Friday, September 8, 2023

Book Review: Not in a Billion Years

By Sara Steven

She's a self-made fitness sensation. He's a billionaire mogul. They're sworn enemies and rivals... aren't they?

Blake Avery knows all about hard work. She’s gone from making videos in her teenage bedroom to founding a booming fitness business and opening a state-of-the-art Manhattan gym. Now she’s on the cusp of realizing her wildest dreams, and she’s not going to let anyone stand in her way. Certainly not man-of-the-hour Gabriel Mercer.

He might be one of the biggest names in the fitness world and set women’s pulses soaring more than a grueling HIIT workout, but he grew up in a billionaire dynasty and had everything handed to him – or so Blake thinks.

But when Blake publicly criticizes Gabriel, she sparks a feud that neither entrepreneur is willing to back down from. And in an industry that seems determined to keep pushing them together, can Blake hold on to her grudge? Or will she finally warm up to Gabriel's charm? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Not in a Billion Years is such a fun read! I really enjoy contrasting characters who find common ground, much like the relationship between Blake and Gabriel. Blake has plenty of reasons to despise certain men who have everything handed to them, considering past experiences she’s had, while Gabriel has immediate false impressions of who Blake really is, since so much of what she has accumulated comes from her connections on social media. 

Both individuals have worked hard to get to where they are in life, but there is so much judgment on either side, it makes for some pretty heavy-handed rivalry. Luckily, the rivalry is hysterical and creates some pretty amazing banter moments between the two. I loved the back and forth–when Blake thinks she’s scored one for her side, yet Gabriel gets her back just as hard. It’s an obviously veiled way to flirt with one another, but neither will let the other know that they know that the other one knows…or something like that. 

I’m a self-professed fitness enthusiast, so the synopsis really was attractive to me, but the book isn’t heavy-handed or pushes any sort of agenda. Anyone who enjoys two witty characters who develop a slow burn of feelings for one another will appreciate this story. The fact that they’re both engrossed in the fitness world only lends into everything, since they’re both so sure that their way is the best way to run a business. If only they’d see that what Gabriel needs, Blake is well versed in, and vice versa, could it make their relationship less rocky. Both characters are stubborn, though–it adds to the flavor of who Blake and Gabriel are together.

When Blake goes out on a limb with her business, and Gabriel does what she considers to be the unthinkable–I wasn’t sure what would happen. I could completely identify with how Blake feels, considering how hard she has worked to get to where she is, completely without outside assistance. But sometimes, it’s okay to accept help, which is what Gabriel wants to give. Letting down your guard can be difficult, as both learn throughout their time together, and the reader gets to see the gradual progression of that from both Blake’s and Gabriel’s points of view. Not in a Billion Years gives a unique take on the inner workings of the fitness world and makes it undeniably exciting and fun through Blake and Gabriel’s story. A definite five-star read!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Camilla Isley is an engineer who left science behind to write bestselling contemporary rom-coms set all around the world. She lives in Italy.

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1 comment:

penney said...

This sounds good, great review. Thank you