by Rida Allen

July 2001
ISBN: 1-58851-024-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Publish America
Mass Market Paperback

I normally read a book, think about it a while, and then look at a blank page for a while longer before I finally get the ideas in order for the review. I didn't read this one with the intention of reviewing it. I just read it for pleasure. However, when I finished reading it, I couldn't keep myself from writing this review, the words were going around in my head until I just had to sit down and put them on paper. This book was great. I loved so many things about it! Where do I start! I know that everyone is focusing on the fact that the heroine in the story is not exactly the "average" woman. The plus size woman who gets a chance at the romance most authors have reserved for the "perfect" woman has been what I have heard everyone pointing out. I, however, see something completely different and would like to talk about another side of this story.

I absolutely love the hero in this book. Jon was absolutely the opposite of what we see in so many men today. There need to be more men like him! I loved that he was so in touch with his emotions. The author portrayed him as a strong "real man" kind of guy and at the same time he was OK with showing his emotions. When he realized that he was in love, he didn't fight it or run from it. Instead, he ran to it. He embraced love and life with everything that was in him. He wasn't afraid of what someone else would think about him for acting romantic. He never even thought about what anyone else would think of the woman he had chosen…he simply didn't care that she was in the "plus size" category because he loved her for who she was. He was a successful man, yet he was still able to accept and embrace what life and love offered him without a lot of the "prejudice" attitudes that are prevalent in the world. There was, of course, a nice twist which caused him to look for love in the first place in the form of an "unfair" will. To add to the lovability of this hero, he wasn't completely perfect, but the reader always knew he was doing what he thought would help him keep his "great love." Rida Allen has done a great job of making him into a realistic, believable character that we all, as readers, can fall in love with.

I have to give the author a hand for taking a step and getting outside the norm with this novel. Both the hero and heroine were inspiring. We need more writers who are willing to break the "traditional" way of writing, step out of those boundaries, and give us "real" people to fall in love with through reading. I, like a few others I have heard talking about this book, would love to see a sequel that focused on Becki. However, even if I don't get it, this story just made it to the top of my list for favorite books! Way to go, Rida!!

Reviewed in January 2002 by Angela.

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