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Love Struck: A Novel [Paperback]

Chantel Simmons
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 15 2010

In the vein of her popular debut novel, Stuck in Downward Dog, author Chantel Simmons brings us a funny, heartfelt story about losing the perfect life?and finding a real one.

When twenty-seven-year-old image consultant Poppy Ross discovers that her handsome and seemingly devoted husband Parker is having an affair, she is dumbfounded. Before she has chance to confront him, however, he is struck by lightning. When he regains consciousness, he has lost his short-term memory?including that of the affair. Given a chance to erase history and possible save her marriage, Poppy decides to remake herself in the mistress?s image, so that Parker might never be tempted to stray again. Her quest to become his perfect woman has disastrous and hilarious results?and might turn out to be the worst thing possible for her marriage.


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Product Description

Quill & Quire

Chick lit: love it or hate it, it must be acknowledged that there are good examples of the maligned genre and not-so-good examples. Chantel Simmons’ debut, 2007’s Stuck in Downward Dog, was the former, with a believable plot, a sympathetic (though often just pathetic) heroine, and a light but enjoyable tone. Her second attempt, unfortunately, falls into the latter category.

The protagonist is 28-year-old image consultant Poppy Ross, whose intellect and maturity level seem to have stalled sometime around her senior prom. Upon discovering that her gorgeous, successful husband, Parker, is having an affair with a co-worker (a Brit named Sienna, no less), Poppy’s first reaction is to kill him, followed by the realization that “I couldn’t kill Parker. I’d have to go to jail and I’d look absolutely horrible in the regulation orange jumpsuit.” Cringe.

Aside from its horrifically superficial, insipid, and not particularly likeable heroine, the book also suffers from a completely unbelievable plot. At the precise moment Poppy is learning of her husband’s infidelity, he is struck by lightning, resulting in amnesia that wipes out all memory of the affair. In an attempt to prevent him from remembering the tryst, and to save her otherwise “perfect” marriage from ruin, Poppy decides to remake herself in Sienna’s image.

This is not the first time Poppy has attempted such a transformation. When she met Parker, she was a salt-of-the-earth waitress, but became a prototypical upper-crust girlie-girl in order to fit in with her Bay Street husband and his friends. After his accident, Parker quits his job, starts scrapbooking, and declares that he wants to be a father. Poppy, who was as adamantly opposed to having kids as her husband (prior to his near-death experience, at least), again changes her mind to suit him. The message would seem to be that as long as a girl gives her man exactly what he wants, he will never stray. 

Simmons was praised for making Stuck in Downward Dog more about getting a life than getting a guy, but she’s taken a huge step backward with Love Struck. With saccharine dialogue, a forgettable cast of characters, and a storyline that is both slow-moving and predictable, it’s safe to say that lightning has not struck twice for this author.

Review

?On par with what real women go through, Stuck in Downward Dog is a been-there, done-that fantastic read that leaves us rooting for Mara and wishing water weight on pretty much everyone else. We laughed, we cried and we even held plank position for thirty seconds longer than normal to show our support.? ?Sweetspot.ca ?Simmons inserts an intriguing tweak to the existing chick-lit formula. Instead of setting up a romance as the ultimate goal of the novel, the story instead focuses on Mara?s personal achievement in the wake of the wreckage of her relationship... A refreshingly realistic (and, some may argue, feminist) take that women sick of the same old romance-defined shtick will relish.? ?What?s On Winnipeg


Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming Book from a Great Canadian Author! Feb. 15 2010
By BookChick TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
27-year-old image consultant Poppy Ross discovers that her husband, Parker, has been having an affair on the same day that he conveniently is struck by lightning and develops amnesia. Parker remembers Poppy, and that they are married, but the details of the last three months of his life are completely gone and he doesn't remember that he's had an affair. When Poppy discovers that her husband's lover is in the same hospital that he is, having received a little of the lightning current that passed through Parker, Poppy comes up with a fake name and cover story and sets out to meet her. Sienna is nothing like Poppy. Sleek, gorgeous, the owner of plump lips and even plumper breasts, Poppy is shocked that her husband would go for someone like her. Convinced that Parker's amnesia has provided her marriage with a second chance, Poppy sets out to turn herself into someone reselmbling Sienna in the hopes of holding on to her husband. Her efforts often have disastrous (and hilarious) results, but will Poppy manage to lose an important part of herself in the process?

This fun book from Canadian author Chantel Simmons kept me laughing until the end! Poppy's attempts to turn herself into something that she's not made for entertaining material, and Parker's abrupt personality change certainly helped to keep things interesting. At times I wanted to yell at Poppy and Parker as they stubbornly refused to communicate with one another, but that was definitely part of the underlying theme of Love Struck: marriages without communication are bound to have problems. Poppy was endearing as a confused wife willing to do anything to save her marriage, and Parker was entertaining as a man who almost lost his life and was determined to live his life to the fullest, given this second chance. I really enjoyed this charming book, and loved that just underneath the surface there was a great lesson to be learned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Lydia - Novel Escapes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This novel was laugh out loud funny and contained thoughtful insights about marriage. Poppy's journey is both amusing and heartfelt. Her pain and confusion is palpable as she acknowledges her husband's infidelity and tries to become the other woman she now knows he is attracted to, thinking it will fix her marriage. She does this while ignoring the situation with her husband who was struck by lightening and lost all memory of the last three months, when the affair started.

I laughed frequently during Poppy's attempts at transformation and was cheering for her to overcome her insecurities, often times cringing at her decisions and found myself wanting to yell at Poppy and Parker throughout the novel. I cared about these characters and was rooting for them to figure it all out.

This novel captured my attention and I was eager to find out how Poppy and Parker's journey would end. My only concern was that I found the beginning a little slower and I was worried I wouldn't enjoy this book (Kathryn didn't feel this way), but I continued reading and was pleasantly surprised. Once I became fully engulfed in their situation, I couldn't put the book down, wanting to see what happens.

Poppy could be considered a Canadian Bridget Jones and she certainly had elements to her that made me laugh out loud with her antics and decisions, self doubt and insecurity. This novel portrayed her self discovery well and I didn't feel it was too much of a leap as I have found with some novels in the past.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good laugh and a light hearted read and I will definitely keep an eye out for future novels from Chantel Simmons.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth It Oct. 21 2011
By VR
Format:Paperback
The premise of this novel enticed me - However, the novel was predictable, a little immature (I felt like I was reading a teen novel) and just like every generic romantic comedy film I've watched. Save yourself a few days reading this novel & watch a quick 2 hour romantic comedy instead.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of two hours and perfectly good paper July 20 2010
Format:Paperback
Thank god I got this book for free. I only kept reading it to see just how bad it could possibly get. The writing is atrocious. Not sure who is worse, the writer or the editor...maybe the publisher. Storyline is thin, inconsistent and the style of writing is almost childish. If this sort of tripe can get published, I worry for our standards.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a beach read! April 16 2010
Format:Paperback
Fun but not superficial story of the lasting value of marriage. Cheated-on Poppy remakes herself in an effort to reclaim her relationship, and discovers her values and true self in the process. Many hilarious adventures and emotional moments resonate with readers, single or married. Torontonians (and Canadians, urban and rural!) feel right at home.
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