Must-Read Monday with Laurelin Paige
First, let me say thank you so much, Roni for letting me be here today! This blog has been a favorite of mine for years and it’s truly an honor.
When I was thinking of what book I’d choose for Must Read Monday, I have to admit that I felt momentarily overwhelmed. Because, SO MANY MUST READ BOOKS! HOW WILL I CHOOSE ONE? But as I flipped through my Kindle, Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas jumped out at me.
Here’s the blurb:
Fashion design major Cat Mitchell has a closet full of gorgeous clothes - and not a single thing fits. After two years of runway modeling for easy cash, an accident shattered her lower leg bone and her self-esteem in just one swift fall. Ten months of no exercise, prescription steroids, comfort eating and yoga pants meant returning to campus as a size twelve instead of her former size two.
When her gorgeous long-time friend with benefits sees her for the first time after her accident and snubs her in front of all her friends, Cat’s self-image hits rock bottom. Her sorority sisters all insist that she looks gorgeous, but all Cat sees is the roll of her stomach when she sits down, or the dimpling at the back of her thighs that wasn't there last year. Cat’s therapist prescribes something radical to stop the downward spiral - nude modeling for a nearby college's human form drawing classes.
When Cat faces her fears and bares it all for the class, she realizes that she's posing naked in front the most gorgeous, buffest guy she's ever seen in her life. He asks her out after the class, and after one steamy night and six weeks of perfect dates together, Cat's absolutely smitten.
But when Cat goes home with Nate for Thanksgiving, she discovers something shocking from his recent past that proves that he hasn’t always been so encouraging of women of all shapes and sizes. Cat has no idea what to think, but she does know one thing - this might destroy their relationship before it's even had a chance to get off the ground.
Before Cat can figure out whether the real Nate is the sensitive, adoring guy she fell in love with, or an undercover asshole, she'll have to finally feel comfortable in her own skin - even if it means leaving him forever.
And my review:
Let me preface by saying I am a sexy times reader and writer. I like my books hot, hot, hot. Hence part of my adoration of Roni who pens some of the hottest books out there. Sweet and meaningful are not usually my first pick.
But Alessandra’s Picture Perfect blew me away. It is so beautifully sweet and has a message to boot. And it’s so relatable. Cat’s struggle with her weight and sexual self-identity is such a universal theme and there just aren’t that many books that address that issue. And tell me the truth – when’s the last time you read a romance book where the hero was a size 12? I read that Alessandra had to search long and hard to find a plus-size model for the cover. Isn’t that just sad? It’s the reason we need more books like this where we are told that a small size does not equal good sex.
Speaking of sex, the author does not skimp on the bedroom scenes. This book is steaming! I absolutely fell in love with Nate and the way he treated Cat. I’m lucky to have found a man like him in my husband, who adores me and my large size. I wish I had been able to overcome my self-consciousness about size in college as Cat does. Her character’s journey and transformation are believable and rewarding. I am delighted to recommend it as a must read.
Thanks again for having me, Roni, and for letting me share a book I was passionate about.
Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She is represented by Bob Diforio of D4EO Literary Agency. Her debut novel, Fixed on You, is out June 24th.