A Girl Less Ordinary by Leah Ashton
Published by Harlequin Romance on October 2, 2012
Genres: Category - Harlequin, Contemporary, Romance
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Eleanor has worked hard to transform herself from the lonely girl she once was. Switching braces for a breathtaking smile, dowdy clothes for fabulous dresses, and heartbreak for flirty, fun-only dates, she's now "Ella."
But one man can see the real woman beneath.Fiercely private billionaire Jake Donner has never forgotten Eleanor, and he's shocked to see how she's changed. Sparks begin to fly as old memories haunt them—for the innocent attraction they once resisted is all grown up and won't be denied again...
I started reading Romance books as a very little kid – sometime in elementary school – and the majority of the Romance books I read at that time were Harlequins. My mom had tons of Harlequins around the house and I read them all.
By the time I reached high school I was consuming books at an alarming rate – but the library could only give me a limited supply of my Harlequin fix. That’s when I discovered a local used book shop (sadly, its gone now) that sold [most] used paperbacks for $0.10 and bought them for $0.05…and they had so many Harlequins! SO MANY. Shelves and shelves of every line that Harlequin published. I would walk out of that bookstore with bags full of Harlequins every week.
By the time I reached college I usually read about 3-5 Harlequin books per day. Strangely, a few short years out of college my Harlequin (HQN) reading dropped to almost nil. I…just stopped reading them. I guess my tastes changed quite a bit and HQN just didn’t do it for me like it used to.
I’ve been taking a lot of trips to the library lately – and something has prompted me to pick up some HQN books. O_O While I doubt I’ll read them all, I’ve seven (7) HQN books checked out from the library.
A Girl Less Ordinary is one of the (many) HQNs currently inside my home. I’ve been on a pretty good run with my current HQN reading as I’ve managed to avoid the typical asshole semi-abusive HQN heroes of my youth. A Girl Less Ordinary kept that streak alive! Yaaaay! The hero, Jake, is more of a beta hero than an alphole masquerading as an Alpha Male. Jake is a “computer geek” and thus managed to become a millionaire CEO (per HQN usual). He’s aloof and a bit of a hermit – not a typical HQN millionaire playboy CEO at all. 🙂
The heroine, Eleanor/Ella, was a shell of a person. Due to childhood trauma Eleanor has “revamped” herself as someone (Ella) that no one really knows. She doesn’t allow anyone close but she has lots of friends. Ella is always busy with friends and activities but she prefers to do things that don’t allow for intimate conversation – thus her friends haven’t a real clue how little they actually know about her. Everything she did was to change the person she was because she felt that Eleanor was a lonely nobody but Ella was popular with a full social schedule.
Ella and Jake were best friends in high school but he left for college and never contacted Ella again. Ella might have been able to deal with this abandonment a lot better if her mom hadn’t just died and her father collapsed in on himself in grief. So Ella has perfected the perfect shell of a person to hide the fact that she really doesn’t allow people close to her.
Jake’s mother was a major drug addict and his father abandoned him so he also has major issues allowing people close to him. So both Ella and Jake are doing the exact same thing – hiding from the messy complications of life – just in different ways. Ella surrounds herself with noise and people and activities while Jake lives in an extremely private mountain retreat.
My favorite thing about A Girl Less Ordinary was the fact that Jake and Ella were portrayed as always being stronger together. They had a great friendship in high school and they “fixed” each other as adults – each one helping the other see their own value. All in all, a cute read.