STORYLINE: Carmel meets Steve on the job, while she’s providing at-home care for his ornery father. Being on the fluffy side, Carmel has difficulty believing Steve is attracted to her. She battles Steve’s ex, his awful mother, her need for comfort food and low self image.
Carmel Matthews is a strong black woman who has dealt with her past mistakes, is raising her children and trying to sustain her failing business.
Dr. Steve Reynolds, just out of a bad relationship, is attracted to this plus-size woman, who’s a far cry from the type he usually dates. He’s unsure of what he wants out of their liaison, but in the meantime makes use of what he’s got in Carmel.
I LIKED: the pace of The Look of Love. I read the story in less than a day and think the writer is a talented storyteller. I fell in love with Steve’s father Marvin. Now there’s a character. He’s difficult to stand at first, but is caring and has some laugh-out-loud-funny lines.
The relationships were done well. Carmel and her friend Jasmine have several disagreements and there are some tense moments between Marcel and her mother. Carmel also goes through some tough scenes with her daughter. Relationships like these keep the reader close to reality.
Carmel’s weight challenge was the reason I bought this book, though I was scoping out another sample. I haven’t ever read a romance novel with this kind of issue. The writer kept things real by not writing in any miraculous solutions and by having the character take a close look at herself and her reasons for overeating. Good stuff.
I COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT: some of the glitches I found in the text. The formatting was fine, but there were a few things that should have been caught, but weren’t. These speed bumps didn’t take away from my reading pleasure.
OVERALL COMMENTS: While I enjoyed the story, somehow I wasn’t convinced that the couple had an immediate, blood-warming reaction to each other. There was interest, yes, but I can’t say exactly what kept me from feeling the chemistry.
I also had a little niggle with Steve. I didn’t see him as this hot, to-die-for guy, though he was portrayed as such. Dunno if it’s because he’s so nice, though he did prove he could be firm. At times, I found him wishy-washy and even to the end didn’t feel his emotions deeply.
COVER NOTE: Again, I’m not a fan of covers done using graphics, so of course, I included the original cover. Like a lot of books, the models don’t provide a true representation of the characters, but they’re a nice-looking pair.
RATING: Despite some issues with this story, based on the pacing, the relationships, and the realistic handing of Marcel's weight problems, I think The Look of Love is a truly awesome read.