Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Must Love Otters - Eliza Gordon

Must Love OttersI've had this book for a while, but finally got around to reading it as part of the Unapologetic Romance Readers' 2017 Reading Challenge.  I slotted it into the category of "A contemporary romance."

Our main character, Hollie Porter, is kind of a train wreck.  She has a job she hates, a boyfriend she doesn't really like, etc. etc.  Much of this is her own fault.  Hollie is incapable of saying "no" to anyone, so she ends up buying groceries for the strange woman downstairs, ended up in her 911 dispatcher job because her father wanted her to get a good union job and she doesn't like blood so she couldn't be a nurse like he is, and dating the lackluster guy because he asked.  After a particularly bad day at work, she ditches the boyfriend, calls out of work, and heads off to a couple's vacation her father bought her as a gift--alone.  And decides to start solving all of her problems by drinking.

There were parts of this book I liked--the description of the scenery, the later portion of the book on the boat--but most of it I found just "eh," and not in a Canadian way.  The thing is, I didn't find Hollie a sympathetic character.  She continually made poor choices and had such derision for everyone around her.  She hates her boss for how much she weighs and how she dresses, her coworker for her collection of troll dolls, her stepsister because she bakes vegan organic cupcakes and is successful...can you see where this is going?  She mocks people (internally) for their weight, for their interests, for pretty much everything that isn't on the exact same wavelength she is on.  When everyone at Revelation Cove warns her away from a guy who pretty clearly isn't what he's presenting himself as, she disregards all of them because she isn't going to let them make her decisions for her--and then is terribly upset when things don't turn out the way she wanted.  Though no one was actually trying to make her decisions and instead was just trying to clue her in on what was actually going on.  And despite being a self-proclaimed animal lover who watches all kinds of nature documentaries, she knows surprisingly little about any animal other than otters (for example, she doesn't know that orcas don't eat people) and seems to hate the animals she encounters in her everyday the point that she considers giving her stepmother's goat (who's not nice, but still) enough drugs to kill him so she doesn't have to deal with him harassing her on her way in and out of her father's house.  Hollie is a real downer for me in this book because she's just so...ugh.

In the last third of the book, Hollie ends up rescued from another stupid situation of her own making (seriously, the girl does not possess a brain most of the time) and falls headfirst into a romantic getaway with a different guy--Ryan, the hot concierge/ex-NHL star.  This part of the book was quite enjoyable.  Hollie seems to put aside her pettiness and embrace her new situation, bantering with Ryan, showing an ounce of gratefulness for once in her life.  Now, was Ryan deserving of this?  Hm... Yes, he does rescue her.  Yes, he is nice to her.  But he also purposefully ambushed her date with the other guy (with some reason, but that doesn't mean it would have been welcomed) and gave her a hand towel to cover up with, rather than a bath towel or robe or something, when she got locked out of her room naked.  And then proceeded to make fun of her for it.  For the duration of her stay.  That's not funny, that's cruel.  But he's like a different person in the later part of the book; it's a strange disconnect, and read like two completely different stories.

And the overly-dramatic climax!  Ah... Yeah, I can't even talk about that.  It was too much.

Overall, I think this could have been a cute concept, but I couldn't stand Hollie for much of the book and have questions about Ryan's worth as a love interest, too.  The part on the boat was enjoyable but for the rest...oi.

2 stars out of 5.

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