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Thursday, February 7, 2013
Noah (5th Street #1) - Review
By: Elizabeth Reyes
Published: March 1, 2012
Source: Personal Kindle Library (purchased while free on Amazon)
(Goodreads / Amazon)
Veronica Cruz has been through hell and back. After disconnecting with the world two years ago to be at the side of her dying mother, she’s left alone, unemployed, overweight, and feeling a decade older than her twenty-eight years. When her best friend coaxes her into joining the local gym to ditch her depression and rejuvenate her life, she meets Noah. Assigned to help Veronica lose weight, Noah is everything she expected a young trainer to be—perfectly chiseled, supportive and motivating. Add to that, he’s incredibly sexy. He’s everything she’s ever looked for in a man. What she least expected was for him to fall for her, but he has. There's just one glaring problem: Noah is eight years younger.
Noah Quintanilla has his eye on a boxing title—someday. Down for a few months with an injury, his maintenance-boy pay at 5th Street Gym won't cut it. He’s finally given the opportunity to train. The catch? His trainee is an out-of-shape woman with a free week pass. Taking on the challenge, Noah stumbles into one of the closest friendships he’s ever known, and before he knows it, he’s in love. But Veronica’s not having it—the age difference is too much. Their platonic relationship means having to watch her date other men—something that would make him crazy. Believing he's the man for her, Noah sets out to prove that age is but an illusion, and there's more to him than just a number.
Alright, so Beautiful Disaster sort of ruined me for falling in love with hot boxer dudes. Noah is a more conventional boxer, training for fighting as a heavy lightweight. He's a nearly twenty year old working at a boxing gym, trying to get his shot at training others when in walks 2 older women (honestly 28 years old isn't old at all), wanting a free week of training. As young as his age is, his life experiences have made him grow up and mature in a way many guys his age haven't. Since he is so eager to start training others his boss gives him these two women to see just what he can do. Veronica (aka Roni), is being forced to go to a gym with her best friend Nellie. She has let herself go over the last 2 years, gaining 40 pounds and having zero social life while she took care of her mother who was dying of cancer. Going to a gym is the last place she wants to be but she allows her friend to take her. And there we have the basis for the beginning of the story.
I love how the lesson taken from this story is that age really is just a number. Why are so many people hung up on it? A lot of women don't like telling their age, and people often limit themselves to who they can be friends with or date based solely on age alone. As Noah says "age is an illusion", and I couldn't agree more. Perhaps it's because I've always had a thing for younger mature guys, my husband being one but I related a lot to their story.
Some things were predictable and I did find some annoyance with Roni's constant "should I try this or should I not?". She doesn't actually give it a go until over 80% into the book. But along the way she makes an incredible friend in Noah, and their friendship is what eventually leads to their love for one another.
Since I'm a sucker for a love story with a happy ending, I enjoyed this story. If you've ever been the "older woman" around a cute younger guy - especially while working out, then you will find some laughs as well! It is a New Adult book, but the content is minor compared to others in this genre, though still mature in nature.
"They were already being mocked, and she hadn't even started jiggling her flab."
On taking off her sweatshirt during her first workout: "Just like she could make out every chiseled muscle on Noah's body, he'd be sure to make out every roll on hers. No thanks. She'd faint from heat exhaustion before that happened."
"Age had nothing to do with friendships or any type of relationship."
"Tonight was the beginning of "Operation Make-Her-See-That-We're-Meant-for-Each-Other."
"...trust is the absolute foundation of a relationship. Without it, you have nothing."
Final Rating: 4 stars
This review is part of the Thursday Read & Review Hop hosted by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings. Since this is a review hop be sure to check out the other reviews!