by Sara Donovan
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Chic Lit
Publisher: AUS Impulse
Date Published: July 1st, 2014
Format Acquired: Review Copy from Publisher via Netgalley
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What if there was a scientific 7-step formula that triggered your heart into feeling passion? Would you follow it to fall in love with your 'nice guy' bestie - the sensible choice who was actually available? Set in the glittering lower north shore of Sydney, Love by Numbers follows the story of April, a successful HR executive who is in the middle of a serious man drought. To deal with her boredom, she fantasises more than she should about her hot, but uninterested-to-say-the-least office crush, Ryan. When April finally gets Ryan to drinks one night and she watches him fall for her flirtatious house-mate, April decides to never again trust her instinctual 'man-picker'. Her only solution is to rewire her brain, and create passion with the one guy she knows she can trust. This is a story about how far you can go to control your heart's choices, and what happens when you try.
When this book caught my eye, I knew this was going to be a good read, because 'Neuroscience'. The talks about psychology and influencing the brain to trigger emotions, well, that caught my attention. I'm no psychology major, but anything related to it has always got me interested.
Symptom one: regular, intrusive thoughts about the love interest
Sympton two: An intensity of feeling that makes all other concerns secondary.
Symptom three: shaky hands, excessive talking and other signs of regression when the love interest is around.
Symptom four: the limerent person is ALWAYS looking for signs of returned love
With the assumption that she might be obsessed with Ryan because the checklist above is a perfect score, she decides to attempt to un-crush him by mapping out his flaws to the point of eventually disliking him. But worse comes to worse when she gets promoted and transferred to the Sales department, and her workspace is literally two seats away from his. Talk about awkward. How is she going to un-crush him now, especially when he suddenly asks her out for a drink?
In every after work club or bar night, it is required to have a wingman-woman, and April's got one. Her best friend, Nathan, and what's weird is that he's got the hots for April's roomie, Holly. Let's just say, Holly is the complete opposite of April. She's bold, outgoing, and flirty. Nothing like April. And everything goes down when Ryan arrives to the bar scene and Holly starts flirting with him. Very, very harsh and disrespectful.
And because of April's denial about her feelings for Ryan, well, let's just say that gave Holly Shmolly the approval to pounce on her crush, which leaves her with a need for "rebound", although there was no relationship to begin with. And all there's left is Nathan, who's also upset about Holly picking someone else over him.
In lieu of 'Operation: Un-crush Ryan', April comes up with a scheme that would help both her and Nathan get over their feelings for their crush. A seven step routine to falling in love. And the goal is: To fall in love with each other instead.
How to Fall in Love with (Almost) Anyone in Seven Easy Steps
Choose an available compatible guy-friend who doesn't turn you off and rewire your brains for a hot and heavy romance.
1. Get emotional while watching a sad movie.
2. Share a major adrenaline rush.
3. Be competent at something cool, but don't make a big deal out of it.
4. Have him provide food from the hunt (a good restaurant will do).
5. Eyegaze until it doesn't feel weird.
6. Fulfil each other's primary fantasies within reason and without judgment.
7. Sleep together like stacked spoons.
Repeat the above until love and lust click in. Then send your love brain chemicals into overdrive by not seeing each other. That's when things really get cooking.
Easy peasy. I mean, just follow the steps and everything's going to be cool, right? WRONG.
Crazy stuff happens, like awkward first kisses and nightmare double dates and feeling your best friend's or rather, friends plus plus's morning wood poking you in the back after a whole night of cuddling, and jumping off an aircraft, and lots more, I'd rather not spoil further whether April's seven EASY steps are a win.
In regards to the characters, like any other normal book or movie, there are characters you'll love, and there are characters you'd hate. April is almost literally me. Her awkwardness and her humor is just over the top, I laughed a lot of times while reading this book. If this was a movie, this would do perfect with Katherine Heigl starring as her. The humor and the quirks that Heigl has displayed in her films work perfect for April. I adored Ryan as well, despite his aloof personality. Their friendly relationship was what hooked me.
And for the characters I really disliked, Holly was number one. She was just the cockblock to everything, basically the bitch who got everything she wanted. I just wanted her out of the story plot, but alas, her role was necessary, I was in no position to complain. Nathan, the best friend, is in between the level of "okay" and "not okay", because althroughout the story, he tends to be annoying and such a wussy, however, there were moments I couldn't help but say "...but what about Nathan?". He was literally the character who just got tossed about, but he's got this mantra going on that made me want give him a huge bear hug: "I only let people reject me once." (I feel you, bruh)
As much as I liked this read, I wasn't all amused with the way it ended. It may have been quite unexpected but I still felt so confused as to why it ended that way. I kept asking "WHYYYY?" when I ended the book, I felt like I missed a huge part that I felt the need to check the previous pages, perhaps I had missed something.
But either way, It was a funny, sweet, romantic read that made me giggle althroughout. If you guys are into romantic chic lits, this is definitely a book for you.
Till the next review!