Author: Stephanie Evanovich
Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich is a rollicking and poignant romantic comedy about a young widow who decides to get in shape...and winds up getting her groove back--and a whole lot more! Holly Brennan used food to comfort herself through her husband's illness and death. Now she's alone at age thirty-two. And she weighs more than she ever has. When fate throws her in the path of Logan Montgomery, personal trainer to pro athletes, and he offers to train her, Holly concludes it must be a sign. Much as she dreads the thought of working out, Holly knows she needs to put on her big girl panties and see if she can sweat out some of her grief. Soon, the easy intimacy and playful banter of their training sessions lead Logan and Holly to most intense and steamy workouts. But can Holly and Logan go the distance as a couple now that she's met her goals--and other men are noticing?
I hate the phrase "pull up your big girl panties". It is terrible. I should have let that feeling guide me, and not picked this book up off the shelf, because this book is terrible too. It was weird. It pissed me off in many places. Yet, I still rooted for the main character Holly every step of the way. However, she wasn’t enough to redeem this book.
Holly is a widow, who in her grief has gained a lot weight. Logan is a personal trainer to celebrities and people with money; he is also in perfect physical condition apparently. These two strangers meet on a plane, where Logan is at first repulsed by Holly’s physical appearance, sloppy and overweight. He likes his women rail-thin and model beautiful. Yet he rallies his charming personality (or so he thinks it is) and chats Holly up. By the end of the flight, he is offering to train Holly, which she takes him up on.This is abnormal for Logan; his business is doing really well, and he does not need to take on anything like a charity case. But he is excited to turn this “ugly duckling” into a swan. For reals, that is how he described his Holly project to his two closest friends, Amanda and Chase.
Which brings us to weird #2, Amanda and Chase. Chase is into spanking. He is into sexually, and also as a form of punishment for when he thinks Amanda needs it. Not too rough, but still. I am not sure if Evanovich included this aspect to cash in on the popularity of Fifty Shades of Gray, but whatever her reasons, I hated it. It did not seem to be for the character’s mutual pleasure; in fact, it seemed at times that Amanda did not want to be spanked, which I think is against how this form of play works. Then came the worst part: Logan was having a hard time with Holly’s attitude while training, and Chase’s advice was simple. He said that Logan should spank her to put her in line! Say what!? Holly followed her spanking up with a slap to Logan’s face, which eventually to the first sex scene in the book between these two.
Oh yeah, that is the other thing. Holly and Logan are both interested in each other. Holly has lost a bunch of weight, has mega-confidence, and feels good about herself. They are dating, but never leave her house at first, because basically Logan is ashamed of her. He likes her company and he loves sex with her, but he also doesn’t want anyone to see him with her. Logan really likes her, but also spends time thinking about how to get the last of the weight off of her. Liposuction actually crosses his mind. This guy is seriously shallow, and we as the readers are supposed to believe he is undergoing the transformation. He eventually does start to introduce Holly to his friends and lifestyle, and this is where it all comes to a head. Holly runs into Logan’s ex-girlfriend, a model, who tells Holly that Logan called her an ugly duckling.
Predicatively, Holly gets mad and doesn’t want to see him anymore. The ex-girlfriend is waiting for Logan at his house, and instead of raking her over the coals for being a b-word, he is pretty nice to her and lets her down easy. Blah blah blah, eventually he and Holly argue, because he realizes finally that he doesn’t care that she is still not ever going to have a swimsuit model body, he loves her for who she is. After a conversation with her best friend, who is also kind of a jerk, Holly takes him back. The end.
It was terrible. Holly deserved way better than all of the people she had in her life. She definitely should not be with Logan, I am not convinced that if she were to gain a lot of weight again if he would stay with her. Or maybe he is going to keep her on a strict diet and exercise regime.
If you decide to read this book, be prepared for a weirdness, and anger at these characters.