by Amie Stuart
Publication date: October 20th 2015
Genres: Erotica, Romance
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.
I almost DNF-ed this one at the beginning because Jade’s constant obsession with her weight drove me crazy–but I’m glad I kept going. She manages to come around to liking herself a whole lot more in the end, making her more likable all around–so it was easier to get over the somewhat rocky start.
Rowdy/Robbie and Jade/Skybaby make an adorable couple–once they let themselves be a couple. I loved how they met and flirted online, without a clue that they knee each other online (and each had a very poor–and somewhat erroneous–opinion of the other). I really liked that they both have flaws, and that any changing they’re doing in the course of the book is for themselves, not for the other person. Ms. Stuart has a nice sense of humor too, which made me smile quite a bit throughout.
I didn’t realize going in that this book was #4 in a series–I assume that three of the many, many couples in the book must have been the heroes and heroines of the other ones. Though I didn’t necessarily feel like I needed to know what happened in the first books in the series, having read them probably would have helped me to keep all the secondary characters straight. I’m still not 100% who they all are–Rowdy does give Jade the 411 at one point; apparently I should have been taking notes…
There’s just. So. Many. And lots of “i/ie/ey” ending names, which didn’t help.
The Big Girl’s Guide was an enjoyable read with likable characters; I’d definitely read more from this author in the future.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
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.