Series: A Perfect Fit #1
Published by Forever on November 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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The rules of (fake) engagement . . .Leah Martin has spent her life trying to avoid temptation. But she's sick of low-fat snacks, counting calories, and her hyper-critical mom. Fortunately, her popular new bakery keeps her good and distracted. But there aren't enough éclairs in the world to distract Leah from the hotness that is Sam Cooper - or the fact that he just told her mother that they're engaged . . . which is a big, fat lie.
Sam sometime speaks before he thinks. So what started out as defending Leah's date-ability to her judgmental mother soon turned into having a fiancee! Now the plan is to keep up the fake engagement, stay "just friends," and make Leah's family loathe him enough to just call the whole thing off . But Sam has an insatiable sweet tooth, not only for Leah's decadent desserts but her decadent curves. Her full lips. Her bright green eyes. Yep, things aren't going quite according to plan. Now Sam has to convince Leah that he's for real . . . before their little lie turns into one big, sweet disaster.
There’s a lot to unpack here. Leah Martin can’t imagine that a man as hot as Sam Cooper could ever be interested in her. She describes herself as overweight and has a whole host of body issues because of it. Her mother has always been cruel to her about her weight, which has fed into her issues. And these issues are front and center of this book for most of the story, and it was a little frustrating.
Leah sees insults and putdowns in every comment Sam makes to her. He punches a guy who is aggressively hitting on her at a bar, and someone she manages to twist that into him not thinking she ever gets hit on because she’s fat. Which… wasn’t at all what he said. He offers to drive her home because she’s not sober, and she accuses him of thinking she can’t walk three blocks because she’s so fat. It was just… it was a lot. Is it realistic? I don’t know. I have body issues, too, we all do. And I can get sensitive to them, but never to this level. Sam literally couldn’t say hello without Leah twisting into an insult. And, frankly, going by the image on the cover, Leah might be a… size 12? That’s a pretty average size for an American woman.
I spent most of my time reading this book just feeling so sorry for Leah that she spent her entire life hating herself. By the end of the book, she’d found the strength to tell her mother to fuck off, but I didn’t get the sense that she’d really gotten over any of her issues and would hear what Sam was actually saying without filtering it through the lens of her own self-hatred.
Maybe I’ll get slammed for saying this. I fully admit that while my own weight goes up and down a bit, I’ve never been described as curvy, overweight, or fat. I have body issues the same way every woman in America does, but they’re not centered on my actual weight. So maybe this is all a lot more normal than I think it is and I’m an awful person for being annoyed by this. If that’s the case, I’m sorry. I’m not saying that Leah should have never had a single thought about her weight, but some of the leaps in logic she had to make in order to find an insult where none was intended struck me as absurd at times.
And Sam was… honestly, Sam was a little boring, and a whole lot waffley. I gather he’s attractive but other than that, there wasn’t a lot to him. And he was constantly going back and forth between wanting Leah, and telling himself (and anyone else who would listen) that he didn’t want her. If I were Leah, I would have given up on him long before she did.
The next book in the series is focused on Leah’s best friend Valerie, and I think I’ll like it a little bit more. Leah describes Valerie as being of a similar size, but completely comfortable with it and able to meet people and pick up men whenever she wants. Apparently that confidence has never rubbed off on Leah. Bottom line – this book was fine, and I’ll read the next one, but it would need to be a lot better for me to read more than that.