Title: The Big Girl's Guide to Buying Lingerie
Series: Bluebonnet, Texas, Book 4
Author: Amie Stuart
Publisher: Dancehall Diaries, Ltd.
Release Date: October 20. 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Western, Comedy, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: Xpresso Book Tours
My name is JADE BALLARD, and this is the story of how a freak accident with a cookie changed the life of a semi-reformed people-pleaser (that’s me!).
After a disastrous marital near-miss Jade Ballard retreats to San Antonio, cutting herself off from the world in general and more specifically her family’s country club lifestyle, which she no longer wants any part of. She takes comfort in food and the safety of an internet love affair.
Rowdy Yates is a semi-reformed womanizer who’s leery of long-term entanglements. Until Jade, he never seriously considered anything beyond a “Wife-For-A-Night.”
After months of flirting on the internet the couple meets, only to discover they already know one another. Rowdy has always mistaken Jade’s shy reserved nature for snobbishness, and Jade has always viewed the woman-loving Rowdy as a Redneck Casanova. But the seven months they spent getting to know one another formed an attraction neither can fight.
Other books in this series
Favorite thing about this book? Jade struggles to like her bigger self. The reason behind her weight increase was understandable--left at the altar--and I love, love, love that the beginning of this book is filled with moments of insecurity.
This story is, for me, about discovering yourself as much as it is about love happening with the most unexpected person. Jade and Rowdy's lives are already entwined as she is a liquor sales rep who stocks the dancehall Rowdy and his band play at. To Rowdy, Jade is uptight and prissy. To Jade, Rowdy is a player whose relationship with women is never more than a "Wife-For-A-Night". But that's in public. Who they are in private is completely different.
Reconciling those two images, getting to know each other for who they really are, learning to appreciate and cherishing that person is what fills the pages of this book. And while they go through all that, finding love along the way, they learn a great deal about themselves. Jade learns to stand up for herself, Rowdy, and publicly admit that she likes everything her mother hates about her life, including her size. Rowdy finds the courage to confront his past and learn the truth about why his family is so torn. He also, by the end, finds the strength to reach out to his incarcerated sister after months of ignoring her mail, a gesture I hope she returns.
I loved this story. I was a little bit lost because this is Book 4 and I haven't read Books 1 - 3, but that's okay. The dual POVs--Jade is first person, Rowdy is third--brought me up to speed pretty quickly. The cast of characters are deeply amusing, if that makes sense, lol. They're real. They don't pull any punches. The storyline is tried and true--fake relationship turned real--except that it was real all along. They just needed to get past their individual hangups to see what they had was lasting and perfect for them.
Amie Stuart is the last of a dying breed, a native Texan, and still makes her home there, where cowboys and music (her other two loves) abound. Growing up, she wanted to be a lawyer and a psychologist. No doubt the shrinks would have a field day with her head, but she’s seen the error of her ways and considers all those other jobs ‘research’ for the writing gig.
She’s a multiple contest finalist as well as a trained contest judge and is affectionately know as The Terminator by her critique partners. She’s written as CELIA STUART for Black Lace Books, Liquid Silver Books, and as AMIE STUART for Kensington Aphrodisia, she has a short story (PEACHES ‘N CREAM) in Zane’s CARMEL FLAVA 2, and launched Cobblestone Press’s new short erotica line, Wicked.