‘Big Girl Panties’ – Stephanie Evanovich
In ‘Big Girl Panties’, Evanovich introduces readers to Holly Brennan—a 32-year old grieving widow in need of a change. Having spent too much time mired in sadness and grief-eating, Holly heads out of town to settle her husband’s estate and try to move on. Enter Logan Montgomery—a personal trainer to the country’s most famous professional athletes who also happens to be sitting next to her on the flight home.
Holly’s mortified by the way she’s squeezed into the air-plane seat, but as they chat, Logan quickly realizes she has a sharp wit and keen insight—a welcome change from the sexy but superficial women he usually dates. When he impulsively offers to train her at his private gym, Holly surprises even herself and agrees.
Holly discovers she’s a natural athlete, and as her fitness level increases, so does a new found confidence. When Logan finally introduces Holly to his best friends, baseball superstar Chase Walker and his wife Amanda (a feisty curvy woman herself), they instantly see what Logan doesn’t; Holly is knock-out. As their smouldering attraction starts to spark in earnest, Holly and Logan will have to decide if their love is for real…or just about looks.
‘Big Girl Panties’ is a fun, sexy, smart, and exceptionally saucy romp—a must-have book for the summer and a début not to be missed.
About the author:
Stephanie Evanovich is a full-fledged Jersey girl from Asbury Park who began writing fiction while waiting for her cues during countless community theatre projects. She attended New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts and acted in several improvisational troupes and a few small-budget movies, all in preparation for the greatest job she ever had, raising her two sons. Now a full-time writer, she’s an avid sports fan who holds a black belt in tae kwon do.
Evanovich’s debut novel is one that shows how relationships can change over time and that true love is about the person as a whole, “warts and all”. And whilst there is the ever-present cliché of the ugly duckling turning into a beautiful swan, I certainly think this was relevant to both Holly and Logan.
When we are first introduced to Logan, I really wasn’t sure what to make of him. His ego and self-centred being represented everything I despised in such stereotypical characters and this was only solidified further by the early sex scene with his current trophy girlfriend, Natalie. As such, I found myself rooting for Holly, keen to see her holding her own and proving to Logan just what she is capable of. Yet, as the story progressed and I learned more about Holly, I felt sorry for her and wanted to see herself breaking free from the walls she had built up around herself. The metamorphosis that both Holly and Logan undergo is sweet, leaving you hoping that they will come together. Indeed, by the final scenes of the novel, I wanted them to find happiness and overcome the demons that had stopped them from truly being together. Both Holly and Logan grow to understand what love means to them and whilst Holly undergoes a physical transformation through Logan’s training, his comes from within, leaving me feeling that he does become quite a charming hero in the end.
That being said, there are quite a few steamy and graphic sex scenes in this story. I don’t think I was quite prepared for this and think that Evanovich could have written these parts in less graphically. Yes, I wanted Holly to be happy and achieve that feeling of freedom, but I didn’t want to read about it in such detail. I think this is what stopped me giving the book a full five star rating, although if you are not someone who easily blushes then you certainly won’t find this aspect off-putting.
This is a sweet novel with a lovely ending. Although Holly has such personal hang ups, I liked reading about her determination to make a difference. Yes, her total lack of individualism when falling for Logan was a little irritating with the way she seemed to completely shape herself to his personality, but this did change as she came to value herself more as a person. So, if you enjoy romance fiction with a bit of difference, then I would recommend this for you.