Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Amy Lea
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Release Date: May 10th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
A gym nemesis pushes a fitness influencer to the max in Amy Lea’s steamy debut romantic comedy.
Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes and mostly ignoring the trolls. After her recent breakup, she has little stamina left for men, instead finding solace in the gym – her place of power and positivity.
Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new gym patron who routinely steals her favorite squat rack. Sparks fly as these ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination. But after a series of escalating jabs, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents’ engagement party.
In the lead up to their grandparents’ wedding, Crystal discovers there’s a soft heart under Scott’s muscled exterior. Bonding over family, fitness, and cheesy pick-up lines, she just might have found her swolemate. But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their budding relationship to the ultimate test of strength.
Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for an eARC.
SLOW BURN SWOON.
This was an amazing debut!! Incredibly heart warming and full on grin inducing. Crystal and Scott will bring the house down.
I loved Crystal. I loved so many of the conversations and topics she spoke about in regards to her identity, fitness, health and more. It was like the author was in my mind reminding me and telling me things I needed to hear. As someone who struggles (and I mean who doesn’t?) with many of the themes I loved the way this was approached.
Now, the ROMANCE. Ohhhh my gosh. SWOON. I didn’t know how much I would adore a love story primarily set-up around a gym. It was the best. I loved the instant charged connection and the subtle ways these two clearly showed their growing feelings. It wasn’t quite as angsty as I was thinking it would be, but it was gosh dang sweet. I loved the development and the banter. All of these tiny moments amounting into tender confessions. Scott Ritchie is the kind of love interest I will never tire of seeing in a romance.
A lot of the ending scenes were wonderful. I had a minor issues with some aspects, but I am all for a grand gesture so I was able to look past [most] of it. Not to mention, throwing in an it’s always been you trope had to be the icing on the cake. I can not handle another moment with Crystal and Scott because I will be in a puddle on the floor.
Please tell me Amy Lea has more books coming??
Overall audience notes:
- Contemporary romance
- Language: very mild
- Romance: a few open door with low explicitness
- Trigger/Content Warnings: fatphobia, cyber bullying, racism, fitness/diet culture, cancer