Friday, July 19, 2013

Knock Love Out, by Pella Grace

3 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...

30-something Lilla King finds herself frustrated with her marriage and with life in general.  In her eyes it is the same every day.  She takes care of the house, plans the meals, buys the groceries and then prepares those meals without any acknowledgement or appreciation from her husband.  Every day he comes home from work and does his own thing like she doesn't exist and if he does comment on what she's done its always critical.  She feels so alone, longing for some type of physical connection.

One day she finds herself in Valentine's Grocery contemplating the idea of an affair because she's so desperate to even feel noticed.  This thought turns into a plan of action when she catches the eye of 20-something Warren "Cash" Valentine, the son of Valentine's Grocery's owner.

What starts out as innocent flirting quickly evolves into an affair.  Cash not only gives her the physical connection she's been yearning for but also touches her emotionally, helping her find the way back "to herself" and eventually back into a life full of happiness.

This is the story of Lilla King's journey to independence, happiness and love.

Knock Out Love is told through the eyes of both Lilla and Cash, so for the entire story you are able to get a better understanding as to the circumstances in their lives and whats behind their reactions to those circumstances.  This is an easy read and you will have no problem following the story.

It was hard for me to fully review without alluding to some spoilers so if you don't like spoilers then please don't read any further.

Unfortunately, for me, I had a hard time emotionally connecting to the story.  I found Lilla to be a hard character to really even like.  Don't get me wrong I can understand why she felt the way she did and even the driving forces behind those actions but I just didn't agree with them.  I felt it took her too long to admit to Cash or even herself that she was as much of a reason as her husband was for the demise of their marriage.  It would have been one thing if she had been honest with him about her unhappiness before engaging in an affair.  I would have had more respect for her if she had chosen to talk to him and given themselves an opportunity as husband and wife to make things better before deciding to end things.  I think it would have helped me to believe in the love between her and Cash.

I'm glad Lilla grew into an independent and happy woman but I was also frustrated with that growth because it felt extreme.  When she was with Adam she wasn't happy and definitely wasn't independent and with Cash she was happy but maybe too independent, always hesitant to fully let him into her life and make the ultimate commitment to his love.  Was she afraid she would lose herself again?  If that was the case then maybe she didn't learn as much as she should have on her self discovery journey, because I believe you can have independence and still be in a fully committed relationship.  

Cash on the other hand looks at life so simply...go after what you want, speak up for yourself and when he gives his love to another person whether it be a friend or girlfriend, he is all in holding nothing back.  He had several redeeming qualities of a leading male character, but I had a hard time falling in love with him and Lilla together in any capacity.  I never understood what made her his "Eden."  It's like he was her life coach and had a relationship with her on the side.  Why did he want to commit to her?  What were the reasons he didn't want to be with anyone else?  What qualities did she possess that made him feel complete?  Those were all questions I needed more answers to.

In conclusion, I will say Lilla and Cash do get their HEA with everything wrapped up nicely, which is definitely a bonus and Pella Grace does a great job with her writing, allowing readers to follow the easy flow of conversation between the characters.  I still think you should read this book for yourself, just because I didn't "feel the love" of Cash and Lilla doesn't mean you won't.

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