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Chubby & Charming (Big & Beautiful) (Volume 1) Paperback – December 1, 2015
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About the Author
Mary E. Thompson grew up loving to read, like a good little girl. Many nights she would fall asleep with the flashlight still turned on as she hid under the covers trying to finish the last few pages of a book. As an adult, the light from her ereader means she doesn't need a flashlight, but she still stays up way too late to finish a book. When Mary's not reading she's playing with her two kids or living out her own romance novel with her hubby. She has a weakness for chocolate, especially when it's paired with peanut butter, and has been known to have a bad day just because there's no chocolate in the house. Mary grew up in Buffalo, NY and swears she's the only local to never ski or snowboard. Soccer was always her sport, with a couple adventures in white water rafting and skydiving to keep things interesting. Mary moved to South Carolina for college but missed Buffalo every day. Yeah she thinks she's crazy, too. She somehow convinced her South Carolina born and bred hubby to return to Buffalo to raise their kids and live out their lives. He’s still not sure what he was thinking.
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The first few chapters of this novel were amazing! Mandy was interesting and different as the main character. Enter Xander, the hottie who wants to meet her. There's tension. There's excitement. What will happen?! Then they meet and like each other a lot. The rest of the book is about them being together and the only point of tension is Mandy's insecurity about being with such an attractive HWP male. It's hard to build a story around that. I kept waiting for the complication to settle in and the story to pick up. Even the climax was all in Mandy's head and a complete disappointment and letdown.
Halfway through the book, almost every thought Mandy had was on sex and how hot Xander is. We get it. Mandy likes Xander because he's sexy. There are paragraphs and paragraphs devoted to her thoughts about his body and I ended up skimming through most of them after the first couple. Mandy spends so much time thinking about herself, Xander, and her worries about her weight that there is no time left for subplots or plot points.
I was disappointed in Mandy and her lack of character development. She is shown as a woman who's trust has been broken in the past regarding men and relationships. Great place to start, but she doesn't change. Throughout the book she drops her trust of Xander any time he remotely seems like he might be pointing out the fact that she's overweight and that he's not. Mandy never gets over this fear. She never gains confidence in their relationship.
Mandy acts and thinks like she's very much in lust/love with Xander and all it takes is something small for Mandy to lose confidence in Xander. Does she really love him, then? Mandy and Xander breakup over nothing (just a miscommunication) like they're teenagers in high school. The climax scene at Xander's friend's house was very high school. There were even fat jokes!
Xander was unrealistic every time he showed up and said or did anything. I wanted more realism from him, not a Stepford Wives boyfriend! Only in his initial pursuit of Mandy did he seem authentic as a person.
Ok, in the beginning, I get that she's worried because they have never met. But once he shows interest, let it go. Be you and give me a real story, not another version of every other "fat girl" book.
Everyone has a type. Some guys like bigger girls. This is nothing new! I like reading about normal girls who aren't the stereotypical blonde stick figure who has every guy drooling over her.
I did like portions of the book and thought it had the potential to be really good with the premise of meeting over the phone, but it didn't pan out.
I think I will skip the rest in this series.
I gave the author 3 stars because I admire any attempt to write about bigger girls and love.
Anyways, through her job she meets Xander. He’s sexy, body of a god, and a smooth talker. Their relationship starts off rocky but he doesn’t give up. The sex is hot, very well written. Makes you want a piece of Xander. Mandy’s friend are sweet and makes me miss having a solid group of friends.
On the other hand, some parts of the story made we think huh? And raise an eyebrow in a “that didn’t just happen” sort of way. I don’t want to give too much away but stuff happens and Xander comes off as a bad guy for a while. And you would think after their time together and how many times he tells Mandy that she’s beautiful and sexy that’d she’d start to believe him. But even at the end she still questions it. No character growth drives me insane.
I love reading books with a plus sized heroine but I need one with a little more strength and self esteem. Or at least one that grows into it.