Content/Trigger Warnings: Body shaming, fat phobia, mentions of adultry
Oh boy, friends, this just wasn’t the book for me. To be fair, this isn’t the worst romance book with plus-size representation I’ve read, but this definitely wasn’t the best either. I wanted so much more from this book. Hell, I expected a lot more from this book! Maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. As a plus-size reader, there were moments where I was cringing, annoyed, or even getting second-hand embarrassment. After so many friends recommended this to me, saying how much fun they had reading it, I went into this books expecting a fun time, but that’s not what I got.
Our story follow Cece (Cecelia Harper), who’s on her way to her parent’s lake house, but when she starts having car troubles, Cece finds herself at the mercy of Aiden’s help. Aiden Perry is Cecelia’s father’s best friend and business partner. When Cecelia calls him up about his car troubles, how is he to deny helping out his best friend’s daughter. However, when these two come together, sparks seem to fly and secrets that have been kept hidden for years seem to surface. Will these two ever communicate their feelings or will they remain just friends?
Let’s chat about the things I really loved about this book. One of the biggest things I loved about this book was the sexual experience between the two main characters. Cece is still a virgin while Aiden has more experience with dating and bedroom experience. I really appreciate seeing those partner dynamics in books especially since we don’t often see that type of partner ship often. My second favorite thing about this book was the plus-size representation. As a plus-size reader, I find it harder to find books that have plus-size characters in them, let alone heroines who are plus-size. So that piece of information alone was enough for me to pick this book up.
However, despite these good things, this really wasn’t a fun time. I wanted a steamy, sexy, fun time and it felt like all the steamy times got overshadowed by everything else happening within this novella. For starters, despite that this is plus-size representation, the main heroine isn’t confident in her body, her curves, and even uses her fatness or “fattitude” as a reason to give attitude and make people do what she wants. I’m fine if a character has body issues or low self-esteem in the way they look (no matter what size, everyone feels like this at some point in their life). However, when it’s one of the main focuses of the main character and the whole character is centered around the size of their body, and that’s the reason why they do or don’t do certain things, despite being told they are loved and appreciated for who they are… I can’t. As a plus-size reader, that boils my blood. Give me a morally grey character who can be confident, but still have doubts in her body size. Give me a character who owns the curves of their body, but still questions if they’ll face rejection by the character they love. Give me anything else than what this novella did. Now that’s my two cents on the matter. I can’t speak for other plus-size readers because their opinions will be different. For me, this wasn’t the kind of plus-size representation I didn’t expect to see.
My second major issue with this book is how Aiden’s character handles every little thing. Aiden finds out Cece is a virgin, it comes as a huge shock and then later on he basically rejects her only tell her to go date around, build more experience, and only come back to him if she figures out what she wants (despite Cece telling him exactly what she wants). It’s very clear from the very beginning just how deep into his mind Aiden goes because there are key moments in this novella where he ignores what Cece says and tells her what was wrong about the whole situation or will do something that miscommunicates his intentions to Cecelia.
Speaking of miscommunication, that’s another huge issue throughout this book. Both, Cece and Aiden, are adults and despite them being adults, they handle things like they’re childish games. They don’t have good communication between one another and the author throws in unnecessary drama that forces them to finally communicate with one another near the end of the novella. I wasn’t a fan of this and there were a lot of moments because of miscommunication that I got second-hand embarrassment or cringed by the result.
Overall, this just wasn’t a fun time for me. I can understand why other readers may have enjoy this novella, but for me, this wasn’t it. It hurts even more to say that because this is a revised copy of this book and I can only imagine what this book was like before the revisions. Truly, I wish many things would have been handled better or done differently. However, this does make for a quick read and could be good for any readathons or achieving any reading goals one may have.