by Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, Monica Jackson, Francis Roy

January 2004
ISBN: 0-451-21090-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

A Whole Lotta Love is a whole lotta fun to read. Four bestselling authors tell stories of plus-size women who are "living large" and looking for love in a society that seems to adore size 2 beauties.

Donna Hill's Over the Rainbow tells the tale of successful soul food restaurant owner, Jessica Morgan. Jessica has the support of friends and family, even though her sisters get on her very last nerve. They are always nagging her about getting out more, getting a new wardrobe and a manicure. Jessica feels those frills and love are for others and not full-figured women like herself. Her world is turned upside down when regular restaurant patron and photographer, Russell invites her to pose for a new plus size magazine. Maybe happiness and love are not found at the end of the rainbow, but in your own back yard.

In Tempting Fate, Brenda Jackson's heroine, Justice Manning is convinced to model for lingerie for plus-sized woman. Through this job, Justice meets the gorgeous photographer, Blake. Is Blake her fate, or will Justice have to continue taking cool showers to douse the flames of passion?

Topaz Sinclair is a successful singer and is celebrating "the Big Three-O" with her sister and two best friends in their yearly ritual of "wishes" in When Wishes Come True by Monica Jackson. This year she wish is for true love. Is her wish coming true when her high school sweetheart shows up in her life again?

Michael Dunbar is afraid of commitment after a disastrous relationship with a woman who loved his money more than him. Michael's mother, who loves shopping, visiting and marrying off her sons, knows Michael has not met The Wright Woman. Author Francis Ray has created that woman in Stephanie Wright who is a size twenty and absolutely beautiful. When Stephanie thinks Michael works for a landscaping company, rather than owning it, Michael does not correct her assumption. Will his "little white lie" come back to haunt him?

Although these stories are written by African-American authors, they will appeal to all readers. The emphasis on humor, family and romance knows no boundaries. It is a pleasant change to see woman appreciated for their inner selves rather than by Hollywood standards of size 0. Any of these tales could have been delightful full length novels.

Reviewed in January 2004 by Roberta.