Review: The Look of Love by Crystal Bright

look of loveReviewed by Shelly

I’m always looking for an IR romance that’s not the typical storyline that I’ve read in the past. I had great hopes for this story because I’m a sucker for an MMA story. This is the first story in the Mama’s Boys series and while it started out promising, it went downhill and not because of the climax. After about halfway mark, I don’t even understand what started happening.

During his teenage years, Gunner Wells and his brothers were adopted by Elizabeth Danielson. I’m a believer in adoption. It’s hard for me to hate on people who’ve chosen to open their hearts and homes to bring in children who might otherwise not have a family. What interested me in this story was because the ethnic dynamics in this are different – Gunner and his brothers are white while Elizabeth is black. As a family, this didn’t seem to present a problem, but there is no development placed on this non-traditional type of adoption.

There wasn’t a voice for Elizabeth during that time or even in the present that spoke of her move in doing that. Even more, from what I read, Elizabeth lives in a neighborhood with a high population of black folks, so why adopt those kids? I’m not even sure where Gunner and his brothers lived before their adoption. There was abuse mentioned but how Elizabeth and her husband (at the time) found out about them wasn’t addressed. I guess what I was looking for was the ‘why’ of that choice.

Having returned to his home town after his mother fell ill, Gunner is also reintroduced to the woman, Eboni, he left behind. Eboni and Gunner were high school sweethearts and when Gunner left home to move to Vegas to begin training as a fighter, Eboni didn’t leave her family and instead choose to stay. For either of them, I can’t blame them for their choices because they were young. And I’m unaware of many teenagers who’ve been accused of long term planning. What I had a problem with was that their relationship seemed jumbled; they’re high school sweet hearts and live in a small community but Gunner didn’t know her family and they’re the reason she stayed behind. A lot of their history truly didn’t mesh with me and just felt like it was thrown in.

A big focus on the plot happened about the beauty shop employees and shenanigans that went on there. Part of his ‘penance’ when he came home was to position himself in his mother’s role at the business. With that came the responsibilities…yada yada yada…but what I was flummoxed over was Gunner’s active role on the floor. Other than the whole licensure aspect of doing hair, I find it very hard –actually it’s unbelievable to me– that a white MMA fighter is going to be so proficient at doing hair in a black salon. There are a few more things in this contemporary that I didn’t find believable, but I’ll leave it at that.

There’s attempt to make these two people family loving individuals, but their choices didn’t back that up. I’m still trying to figure out when Eboni’s aunt had her stroke that made her choose to stay to take care of her – I don’t think it happened in high school so it just didn’t mesh with one her reasons for not wanting to leave. As for Gunner, if you love your mother so much, why don’t you visit her more than every 10 years?

I didn’t feel one bit of chemistry between Gunner and Eboni. The time frame from his return to the sex is short especially in light of their 10 year separation. I didn’t feel them falling in love and I sure didn’t see why Gunner made the choice he did regarding his career. I doubt I’ll continue with this series. And for all that’s holy, please please please stop referring to Elizabeth in every sentence as Queen Elizabeth. ARGH!

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: C

*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Look of Love
by Crystal Bright
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Shine

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