The High Expectation Fairy has struck again.  When I saw this book on the shelf at the Howard Beach Library on Tuesday I was ecstatic because everyone told me how great Bella Andre was.  One of her books was even featured as a Smart Bitch book club pick last year.  I guess it just goes to show that my taste isn’t exactly the same as everyone else’s because I didn’t just not like this book–I hated it.   The way that I felt about The Look of Love is best described by Judy Garland’s character in Meet Me in Saint Louis–I “hate, loathe, and abominate” it because hate alone isn’t enough.

Let’s start with the plot summary:

Chase Sullivan, a world-renowned photographer, stumbles upon Chloe Peterson on a California highway after she drives her car off of the road during the storm to end all storms (although, Chase has absolutely no problem driving through it).  All within a span of a couple of minutes, Chase meets Chloe and then saves her from being run over by a guy on a motorcycle.  He, then somehow convinces her to not only get in his car (no cell service) but to stay in his brother’s  guest house.

Chloe is a woman on the run, sporting an awful bruise on her cheek.  She’s been scarred by a past relationship and doesn’t really trust men at all (but for some reason she trusts Chase from the very beginning, even if she tries to convince herself and us that she doesn’t).

The problem with this book is that it doesn’t really go anywhere.  Chloe likes Chase and she’s attracted to him (so attracted to him that she has to masturbate after spending about a half hour in his presence–Chase is HOTSTUFF–no, really, that is Chloe’s nickname for him).  Chase is also attracted to Chloe, especially after he walks in on her in the bathroom as she is having the strongest orgasm of her life, his name on her lips as she falls apart. 0_o

Doesn’t everyone know that guy that exudes sex so much that you just have to please yourself in a stranger’s house?  I’m not a prude, but I had a lot of problems with this scene.  Aside from the fact that Chloe had only known chase for an hour at most and that she is in a complete stranger’s home is the fact that (a) she didn’t lock the bathroom door, (b) Chase had no problem barging in on a strange woman in the bathroom, and (c) it was completely gratuitous.  There was no need to read about her doing herself.  It was like that scene in Bridesmaids where everyone ends up with explosive diarrhea–out of nowhere and unnecessary.

The other big problem with The Look of Love is that both Chase and Chloe are total Mary Sues.  They are both stunningly gorgeous, but neither of them actually know that they’re good looking (who knew that One Direction wrote this book).    Also, neither of them have a single fault, except possibly low self-esteem on Chloe’s part.  Chloe also had a standard lonely childhood, even though nothing really bad ever happened to her–her parents just didn’t show her enough love when she was growing up, which was the impetus for her marrying her ex-husband.  Lastly, everything that either of them touches turns to gold–get a horrible rip down a one of a kind dress?  Call Chloe she can fix it in 10 minutes!

Last, is Chase’s rather large and unrealistic family; he is one of eight kids, only one of whom has a normal job.  His family is full of extraordinary people, including a baseball player, a race car driver, the owner of a vineyard, and a choreographer.  Only two of his siblings have normal jobs–a firefighter and a librarian.  His mother was even above average; she was a model before she married his father.  I don’t understand the point of any of these characters.  Aside from Marcus, the vineyard owner, we don’t see any of them after the opening scene.  It is obvious that they are sequel fodder and have no real bearing on this book at all, except for being used a something to comfort Chloe and show her what a great person Chase is (because the size of one’s family is directly related to how good a person he or she is–I guess as one of two siblings I’m not a very good person.).

After spending the better part of a week trying to get through this book, I had to give it up.

No Stars.

Elizabeth

Romance novels have been a part of my life since I was 14 years old and one of my neighbors dropped off a laundry basket full of Harlequins. From that day on, my nose was always in a book. I started my first review site in 2013, but took some time off for personal issues in 2018.

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