Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Least Likely to Fall by Cheryl Harper has a strong message about high school bullying, which continues throughout the length of the novel. That’s one plus, and the first few chapters start out strong and kept me interested, but then things faltered. The writing and overall plot and characters failed to keep my interest. I was bored by the end and didn’t have any emotions invested with the main couple’s HEA. The premise is great, but the overall execution fails in the delivery.
Lindy is the principal of the same high school she went to as a teen, and where she was bullied. But years later she has become a strong, self-assured woman. When Maddie, a sweet girl who has a unique personality (which didn’t seem so unique or different) is a victim of bullying from two football players, Lindy brings in their parents, including Maddy’s father, Ryan who was the biggest bully to Lindy in high school. When Ryan comes in to speak to Lindy, he’s doesn’t remember her at first. Lindy doesn’t have a high opinion of Ryan, but it’s obvious he loves and cares about Maddy. Ryan is a single father. Maddy’s mother and Ryan’s wife, who was his high school sweetheart, died. He is livid that Maddy is bullied, and wants the boys punished. But then he figures out who Lindy is and is ashamed. He’s guilty and remorseful for what he did to Lindy as a teenager, which is glossed over. We don’t get any flashbacks or descriptions of how Ryan bullied Lindy. It’s all just telling and no show. But Lindy will remain fair and a professional and give the two boys their punishment, along with their fathers. Ryan is grateful for Lindy’s understanding. Maddy likes Lindy also, and responds well to her, which Ryan is more than happy about.
Ryan goes out of his way to see Lindy, acting as a concerned parent. But what he really wants is to get to know Lindy better and show her he’s a very different person than in high school. He wants to prove to her that he is a good man, and that she shouldn’t judge him based on what he did to her as a teen. Lindy relents in her opinion and finds herself growing close to Ryan and Maddy. Ryan wants to date Lindy, who tries her best to remain just friends. She’s worried about her position as principal, and the talk if she dates the parents of a student. Plus her past with Ryan continues to be a road block for them because she’s not sure if she can forgive him.
Least Like to Fall in Love is a simple story with very little action. It’s character driven, but these characters aren’t as developed as they should be. There’s not much excitement or grand gestures. Lindy and Ryan’s romance is tepid at best and not even in PG rated territory. Their chemistry is very lacking overall. Maddy was the one bright spot in the novel. She ends up making friends, and has a possible romance with two boys, one of which who was one of her bullies. I was more interested in her as a character, and I would have preferred her story as a young adult that shows the consequences of bullying and that outcome for both the victim and the abuser.
Least Likely to Fall in Love is pretty forgettable, and a pass from this reader.