Monday, July 22, 2013

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich

They say that big girls don't cry. But when the chips are down and the dip is gone, what can you do? Pull up your BIG GIRL PANTIES and change your life.

Holly Brennan didn't expect to be a widow at thirty-two. She also didn't expect to be so big. Through her husband Bruce's diagnosis and death, food was the one thing she could always count on. Now, those extra pounds make flying coach more than a little mortifying-especially since she's sitting next to Adonis himself, aka Logan Montgomery, a personal trainer to the country's most famous pro athletes.

Though Holly doesn't make the grade on his first-impression meter, Logan finds himself intrigued by her sharp wit and keen insight-a welcome change from the beautiful bubble-headed dolls he usually dates-and impulsively offers to get her back in shape. Ready to make at least one positive change in her life, Holly agrees.

To Logan's (and her own) surprise, Holly turns out to be a natural in the gym. Throwing herself into exercise, the red head with the blazing wit and welcoming smile slims down into a bonafide looker with killer curves-and a new kind of hunger. Soon, the easy intimacy and playful banter of their training sessions lead Logan and Holly into the bedroom where they share their most intense and steamy workouts yet.

But can a man whose whole life depends on looks commit himself to a woman who doesn't fit his image? Now that Holly's turning other men's heads, does she even need Logan anymore? Are they a couple built to last . . . or is this sizzling affair going to burn out fast?


I'll be honest here; I'm a bit sensitive when it comes to stories where "weight" is an issue because... frankly, not everyone is unhappy with their numbers, regardless of what society tells them they're supposed to be. I hate the 'preachy' feel of some books, and the 'you can't possibly be happy the way you are' ignorant, judgmental ideas floating around out there. So, for these reasons, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I began reading Big Girl Panties, but what I got was a laugh out loud, poignant, sexy story.

Holly Brennan is a 32 year old widow who’s found comfort and acceptance in food. She’s gained far too much weight since her husband Bruce’s passing, but feeling lost and alone, food has become her constant, dependable, companion.

Oh, how I love it when Fate steps in!!!

On a plane ride home from wrapping up a business deal, Holly finds herself seated next to a blond Adonis. She feels awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassed, and to hide her awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassed state, she starts talking about herself. Making jokes about her weight, putting herself down... but her seat partner wasn't having any of that.

Logan Montgomery isn’t exactly thrilled when he sees the overweight, frumpy woman approaching. The last thing he wants is to sit by her the entire flight home, but the more she talks, the more Logan realizes that Holly Brennan has bigger problems than just food. Feeling guilty for his initial reaction, Logan offers to help Holly get herself, and her eating habits, back on track, and thus begins a beautiful friendship.

As a woman who carries around more than a few extra pounds myself, I was able to relate to Holly in a big way. She, like me, suffers from insecurities, but her insecurities are not based in self-doubt or low self esteem, but more on her awareness of how others perceive her. For me, this made her a compelling character who I wanted to know better, and I enjoyed every minute of her journey to rediscovering her true inner-self and stepping back into the light of the living.

Logan Montgomery is kind of a stereotypical Hollywood… what word can I use? Groupie? Yes, but not really, because he’s got a huge following of his own. A Hollywood star? I suppose that’s true to a degree, though not in acting or music. He’s actually a personal trainer to the rich and famous and, because of this, he’s got some of that “beautiful people” attitude going on. So, like Holly, I had a hard time trusting his true motives towards her.

But start to finish, watching their relationship grow from one of trainer/trainee to friends to lovers was such a fun experience! My heart ached, my heart soared, I laughed and I cried… I truly enjoyed this story!

I hear this is Ms. Evanovich’s debut novel, and if that’s the case, I’m excited to say we have a brilliant new voice in the contemporary romance genre.

My thanks to Avon Books and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

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