio

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 15:48:47

    Oh, I’ve been hoping to visit Costa Rica (trying to figure out how to tack it on to my Argentina trip). This might be one for me to read purely for the setting (although, er, let’s hope that I don’t get lost in the wilderness).



  2. The Australian Bookshelf
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 18:13:15

    This sounds like a fun, lively and witty read in an exotic setting! I’d love to win a copy.

    Jayne @ The Australian Bookshelf



  3. Mary Ann Woods
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 21:17:56

    Sounds like a greate exotic “get-a-way”. It’s always nice to read a book like this after a winter in Michigan. Thanks for the chance to win a good e book!
    Mary Ann Woods
    11989 Evelyn Ave.
    Ypsilanti, Michigan 48198



  4. deedetarsio
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 01:18:42

    Dear Shelleyrae,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful review of The Scent of Jade–I am so glad you had fun with it and it made you laugh! Thanks again for including me on Book’d Out–take care!



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