Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Review | "Love Handles" (Oakland Hills #1) by Gretchen Galway

This week's review is over a romantic comedy, women's literature read that is available for free download from amazon (or was at the time I read it in March of this year).

This book averages around a 3.5 star rating on Goodreads, and my opinion falls just below it at a 3 star rating. Before I get into my thoughts, here's the book's description courtesy of Goodreads:

Love Handles (A Romantic Comedy)The world of fitness apparel isn't ready for Beverly Lewis. She hates the gym, is nice to everybody, and shops at Ross Dress for Less. When she's not teaching preschool, she's wearing yoga pants . . . to nap in. So when she inherits her estranged grandfather's fitnesswear company in San Francisco, nobody expects her to keep it. Fite Fitness needs a heartless suit to save it from bankruptcy, not a thirty-year-old woman who cries when her students leave for kindergarten.
Someone like Liam Johnson. A former Olympic swimmer, Liam is Fite's executive vice president. Unlike Bev, he's devoted his life to Fite's success. Managing one little preschool teacher--and his attraction to her--shouldn't be an issue. Right?
But Bev's tired of being underpaid and underrated, and refuses to step aside as an obedient figurehead. To everyone's shock and horror, she moves up to San Francisco, sets up an office, and dives into the business. Nothing--not mockery, not exercise, not sabotage, not a disastrously hot night with her aggravating VP--is going to scare her away.
As Liam realizes she's tougher than she looks, he discovers that losing Fite might not be nearly as bad as losing her . . .
A story about the pursuit of love, happiness, and the perfect yoga pants, Love Handles will speak to anyone who's ever had to face what scares her most.

As you can probably tell, this book isn't trying to be the next great american novel, like a lot of these books, it's supposed to be a fun read. 
That being said, I noticed some things that bothered me: 
For one, I couldn't understand how the company, the central point of the storyline, the cause of the conflict and resolution etc, could have been still in business to begin with. Everyone is annoying, not just in the first few chapters, but throughout the entire novel. I couldn't stand anyone and no one really seemed to be doing any work. 
I also noticed that there were a shocking amount of "heartless" characters. I know the world is cruel and not everyone is nice, but this was a little extreme. A preschool director said that teachers shouldn't care for their students...I mean, really? And whoever wasn't heartless was far too quirky to be real. Not everyone can be a manic pixie dream girl.
There was a lot of useless dialogue and arguing just for the sake of arguing without any real conflict. In fact, Bev kept defending people she's never met as if she's known them for ages while Liam doesn't act the way he should around someone who holds his career in their hands. 
I didn't buy the tension between the characters as a budding romance, and I can't stand the "guy with deep relationship issues who only dates girls he can't stand so they can just have flings" cliche. And it is, I've read far too many books now that use it as a plot crutch, and I'm sure I'll come across that plot tool again. It doesn't usually make the character endearing, usually whoever it is (guy or girl) come off as a creep.
These grown adults don't communicate....
The love scenes were a little....iffy. 
The whole thing wraps up a little too nicely and in a non-nonsensical sort of way.

In the end, it was free, I had a lot of free time when I read it, and I got the book over with pretty quickly, but I won't continue with the series if I have to purchase the books and I definitely say you can skip it.

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