This is the debut novel from Crystal Bright so I began reading with an open mind and the hope that I would really enjoy THE LOOK OF LOVE. However, my overall impression of the story is a bit lackluster. Gunner is a fairly interesting character as a MMA fighter and his background of having been raised and loved by an African American woman. Yet, I didn't like that Gunnar claimed to love and adore his mother but hadn't been home to visit for ten years. If you love someone, especially the woman you call your mother, you don't let anywhere near that amount of time pass without going home. I don't care what kind of drama is swirling in the background. You man up, stay in contact with the family that you claim to love and deal with the extraneous nonsense as it comes. Also, Gunnar being involved in the hands on applications of a black beauty shop was odd; it rang wrong for me.
Eboni on the other hand embodies grating character flaws that I didn't enjoy. Self indulgent, whiny, and inconsiderate are all character flaws that Eboni wallows in. It's never a good sign when you are hoping that the hero leaves the heroine behind and finds his happily ever after with a woman with better character and more empathy towards others.
THE LOOK OF LOVE does have things that I did enjoy. There is definite humor in the story. It would be difficult to set a story in a black beauty shop and not have humorous scenes. The other brothers were interesting so maybe their stories will interest me more. THE LOOK OF LOVE is well paced and laid out but there were just too many issues for me to truly enjoy this one.
**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
There’s only one thing MMA fighter Gunnar Wells is more devoted to than his career, and that’s his mother, “Queen” Elizabeth. An elegant African American woman who adopted Gunnar and his two white brothers, Elizabeth was there when they needed her, and they’ll do anything for her. For Gunnar, that means running her hair salon when she suddenly falls ill. And if that’s not awkward enough for the champion fighter, he’ll have to work alongside Eboni Danielson, the other love of his life. The one he left behind to pursue his dream. The one he’s never forgotten…
Between the salon and her volunteer work, Eboni keeps busy to keep her mind off the man who broke her heart. So when Gunnar shows up again, she does her best to stay cool—on the outside. But the more she watches Gunnar step up and help out, the less she can deny her feelings. Soon Gunnar is doing everything he can to convince Eboni to give him a fighting chance. Can she trust him again—even when old secrets and new dangers come between them once more?