Lucy Cunningham is a marketing executive for the advertising firm of Sherrod & Thoms. And she's hit upon the absolutely perfect idea for a gimmick for the Palm Club of Miami Beach, Florida; bring in an overweight woman, throw her into the capable hands of a personal trainer, vow to lose one hundred pounds in a year, and let the television show WakeUp Miami detail each achievement and setback. It was an excellent idea, until the powers-that-be decided that Lucy - and her two hundred and thirty some pounds - be the human guinea pig in this marketing campaign.
Threatened by the fact that she'll have to give up Milk Duds, extra-cheese pizza, and butter brickle ice cream, Lucy is overwhelmed by the task ahead of her. Sure, ever since the debacle of being the slump buster for Pitt State's football team, she's been eating herself into oblivion, and something obviously needs to change. But working with a Ken look-a-like named Theodore Redmond was never part of the deal!
From the first time Theo is forced to perform CPR on a candy-choking, overweight loudmouth by the name of Lucy, he's smitten by her courageous attitude and brave strength in the face of adversity. As for Lucy, being in the presence of Theo's male perfection is taking a toll on her already fragile hormones.
As Stephan Sherrod, her boss, comes close to having a mental breakdown over Lucy's sudden stardom and weight loss; as Theo's rebuffed coworker Lola DiPaolo attempts to bring down the Palm Club; as Lucy's brother, Dan, falls in lust with her new model friend, Gia Altamonte; as Lucy's sister, Mary Fran, goes through a marital crisis, you just know that HE LOVES LUCY is heading toward one heck of an ending!
Susan Donovan has taken a premise that might have failed, and turned it into a funny, poignant, truly romantic story. I love romance books that feature real-sized characters, and Lucy is definitely that. I have to admit that I was at first worried about Theo's feelings for Lucy - was he only going to fall head-over-heels once Lucy was a stick-thin version of her former self? As I learned, there was nothing to fear! At the end of the story, Lucy is still not a beanpole, and Theo shows that behind his gorgeous exterior lies a heart of gold.
Theo is the kind of hero I love the best, a mix of alpha male. Theo dropped out of medical school to care for his brother Buddy. Sixteen years old and born with Downs Syndrome, Buddy, is the kind of brother anyone would want. An athlete in the Special Olympics, his antics and no-holds-barred advice to his older brother are not to be missed.
The supporting cast of characters only adds to the charm of Lucy and Theo's story. An excellent book by an excellent author, HE LOVES LUCY goes onto my keeper shelf, in the to-be-read-again category.