After too many alpha males, I needed a break and was in the mood for a sassy heroine and Belinda gave me exactly what I wanted. The third story in Sugar Jamison’s ‘Perfect Fit’ series is a quick, funny read with the most precocious five year-old little girl. There’s an old adage – children or dogs always steal the show. Carter’s daughter, Ruby, stole every scene and she’s in a lot. As I didn’t read book 1 or 2 in the series, I don’t have any comparisons but this read really well as a standalone.
Although she considers her life to be stuck at age 30 Belinda’s got a pretty good life. She and her two best friends own a plus size women’s store called Size Me Up. She’s got her own home; her parents dote on her; she’s healthy and has very few real problems except for a lackluster love life. But then one day out of the blue, Carter Lancaster and his daughter, Ruby, cross Belinda’s path; Belinda’s surprise at Carter’s appearance is quickly put aside when she remembers that Carter never came after her when she ran from their marriage. Four years prior, Carter and Belinda had secretly married and neither of them bothered getting a divorce even though they’ve been living apart for the better part of their marriage.
After all the years of not being able to get Belinda out of his mind, Carter decided to leave the big city and move to the small town where he knows she lives. Admirably, he also made the move for the well being of his daughter because he wanted to be a good dad and working 70 – 80 hours a weeks wasn’t cutting it. There were quite a few moments where I didn’t understand Carter’s real motivation. I wasn’t ever sure that if something happened to Ruby that Carter could be with Belinda for the sake of being with her. By the end, I wasn’t convinced that Belinda was Carter’s first love. I get that Ruby was his first priority, but I just never got the sense that Belinda was his first anything.
There’s enough back and forth emotional quicksand between this couple to keep the angst level high. Belinda’s got a bit of a chip on her shoulder about being in a marriage with Carter because of the way his parents treated her and Carter’s got a big chip on his shoulder because of his parents and the way they treat him. It was pretty clear from the beginning that these two married way too young because their maturity and willingness to work things out left a lot to be desired. That being said, I still liked both of them. Seeing Belinda mature from a person who never wanted children to the eventual relationship that she built with Ruby was good – not too syrupy or unrealistic.
The many ups and downs that Belinda and Carter went through were plausible because we got to see them go from depending on sexual chemistry as a foundation to a more permanent foundation built on friendship and respect. Speaking of respect, there were a couple times if I were Belinda, I would have taken my shoe off and beat the crap out of Carter. Carter had a habit of using Ruby as his emotional weapon against Belinda and I didn’t think that was right at all. But it kept me reading. Then there’s Ruby who’s 5 going on 50. The things that came out of that child’s mouth were both hilarious and a tad bit scary. Why scary? Because she’s only been around adults, older adults, so she speaks just like them. If I’d not been witness to this in my own life, I would call foul on the writing for Rub,y but I can’t because, well, I’ve seen it.
I really liked the secondary characters – from Belinda’s best friends to Carter’s parents, but I enjoyed Belinda’s parents the most. As an only child Belinda has had her share of absentee parents, to the total opposite helicopter parents. Interestingly, the helicopter parenting happened in her later life and continued because of the parental guilt associated with their years of being absent. The nickname that each parent had for her made for some fun reading.
Happy Reading folks!
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
Gentlemen Prefer Curves
by Sugar Jamison
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s