Saturday, 21 April 2012

Review: LoveLife by Rachel Spangler

LoveLife by Rachel Spangler
3.5 out of 5 stars

Published April 17th by Bold Strokes Books
ARC received through Netgalley

I was rather surprised when Bold Strokes Books invited me to read this title on Netgalley. I have reviewed one of their books before,, a contemporary LGBT young-adult novel. LoveLife is a contemporary lesbian romance novel, which seems a far stretch from my usual genres, but I decide to give it a try.

When the beautiful Elaine comes walking into her coffee shop, Joey is immediately drawn to her but she's too insecure to ask her out. After some meddling by her best friend Lisa she gets an appointment with the stunning life coach. But will this help them to get closer, or will the scheme ruin their chances of ever having a relationship?

I wasn't very much impressed by the premise of LoveLife. It seemed like such a cliché to me; the pretty young girl falling in love with the older graceful woman who she watches from afar. Add an obstacle to overcome (they are life coach & client) and you've got yourself a romance novel. Because of this I almost gave up on the book a few times.

Another thing that struck me as odd while reading the book is the share amount of lesbians in their town. Joey's best friend Lisa is a lesbian, Joey gets hit on by a number of girls, Elaine is conveniently gay. Wikipedia tells me that approximately 2.6% of US population is a lesbian. I have no idea, but it looked like all the lesbians in LoveLife had some kind of gay-radar that assured them the other person was into girls too.

The actual life coaching sessions were a miss for me. At one point it looks like Joey is fixed and a whole different person in just four weeks. If your problems can be fixed in a few weeks, then your problems are not that big to begin with.

The first half of the book had a "meh" feeling to it for me. Everything was just not as I would like it to be, everything was too easy and convenient. Only when I arrived to the second half of the book I started enjoying the story.

What saved LoveLife for me is Elaine. Later in the book you find out she's the damaged one in the story. As a life coach, she can't coach her own life. She has been in therapy for years, yet she isn't a happy person at all. Except from her professional life, everything is a big mess. Her faults made her human to me, and made me believe that she could fall in love with someone 14 years younger than her.

In the end I did enjoy LoveLife, but it took a long while coming.


Life coach Elaine Raitt is educated, elegant, and dedicated to her profession. Blue-collar boi Joey Lang is too insecure to even approach her; that is until her well-meaning but meddling best friend Lisa decides to break the ice and makes Joey a life-coaching appointment with Elaine. A session meant to bring clarity only leaves them both feeling more confused about their purpose in life and love.

Will Joey be able to find the strength to chase the woman of her dreams, and even if she does, will Elaine be willing to risk the life she loves for the woman who could be the love of her life?

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