Book Review: Stephanie Evanovich’s Big Girl Panties

Posted July 29, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Stephanie Evanovich’s Big Girl Panties

Big Girl Panties


Stephanie Evanovich

romance in Hardcover edition that was published by William Morrow on July 9, 2013 and has 324 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
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Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Sweet Spot

A cute romance about a fat girl. It has turned into a series, but Evanovich hasn’t come out with a name for it, so I’m calling it the Big Girl Panties, and this is the first book.

My Take

It’s cute for a debut novel and has the same humor set as her Aunt Janet. The best about this story is Evanovich’s heroine — the fat Holly Brennan. Yup, a fat girl is the focus in this story. Of course, she is losing weight, working out with the hunkalicious Logan Montgomery, personal trainer to the elite sportsmen. Still, it’s a gorgeous man who turns heads, and he falls for Holly. A hefty young lady who could be pretty…”if she just lost some weight”.

I love how irritated Logan is with Natalie and how careful Holly is around him. She’s so realistic even as she fantasizes about him. And she has all the classic responses when he makes a move. I really did enjoy that Evanovich chose to focus on a fat girl and make her the protagonist, that she develops this romance from friendship. I do wish, however, that her editor had pulled her up more often. There are a number of rough and shallow spots and too telling. A lot of it reads like there’s a narrator on the side reading from a fact sheet.

Natalie’s character gets the kiss of death with her need for constant reassurance about her looks as well as her attempts to snag Logan for keepsies. What I don’t get is Logan complaining that she obsesses about her looks. He acknowledges that she’s a model. Then fills it in with “her whole paycheck was based on what she looked like”. Okay, so wouldn’t it be reasonable that she’d obsess? She is really whiny about it, but…hullo, paycheck? Natalie, in turn, makes her own point about Logan catering to the elite, and he does come off as shallow himself. Only, we’ve already gotten peek under the hood at how nice Logan can be.

There are so many places where Evanovich could up the tension, and she ignores it. It’s pretty much la-la-laaa, la-la-laaa, which is nice if you just want a sweet, easy read.

LOL, I did enjoy Holly’s thoughts about celebrities and diet commercials — too bloody right!

Okay, the spanking thing. Evanovich is clueless about this, and at one point, it just gets embarrassing. She writes about it as if it were like boiling water or walking in the park or… If you’re gonna throw a sexual kink in, at least know what you’re talking about.

Ravish, the proper word is ravish, not ravage. I always feel as if the object of the ravaging is about to get her skin peeled off! It just doesn’t set the right mood for me…

Hooo, we go dipping into Holly’s past with Tina and it’s not so nice what Holly realizes about her friend. It’s too bad that Evanovich didn’t develop this more or at least go somewhere with it. Instead, she gets this rather nasty insight, and it’s back to besties. Some kind of segue would have been nice either with Holly realizing some kind of oh well, it’s in the past, I’m warned, whatever or bringing it up with Tina later. As for Tina, what. A. Bitch. Why couldn’t she simply be happy for Holly just at that moment instead of dumping all over her? I think it’s part of why I’m annoyed with Evanovich. Tina’s comments were so nasty right out the gate that there should have been some kind of follow-up.

I do like Logan’s attitude with Holly when they’re first working out. He finds nice ways to be honest with her and to praise her, to tell her what she’s doing right and how lucky she is to have that. I also appreciated how Evanovich stretched Holly’s issues out, keeping me on tenter hooks before she drops that little bomb about Bruce. That’s after she drops the bomb about her parents. I swear…parents need to be licensed.

The quack bit at the party confused me. Okay so Logan’s favorite comparison is ugly duckling, and he uses it about every woman he trains. So Holly’s never heard it. So how does she make this huge leap to…I don’t even know what her leap is. All we know is that she’s so upset, and she’s misinterpreting everything based on her own imagination. Yeah, Logan was wrong to keep his relationship with her hidden away at first, but he’s been taking her out and about in public. I dunno…

It’s not insta-love either…at least not for Logan. For him, it’s a slow build-up. Intrigue, then friendship, then need, and it’s even half believable. Holly, well, she is an insta-love…who wouldn’t be? I do like that Chase steps in to help — and not the way you think. He wants her happy, with whoever.

That last scene with Natalie was shallow as well. We know she did the quack on purpose, she owned it at the time. Now she’s making another play in the scenario she’s purposely set up, and it’s just weird. Natalie is making all nicey-nice, and Logan is returning the nice in spite of the thoughts going through both their heads. Where’s the conflict? The tension?

I did like Tina’s reveal at the end. Very sweet.

The story is enjoyable and doesn’t really pull me in. It’s not one I’d be rushing out to buy for my home library.

The Story

It’s the end of a lousy day and the flight is full. It means coach! Gag. For Logan, it means barely squeezing into what passes for a seat. For Holly, it means battling the airline about having to buy two seats. It only gets worse for each of them when each sees who they’re stuck sitting next to…

He’s gorgeous, she’s not. She’s defensive from the start, he realizes it and tries to make amends, and in the process, learns a lot about Holly and about himself.

The Characters

Holly Brennan has been widowed for two years and is still grieving. Part of that grieving process includes Milky Ways, Twinkies, M&Ms, and chips. Bruce is her late husband. Tina Abbott is her best friend from high school and is married to Tommy Blake with whom she has three kids. Her parents are…hmmm, how do I say this? Jerks. Her older brother Albert is almost worse.

Logan Montgomery became fascinated with sports physiology in college and happy chance found him rooming with Chase Walker, the future golden boy of baseball.

Chase Walker is first baseman for the New York Kings and has a fetish for spanking his very willing wife, Amanda. She just loves to interfere in the lives of her friends, and if it earns her a spanking…bonus! It is sweet how much in love these two are. I liked how truly nice they are too.

Natalie Kimball is typical of Logan’s, um, girlfriends, gorgeous, tall, thin, a model, and not too bright.

The Cover and Title

I adore the cover! It’s an entry in Holly’s diary in which she meets Logan and steels herself to pull up her Big Girl Panties.

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