Review: Muffin Top by Avery Flynn

Reviewed by Sara

I bought Muffin Top, the second book in Avery Flynn’s Hartigans series, as soon as I finished the first book in the series Butterface. Like Butterface, Muffin Top is a sexy, funny, feel good book with great female characters and a story that doesn’t take the easy route. I loved it.

As you can probably guess, based on the title, Muffin Top is about a plus size heroine. Lucy Kavanagh is a big girl and she can take care of herself. She’s also an actual big girl and so attending her high school reunion with all the bullies that made her life miserable seems a little more daunting than the usual problems she solves as Harbour City’s premiere crisis communications specialist. When hot firefighter Frankie Hartigan swoops in to save her from some unsolicited dietary advice, she lets her reunion fears slip and soon Lucy catches herself agreeing to let him accompany her on her road trip home and for the week long reunion events as her “boyfriend.” After miles on the road and facing off against the mean girl of her past Lucy’s fictitious relationship with Frankie doesn’t feel so fake. Maybe there’s more than meets the eye to the handsome firefighter.

On a forced vacation from the local fire department, Frankie has a ton of time on his hands. Unfortunately, that gives him plenty of time to think about the unfortunate truth he’s just discovered. Apparently, he’s what the women of Harbour City consider the town bicycle – everyone’s had ride. While the ladies aren’t complaining, they know that Frankie Hartigan isn’t Mr. Right, he’s just Mr. Right Now. Frankie’s not thrilled with this idea and commits to a period of celibacy, right before he agrees to take the gorgeous Lucy Kavanagh to her high school reunion. Frankie runs into burning buildings for a living, how hard can keeping his hands off Lucy be?   

As a big lady, I am always skeptical of so-called BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) Romances. I’ve read lots of books claiming that designation only to discover that the heroine is a size 12 or that no mention of weight is actually brought up except for the ubiquitous “curves in all the right places” comment. I’m happy to say that Muffin Top is definitely a BBW Romance and avoids all of these pitfalls. Lucy is a size 20 (me too!), she doesn’t fly due to the pressures of flying as a plus size individual, she has to deal with concern trolls telling her about her own health and bemoans the lack of options when it comes to buying clothes and shoes that fit. I love that Avery Flynn shows some of the struggles of being plus size, but even more so that she breaks down a number of stereotypes imposed on plus size women. While Lucy struggles with the aforementioned and obvious issues plus size women face, she is also physically fit, has a good relationship with food, is successful in her career and confident sexually. So often society seems to assume that big women can’t be any of these things and it was so refreshing to see a fully formed, stereotype busting character in Lucy.  Well done!

Another thing that I was really thrilled with was how Avery Flynn handled the villain in Muffin Top. Constance Harmon was the high school mean girl that made Lucy’s high school years horrible and as Lucy returns to her hometown it seems nothing about Constance has changed. It would have been really easy for Avery Flynn to simply write Constance as an evil, skinny bitch who just hated Lucy because she’s fat. Instead, Avery Flynn takes the character of Constance as another opportunity to encourage readers to look deeper than appearances. The reveal of why Constance was horrible to Lucy and the resolution of their feud was really rewarding.

Muffin Top is fresh and funny from start to finish. Great characters, effective use of some of my favourite tropes and Avery Flynn’s refusal to write to same old story make it a great read for fans of Contemporary Romance.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

Muffin Top
by Avery Flynn
Release Date: October 29, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Amara

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