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Monday, December 28, 2015

The Lightening Round by Bruce Stuart (Book Review)

In association with Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Lightening Round by author Bruce Stuart!

Book Review

The Lightening Round by Bruce Stuart
Publisher: SerialTeller
Publication Date: PB - July 8, 2015 / eBook - October 6, 2015
Format: Paperback - 260 pages
               Kindle - 880 KB
ISBN: 978-0996486606
Genre: Romantic Comedy / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Did you ever wonder what it’s like to dare to fall in love with someone who literally isn’t on your level?

The Lightening Round is a fast-paced novel brimming with colorful characters, sinister plots of intrigue and revenge, and over-the-top antics.

Hannah More, a single mom with weight issues, assumes that her longtime boyfriend, Luke Havitt, is about to propose marriage to her. Instead, he proposes that in order for Hannah to take their relationship to the next level, that she needs to join a gym and to lose weight. Hannah soon finds herself entering the Ultimate Level, a highly controversial yet incredibly sought after San Francisco “fitness experience” known for not only having the latest in technology and fashion, but also segregating all of its members based solely on their weight and fitness levels.

This snappy novel ultimately questions whether true love can survive two individuals from different levels. Even if those levels are only found at a gym.

Book Excerpt:

“Can members on different levels interact inside the club?”

“Yes. And outside as well. But there are time limitations.” Missy smiled and looked at them both supportively. It was time to kick the sales into high-gear.

“And they are?” Levreece and Hannah couldn’t help but be completely awed by Dante as he strutted by the office in an outfit that showed off his incredible physique. Hannah was taken back when she realized that he was even better looking in person than he’d appeared on TV.

“Fifteen minutes for each individual who is on a different level every two weeks.” Missy gave Dante a passing glance. “It helps incentivize you. Also, if you are only working on your own level you won’t be as distracted towards achieving your fitness goals.”

Levreece smiled at Missy’s rigid face. “Damned. Even the Little Mermaid got longer than that to land her prince.”

“But she didn’t have her voice. Now, did she?” It took Missy by surprise that he had alluded to one of her all time favorite movies. She often cried at the end over Ursula, the Sea Witch’s, tragic demise.

“I guess you have to talk fast around here.” Hannah hadn’t been in sales for most of her adult life without realizing that Missy was simply selling a dream that very few can obtain. Although she had heard a few of her friends say that if one was able to hold on through the grueling process, Ultimate Level got amazing results.

“If you both join today. I am prepared to give you a very attractive membership package.” Missy ignored their skepticism. Levreece thought about Dante. “Well, I do like packages.”

“Both? I’m sorry, Miss.” Hannah could feel her chocolate buzz crashing.

Missy addressed Hannah as she would a first grader who lacked proper discipline. “The name’s Missy.”

“Okay, Missy. I’m sorry if you misunderstood. I’m just here to support Levreece. I am most certainly not joining a gym.” She tightened the head-to-toe black raincoat she had draped around her body.

Missy felt the blood boiling in her veins at the mention of the word “gym.” She held her seething anger inside as she spoke. “This is not a gym, Hannah. It is a health and fitness experience.”

“I’m not signing up for one of those near-death experiences either. Whatever you want to call it.”

My Book Review:

The Lightening Round is an entertaining story that follows single mom Hannah More's humorous trials and tribulations when she joins Ultimate Level, a trendy San Francisco gym. Ultimate Level is considered more of a club that promotes a comprehensive health and fitness experience by grouping its members based on their weight and fitness levels, allowing them to work out on their own level without being judged by other members.

Hannah More is a thirty-nine year old single mom and successful owner of J'Adore L'Amour, a baked goods online business. Hannah has been in a relationship with Luke Havitt, a self-absorbed man who insults Hannah's plus size figure and looks, and just when she thinks he is going to propose to her, Luke tells Hannah that if she wants to take their relationship to the next level, she has to agree to his demands or he will leave her. Luke demands to be made a full partner in her business, wants her to give him more money for his side projects, and he wants her to go on a diet and join a gym. Reluctantly, Hannah and best friend Levreece Monroe join Ultimate Level, embarking on a journey to get fit, filled with humorous trials and tribulations, and an unexpected romance along the way.

Author Bruce Stuart weaves a fun tale that easily draws the reader into Hannah's story. Hannah is a sassy lady with a witty sense of humor whose journey to get fit will keep the reader in stitches. I was intrigued by the concept of Ultimate Level being a health and fitness club that basically tracks virtually every aspect of the members' daily interactions and fitness experience via a self-report e-Log on a silver metal wristband called Reveal. The assessment data provides an overall evaluation and insight into which level group the member belongs in, with a goal to progress and advance up each level. And if that isn't enough, the members are also limited in their interactions with members on the other levels, it is a rule used as an incentive to get the members to work on their fitness goals on their own level in order to advance to the next level. Hannah starts her fitness journey calling Ultimate Level a little torture chamber gym of horrors run by smug and sadistic trainers, but as she gets used to the club's regimen filled with a variety of interesting members, obstacles, challenges, sabotage, sexual dalliances, and comedic trials and tribulations, she comes up with crazy schemes and antics that makes the journey worthwhile, especially when she catches the eye of fellow member Brendan Daniels, who is on a higher fitness level.

The Lightening Round is a thoroughly entertaining romantic comedy / women's fiction tale that kept me in stitches. I really enjoyed following Hannah on her journey, the humorous dialogue and the zany interactions of the members at the fitness club, the quest for friendship and romance, and the author's tongue in cheek wittiness of creating a virtual Big Brother kind of fitness club that makes the reader ponder the idea if such a club could really exist. The Lightening Round is a fast paced and enjoyable romantic comedy to read!


About The Author

Bruce Stuart is the founder of five previous books and is the founder of the popular serial fiction website, The Lightening Round was previously seen in part as a serial on under the pseudonym K.T. Newman.

Bruce lives and works in San Francisco.

Author Website

Virtual Book Tour

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