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!
Love On My Mind by Tracey Livesay is a hard book to rate. I love the premise and the first half of the book, especially because it features a hot geeky hero who enjoys being a hermit, and the heroine who is a smart, savvy and tenacious. Plus this is an interracial romance because of the POC heroine. But then the last half falters big time because of the overall characterizations of the main couple, especially the descriptions the author uses to describe the physical attributes of the heroine. Also, there’s a sudden twist on why the hero is awkward and why he acts the way he does, which seems thrown into the story for no reason other than to try an add another layer of emotion for the reader that ultimately doesn’t work.
Chelsea is a queen at PR. She has worked hard, giving up much of a social life to become a woman many can admire. It goes back to her unfortunate childhood that made her feel alone and forgotten. But Chelsea is a survivor, even though she is mainly all work and no play. If she wants to her biggest dream to come true, which means a cushy job title and a big raise, she has to fix tech geek Adam, who is doesn’t do well during big media conferences, especially the type where he’s the star because he was picked as People’s Sexiest Man Alive. Adam is very handsome and extremely intelligent, but he doesn’t do well in social settings. He prefers to work from home and not be bothered by ridiculous interview questions from the media on whether he wears boxer or briefs. Soon he’ll be launching a historic media device (think of the iPhone), and has to be engaging and welcoming with the public. Since he’s acts much like a robot, he needs some lessons in how he should dress and act with reporters. Chelsea’s firm is hired by Adam’s partner, and she is picked for the job even though she has to be sneaky about how she approaches Adam. He refuses any help, and if he figures out Chelsea has to “fix” him, he’ll refuse her and possibly act even worse than he did when he was forced to do a press conference for the Sexiest Man of the Year award.
Chelsea has her work cut out for her, but thanks to a horrible storm, she ends up at Adam’s house pretending to be lost. She pretends to be his neighbor for a short time, as she has rented a house near his for her “vacation”. At first Adam isn’t thrilled with Chelsea because she invades his privacy, but then he relents. He even does something out of left field for him. When she tells him she works in the entertainment industry, he asks her for advice to help him with his launch. She accepts and gives him tips on how to act and how to dress (goes shopping with him). She even gives him a full body massage to help him relax, which does things for his libido. Soon these two are more than just friendly neighbors, and now Chelsea has crossed a big line. Does she tell Adam the truth or keep her real identity and job quiet until he does his launch? Adam hates liars, and Chelsea has become one by default because of how important her career is, even though she is falling hard for him.
Love On My Mind should have been a meet cute type of romance, but right from the start there is deception from Chelsea because she lies to Adam. It becomes even worse because she ends up having a sexual relationship with him, AFTER Adam explains how his last girlfriend lied and used him. He hates liars and fakes, which Chelsea is because of this assignment. Also Adam thinks he’s damaged and can’t figure out people for one reason that is thrown out almost toward the end- Adam has Asperger’s, but on the lower spectrum. I really didn’t understand why Adam had to have Asperger’s as to explain why he is the way he is. As if his handicap is to blame for being deceived, which if he was “normal”, he wouldn’t have been tricked so easily. Chelsea does have immense guilt at deceiving Adam, but if she told him upfront, there wouldn’t be a story, so what can you do other to keep the deception alive? But as the story moved along, and she has sex with him, she still plays a fraud. After all is said and done, I felt as if her apology and why she did what she did wasn’t realistic, as in the HEA isn’t believable. I just couldn’t see Adam accepting what she did and being fine with it to the point he believes she’s his soul mate.
Also since this is an interracial romance, there was too much of an emphasis on Chelsea’s skin color. It seems the author couldn’t explain Chelsea without using “mocha skin” or “chocolate”, which was used again when describing Chelsea’s nipples, as in they were chocolate toned. Adam is Caucasian and is never described as having “vanilla” skin or a penis or even his nipples as “vanilla”. Why does Chelsea get the food description treatment but not Adam? That alone made me twitchy. There are better ways to describe someone’s skin tone. Or perhaps just don’t do it if you can’t do it right?
I really wanted to enjoy Love On My Mind. It had some original moments I could appreciate, especially when Adam explains some techie type terms and scenarios to a clueless Chelsea, but I just couldn’t get behind his and Chelsea’s attraction or believe their HEA. I wanted to root for these two, but their characterizations failed on the delivery that should have excelled. This book didn’t.