Saturday, January 3, 2015

Review: Love Gently Falling by Melody Carlson

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Rita is living her dream of working as a hairstylist in Hollywood when her father calls with news that her mother has suffered a terrible stroke. When she gets home to Chicago, she finds her mother is healing but will need a lot of time to recover. Worse, without being able to run their family-owned salon, her mother could lose the business. Determined to help, Rita realizes what the struggling salon really needs is a complete make-over. Rita is determined to get the salon back to its former glory by Valentine's Day, which happens to coincide with the reopening of the nearby skating rink that she loved as a child. She only has her small personal savings and a short amount of time off of work to get the job done. But she also has the help of old friends, including Johnny, a former classmate who now works for Jolly Janitors, the company that cleans the salon. Rita is surprised at how well they connect and how much he is willing to do to help her. Though Rita believes Johnny is only being kind, with romance in the air their friendship may just fall into something more. 

My source for book: Review Copy
My Thoughts:
If cute stories are your thing, then this one will likely tickle your fancy. It leans a bit more towards "sweet" rather than realistic, but not overly so. While there are obstacles and various situations for Rita to overcome, most of the story just has a slightly candy-coated atmosphere; slightly more sweet than actual reality. It's light and generally entertaining, and the semi-short length (15 chapters) makes it a great weekend read.

I liked Rita fairly well, and even though I found it slightly odd that she spent so much of her vacation time at the salon instead of visiting with her recovering mom, at the same time I could also see why she wanted to "fix up" the out-dated salon as a gift of love for her mom. As for Johnny, I liked him as well and I could easily see why Rita was interested in him... although he actually seemed slightly "too good" and "too nice", as if he didn't really have any huge flaws. While this would obviously be great, it's not extremely realistic and it made him seem a bit flat to me--though still "nice".

The ending is a happy one that most romantics will appreciate, though I do have to admit that it seemed rather abrupt. Some things are left a bit open ended, though it's not hard to imagine the likely outcome. Still, I would've liked to see 1 or 2 more chapters to give a bit more closure.

Overall, the story is pretty cute and very clean; it would be appropriate for basically any age person who has an interest in it. The mall setting (where the salon is located) is kind of unique and I liked the fact that many of the business owners were familiar with each other, which gave it something akin to a small town feel. I do have to admit that there was ultimately more about the salon--and less about the Rita/Johnny relationship--than I would've preferred, but overall I still found the story as a whole fairly entertaining.

My Rating: 4 stars

Thanks to the publisher (Center Street) for providing me with a review copy via NetGalley.

No comments:

Post a Comment