Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Review - Muffin Top by Avery Flynn

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…

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.

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