Sometimes a book’s title is enough to get me to give it a try. That’s pretty much why I read Stephanie Evanovich’s Big Girl Panties. Something about that title seemed to capture good humor and a bit of snark, two characteristics I generally like in a chic lit title. In this case, the title didn’t really disappoint.
I found myself involved right away because the book starts with Holly’s rock-bottom moment: having to squeeze herself into an airline seat next to a clearly annoyed – and gorgeous – man. She’s clearly mortified by her situation, but rather than withdraw, she finds herself telling her seatmate the sad tale of how she got to this place in her life. A quiet, brilliant Brown graduate, she had lived a happy if withdrawn life with her investment whiz husband, until a long illness left her a lonely widow at 32 years old. During her husband’s decline, Holly let herself go completely. Her Adonis-of-a-seatmate is horrified that he’s been so judgmental, especially since he’s a highly-paid personal trainer to the stars. In a fit of remorse he offers to take over Holly’s training. And that’s when you know things are going to get interesting.
But the critical part of the book comes down to whether or not Logan (a.k.a. the Bronzed God) can handle the fact that he’s fallen in love with a woman who represents less than society’s “ideal” woman. And that’s where the plot falls a bit short, because the love interest is not as loveable as I would like. He’s not just a bit flawed; he’s totally obnoxious. Even he knows it:
But when Logan was alone, his body drained and exhausted of every available ounce of testosterone, he would catch himself thinking, How can I help her get that weight off? Or, Maybe just a little bit of liposuction is in order. He knew medically that she was an endomorph, that no amount of exercise and dietary changes, short of starvation, would have her reaching a single-digit size. He knew logically she was healthy and her body was as finely tuned and conditioned as any athlete’s. She had followed every piece of advice he ever gave her. He preferred going to her house instead of bringing her to his to avoid any drop-bys that could lead to confrontations. He rationalized that the reason he never took her out was because she preferred a quiet existence, devoid of the hectic pace of the high-profile nightlife. He also knew he wasn’t being completely truthful. p. 222
What a jerk! The point where Holly finally hauls off and belts him wound up being the highlight of the book for me.
Okay, it wouldn’t be fair to say whether or not he’s redeemable or not. I will say the book is entertaining, even though the most likeable characters in it aren’t the main ones – that job is reserved for Logan’s best friend the baseball player and his sassy wife (apparently their story is in Evanovich’s next book). This is a breezy evening of a read, and I really liked Evanovich’s sometimes-caustic writing style. I just wish both the main characters (including the mostly wishy-washy heroine) had been stronger and easier to like. I am definitely looking forward to her next book!
I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour, and received a free copy of the book in return for my honest opinion. For other takes on Big Girl Panties, check here. Thanks, Trish, for including me on the tour!