Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Muffin Top by @AveryFlynn - New Release @jennw23

Muffin top
by Avery Flynn
Series: The Hartigans, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: October 29, 2018

The only thing about me that’s a size zero is the filter on my mouth. I’ve got a big personality, a big rack, and a big number on the scale. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

But when some random guy suggests I might not be eating alone if I’d ordered a salad instead of a hamburger I’m shocked silent, which is a feat, trust me.

That brings us to one sexy fireman named Frankie Hartigan. He’s hot. He’s funny… And he’s just apologized for being late for our “date” then glared at the fat-shaming jerk. Next thing I know, he’s sitting down and ordering himself dinner.

I have no problem telling him I don’t need a pity date . . . unless of course it’s to my high school reunion next week. Oops where did that last bit come from? And what do I do now that he’s said yes?!

Because this is no make-over story, and I think Frankie is using me for something. I just have to figure out what…

The temptation to say “Yes, Frankie, please squash him like a bug while I clap and watch” was so, so strong—like, the guys who pull semi trucks with their teeth strong. Instead, Lucy played along with her best friend’s fiancé’s brother— OMG, that was now the name of her imaginary all-girl ska band—and smiled sweetly up at him.

“He was bothered by my dinner order, honey.”

“Really?” Frankie looked down at her plate, over to the dipshit, and then right at her. There was no missing the devil in his eyes right before he turned his attention back to the other man. “What’s wrong with what my girl’s eating?”

Mr. In Her Business blanched. Literally. The color drained out of his face so fast that he resembled one of those swipe right before and after photos on makeover blogs. How in the hell she managed to not laugh out loud she had no frickin’ clue.

“N-n-nothing,” the man stuttered.

Nope. He was not getting off that easily.

She looked up at Frankie, still standing next to her chair, his big hand braced on the back of it, and said in the clueless voice that anyone with a brain would know meant there was danger ahead, “He said I should have ordered a salad, then I might have a chance to move from a five to an eight. I’m a five because I have great tits.”

Thunderous didn’t begin to describe the dark look of pure vengeance that crossed Frankie’s face, making even the freckles that crossed over the bridge of his nose look scary. Mr. Buttinsky made a little squeaking noise that reminded Lucy of the sound of air coming out of a balloon when someone pulled the tip taut as it was deflating. Frankie took a step forward, menace vibrating off of him in waves. The other guy didn’t bother to say a word, he just took off, weaving his way at a fast clip through the crowded bar and out the front door. Lucy liked to imagine that he peed his pants a little as he did so.

“Thanks, Frankie,” she said to the man still staring at the departing figure of Mr. Peed His Pants. “I owe you one.”

Her ginger knight in well-fitting jeans and a T-shirt made some kind of noise that maybe was a response in the affirmative. It sounded kinda like “no problem.” Whatever. She was used to that from guys. She was only of interest until a hotter, skinnier, or prettier woman came along. It
was the universal fat chick cloaking device.

Determined not to let it annoy her as much as it usually would, she turned back to her jalapeño cheeseburger, spicy fries, and soda. Now she could finally enjoy her dinner in peace.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Frankie clunked down a three-fourths filled mug of beer on the other side of her table, pulled out the chair across from her, and sat down. Before she could even ask what he was doing, he waved the waitress over and told her he wanted whatever Lucy was eating, plus an extra order of fries and another beer. Once she’d left, he turned his attention to Lucy and gave her what could only be described as a vibrator smile. She named it that in her head—thankfully only in her head—because she now had a desperate need for her vibrator and maybe a fresh pack of batteries.

“You’re not gonna make me eat alone now that we’re on a date, are you?” he asked, swiping one of her fries.

Muffin top is a fun romantic comedy that also delivers an emotional punch. The connection with the characters, through not only their interactions with each other but their inner monologue, had me riding the wave of emotions right along with them, feeling everything they did, from heartache to happiness.

Lucy and Frankie were both wonderful characters, but boy, these two were carrying around all sorts of baggage filled with insecurities and self-doubt. Lucy has always had issues with her self-image. She’s always been the big girl and, even though she has created a very successful life for herself as a crisis PR rep and seems to have put all her insecurities behind her, when faced with heading back home for her high school reunion…well, maybe she’s still got some issues she needs to deal with. She’s definitely a “best offense is a good defense” type of person, and that strategy has served her well as she has built her business and life in Harbor City.
Being always on the defensive meant not getting sucker-punched by the assholes of the world who knew nothing about her but felt perfectly fit to judge her anyway. She knew who she was.
Frankie is a bit of a man-whore. The women love him, he doesn’t promise them any more than he’s willing to give, and that has always worked for him…until now. When he offers to take Lucy to her high school reunion he sees the trip as a way for him to get away and reassess his dating life while giving Lucy the support she needs to get through her high school reunion. Spending time with Lucy convinces him of one thing – and that is that he wants Lucy. But Frankie is carrying his own suitcase full of self-doubt which keeps getting in the way of letting Lucy know how he feels.

These two…had me so frustrated at times because I couldn’t jump in and give them a good talking to because it was killing me watching Lucy doubt herself and then Frankie not being able to say the right things, which led to more self-doubt from Lucy. And Frankie, knowing his self-doubt was rooted in something that didn’t define who he was – phew, let’s just say these two made it tough! These two could definitely bring the heat, and I just loved all the playful banter between them. As a couple, these two had me smiling and laughing and enjoying every up and down that got them to their happy ever after.

Even though most of the book focuses on just Lucy and Frankie, the time spent with Lucy’s group of BFFs and the entire Hartigan clan adds so much to the story. Lucy needs the strength and support of her girls, while Frankie needs the tough love only a close-knit family like the Hartigans can give.

This is the second book in The Hartigans series but can be read as a stand-alone. There is a nice balance of romance, humor, and heat that keeps the story moving without feeling rushed. Avery Flynn has a knack for writing dialogue with sass and snark, and she doesn’t disappoint, but what I really loved in this one was the depth of emotion that was also felt along the way. Societal expectations, norms, and pressure are real to all of us, and that realness was written into the pages of this book without going over the top to create stereotypes or characters that were too shallow to relate to.

Another great read by Avery Flynn – do yourself a favor and put this on your TBR!

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from the publisher from NetGalley.

Also in the Series

USA Today bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Goodreads ~ Website ~ Newsletter
Join Avery's Facebook Group: The Flynnbots

No comments:

Post a Comment

Amazon Romance Book Search

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...