I requested this ARC solely for the title.
It arrived a couple of days before my two accounting finals, and I gave a great sigh of relief, because a romance that doesn’t make you think sounded like the perfect relief after the stress of end-of-the-semester. (This review, btw, is belated – I am once again in the midst of school stress with 2 summer semester classes.)
Except…that’s not exactly what this book was. This book goes a little outside of the romance formula – but at the same time, doesn’t go far enough. It made me think more than I was expecting, which isn’t a bad thing – but I wish the author had put a bit more thought into the novel, as well.
Enough of vague abstractions! Let’s discuss what the book is about.
The viewpoint? Third person. The narrator tends to sympathize/get inside the heads of Holly Brennan and Logan Montgomery.
Who the hell are they? Holly is an overweight young widow with severe self-esteem issues who ends up seated next to Logan Montgomery on a plane. Logan Montgomery is one of the best personal trainers around. He regularly trains athletes, has two amazing fitness studios he tends to work from, and he offers Holly classes to redeem himself from displaying obvious disgust that a fattie sat down next to him on a plane.
So – obviously they get together? *Spoiler alert!*
Was it any good? Surprisingly, it was. I liked the fact that the characters were different. The “famous,” really good-looking guy was a personal trainer, instead of a movie star, etc. People stared at him, because he was ripped and handsome, but he wasn’t always pissing & moaning about paparazzi, and the trials of being rich (which may be real, but don’t really compare to the trials of being poor and, you know, being in danger of going without food, a home, etc.). And having an overweight female protagonist was refreshing.
The whole “she’s overweight but she’s so smart & funny” thing, however, seemed a bit overdone. Holly’s self-deprecating humor wasn’t horrible – but I doubt everyone would find it an enchanting reason to hang out with an overweight person. More likely, it would make a lot of people uncomfortable to hear her say things that at least some of them are already thinking.
And after Logan and Holly have passionate sex pretty much everywhere in existence, and Logan has realized that he at least like likes her, he still feels uncomfortable being seen out with her in public. More uncomfortable, in fact, than he did when they were out in public before they began having copious amounts of sex.
This feeling of being uncomfortable ends up being played off as “Oh, Logan’s not really uncomfortable with the fact that Holly is still a larger woman, he’s uncomfortable with the idea of commitment.”
Um – bullshit. The author just wanted her happy ending, and tried to pull some Freudian rabbit out of her hat.
The thing is, the book would have been so much better if Holly had realized it, but also realized that she was a healthier, happier person because of the confidence Logan had helped her build. And then realized that she didn’t need the man Logan himself, but that didn’t mean that the health and confidence needed to be abandoned with him.
Instead, you get your cliche happy ending, which feels hollow and less than satisfying.
But at least we are left with the knowledge that Holly is getting lots of great sex…