Dangerous Curves Ahead
St. Martin's Press / August 27, 2013 / $7.99 print, $7.59 digital
Ellis Garrett is dumping her critical boyfriend, opening a plus-size clothing store, and starting a blog—all to spread the word that fashion shouldn’t require a size-two body, and happiness should allow for the occasional cupcake. Or two. But is indulging fantasies about her sister’s long-ago ex, the still-hunky Michael Edwards, biting off more than she can chew?
Mike must be losing his detective’s touch. He doesn’t recognize Ellis when he bumps into her at Size Me Up, and he certainly doesn’t remember his ex-girlfriend’s outspoken sister being so irresistible. Her curves are indeed dangerous—and so is her wit. Could it be that Ellis is his Perfect Fit? One thing’s for sure: Mike will make it his sworn duty to find out…
Ellis Garrett, an intelligent woman who speaks her mind, is searching for the road to fulfillment. She's also a curvy woman who owns the shape of her body with aplomb. Mike Edwards is a handsome cop recently back from the mean streets of New York City, now policing the small town of Durant. Mike and Ellis have an incredibly entertaining meet-cute to start off the book. Despite a mutual attraction, Ellis considers Mike off limits and not good for her. Years ago, Mike dated her older sister Dina. Thing is, Mike doesn't remember Ellis's connection to Dina and can't quite place her in his past, but he does know he's interested in learning more about Ellis. When he finally has all the puzzle pieces of their past, it's a lovely moment that opens the door to their bumpy trip to love. I found the author's reveal and the manner in which the characters, especially Mike, handled the revelation pleasantly sweet in a way that felt authentic.
Sugar Jamison's Dangerous Curves Ahead is a fun, appealing book. There are a lot of comedic moments with engaging, memorable characters. That said, it's not always about laughs. Dramatic moments of revelations and realizations give the story layers. Ellis is a very charming character who I would totally want as a friend in real life, but she's not without her demons. When the book starts, Ellis is six months out of a relationship that has left her with heavy-duty emotional scars, primarily trust and esteem issues. I personally connected with the doubts and pain her prior relationship caused her to have about herself. I identified with some of how she dealt with her demons—I can be a smartmouth too—and could even overcome my occasional frustration when her trust issues caused her to handle a situation against her best interest. All that said, Ellis is a fabulous heroine because even in her worst emotional state, she's not a weak character. She's smart, witty, fun, and a lot stronger than she realizes.
I like Mike a lot and he is a charming complementary partner for Ellis, though he's far from Mr. Perfect. He's got a playboy past, but he's returned to town older and wiser. While he's reluctant to start a serious relationship for his own reasons, he can't resist his growing feelings for Ellis. He makes some missteps along the way because of his own demons, but he's never a bad guy. Occasionally blind to situations and emotionally wary of what commitment entails, he nonetheless is a hero you find yourself rooting for.
This first book in the Perfect Fit series, which includes characters introduced to star in the later novels, reads like a thoroughly entertaining romantic comedy. I easily visualized many of the interactions between the characters, and it never felt over the top. I am looking forward to the other books in this series, for their own merit, and hopefully to see how Mike and Ellis are doing in their happily ever after.
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Miss_D has been reading romance books for over 25 years. A native Californian making her way in the Big Apple, she likes to spend her downtime relaxing in front of the TV, chatting with friends, sitting in Central Park and playing beach volleyball. Miss D can be reached via Twitter @bonobochick.