Hello, fellow bookworms! Welcome to another week of Bookworm Express on ScribblerAlliance. Since RL is filled with harsh realities of life, I decided to read something that would fill my mind with happy thoughts. And with blistering summer heat whooping our asses, I figured you can’t go wrong with a romantic comedy for a summer read.
For that very reason, I chose the first book in Gretchen Galway’s Oakland Hills series, Love Handles, as the featured novel for this week. Although it’s part of a series, it can be read as a standalone novel if you’re in search of a feel good romantic comedy.
The first person we meet in the novel is Beverly Lewis, or Bev, as she prefers to be called—a plus-sized preschool teacher who is a self-proclaimed couch-potato. Being born in a family that’s constantly feuding and having a mother who’s more interested in being her critic than her best friend, Bev is the kind of girl who wants to make the world a better place. She adores what she does for a living and despite the measly paycheck, she’s content with nurturing her young students with love and guidance. Until, she learns that her estranged grandfather has passed away, leaving his crumbling fitnesswear company to none other than her couch-potato self.
Enter Liam Johnson, a former Olympic swimmer and the executive vice president of the said fitnesswear company. Liam has devoted his life to making the company a success and after all he’s done for the old man, to find that he’s left to company not to him, but a preschool teacher? Liam’s out for getting Beverly Lewis out of Fite Fitnesswear and his life. He’s determined to show her what a dumb jock can do.
However, when in a twist of fate Bev ends up losing the job she held dear to her heart, she decides to take charge—of both her life and Fite. Thus starts the story of fashion merchandizing, family feuds and possibly finding love along the way.
Here’s a little excerpt from the book to tickle your fancy:
“Exercise should be non-negotiable. For anyone.”
“That’s the kind of talk I can’t stand. Who’s negotiating? With whom? This is my body. Nobody else’s.”
“It’s a pact you make with yourself. To be a complete, healthy human being. Basic maintenance, like brushing your teeth.”
“No, it’s a chore to look good to other people. If you’re not into it—and I will never, ever be into it—you do it for the status. People don’t talk about brushing their teeth like, ‘Oh, sorry I’m late. I was brushing my teeth. I’ve been brushing my teeth so much lately and it’s wearing me out. I’ve been working with a dentist on how to brush my teeth more effectively.’ And then their friends jump in, ‘Oh, I can totally tell. They’re so white! So strong!,’ and, ‘Who’s your dentist?’”
He stared at her. Had Ed known about her when he put her in the will? “You have just inherited a fitnesswear company.”
“No shit. Thank God it’s clothes, because if this was like a gym or something, I might be in trouble.”
Now who doesn’t love Bev’s reasoning? I know I do!
Time for my review. First the positives: This story was heartwarming and sweet to boot and the Rolling-on-the-floor-laughing moments were just perfection. I loved the flow of the story. Not for one moment it felt like it was dragging, and I admit to not have wanted it to end.
The best part of the book for me though was the body positive message it sends to us, the readers. In fashion, more specifically sports fashion, women are depicted as toned and perfect size zeros. It’s not an uncommon trend to have a news article pop up about anorexic models who pushed themselves beyond limit just to get there. This book delivered a very powerful message to every man and woman out there—you choose to exercise to stay healthy, not to show off your athletic figure to others.
Another big plus point is that this book was free on Kobo at the time of writing of this review. Also, just by signing up for the author’s newsletter, you can get another book in the series completely free!
Now … time for the negatives. Honestly, there weren’t many negatives I could count with this story. Just a little side note is that the way the family reconciliation was achieved in the end wasn’t my favorite bit of the story.
In Anne’s scale, this book gets 4.5 stars out of 5 purely because how amazingly witty it is. I loved both the lead characters, and Liam’s family is adorable. And do I dare mention the UST? The UST level with this one is HIGH, my friends. It’ll leave you panting like a dog in heat before anything even happens, but that just makes the smexy bits that much hotter.
So if you’re looking for a funny quick read about how two completely opposite people might find common ground, look no further and grab your copies of this goodness now!
Thank you for being with us this week. If there’s any book you want us to review, let us know in your comments.
Until next time.
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