‘Head Trip’ by D.L. Line

Shelby Hutchison is the head of the IT department of a major Chicago hospital in 2039. According to Shelby, her life is boring: she never travels outside Chicago and she never does anything but work and go home. Even her best friend, Jake, thinks she’s boring. Jake convinces her to take a vacation.

She goes to Head Trip, a company specializing in virtual vacations, and signs on for a vacation set in 1985 and involving Russian spies, espionage, and love.

On the appointed start day of her dream vacation, she is too excited and anxious to get going to listen to the technician’s instructions and jumps into the vacation with both feet. As the adventure unfolds, she gets more, much more, than she either asked for or bargained for.

Her vacation is cut short by unexpected events, and she quickly begins to have flashbacks and seizures. It is not until she meets the woman upon whom one of the characters, the beautiful Russian spy Tasha, is based that she begins to wonder what Head Trip really is. The two women, Trish and Shelby, begin to unravel the secrets Head Trip is hiding.

Head Trip (BSB) is creative with a unique plot and setting. It is a well written story and Line’s characters are likable. At only 187 pages, it is a fast read, and the reader will be sorry that the book isn’t longer.

During Shelby’s virtual vacation, Line repeatedly has Tasha using Shelby’s full name. At first, it doesn’t matter. But after 65 pages, it simply became annoying enough to want to set the book aside.

Then there is Tasha’s repeated overuse of “how do you say.” Again, it makes sense in the first few pages of their encounter, but after pages and pages of its use, it takes the reader out of the story.

An editor should have reined in the use of these two distractions early in the book instead of letting it go on and on and on. It’s a good thing the action of Shelby’s virtual vacation is exciting enough to keep the reader reading because otherwise the book would end up unfinished.

The publisher calls this a romance, but it is more of a thriller or action novel. Yes, there are sex scenes, but sex scenes do not a romance make.
by D.L. Line
Bold Strokes Books
Paperback, 9781602821873, 192pp.
November 2010