Out of the Blue
Author: Alison Bliss
Series: A Perfect Fit, book 4
Publisher: Forever (February 1, 2022)
Paperback, 368 pages
Romance, Adult Contemporary Romance
The course of true love was never supposed to start on a stair climber…
Preslee Owens has never worked out in a gym before. Like truly never. Until today. As she struggles to stay upright on the stair climber, she accidentally broadcasts a vlog that lets complete strangers—and even worse, people in her own small town–witness the hilarious start to her fitness journey. To her surprise and mortification, viewers love it.
The positive reaction leaves Preslee with no choice but to return—and the discovery that her unrequited crush, Josh, works out in the same gym is a big bonus. It also helps that her new personal trainer is making sure she doesn’t kill herself in the process. In fact, Adam has even offered to pretend to be her boyfriend to help make Josh a little jealous.
Having Adam cheering her on brings out a strength and confidence Preslee barely recognizes in herself. And soon she’s enjoying being his fake girlfriend waaay too much. But will her newfound courage allow her to face her biggest fear yet and seize the life she truly wants?
I am always here for a romance starring a plus-size lead. As a plus-size woman who is also making some food and fitness changes for my health, I was interested to see how Alison Bliss would handle this romance, and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed in the handling of fat rep in this one.
Preslee joins a gym in an attempt to lose some weight as her family doctor just told her she’s pre-diabetic, and she wants to nip that in the bud. Adam is the extremely built, extremely sexy owner of the gym she joins, and he is very into Preslee from moment one. He thinks she’s gorgeous exactly as she is, and is supportive of her weight loss journey because it’s her choice for her body, and he supports her improving her overall health. There is a moment where he thinks about not wanting her to lose too much weight and lose her curves that was a smidge objectifying, but he’s a dude in a romance novel so eh.
The chemistry between Preslee and Adam was cute at times. There’s a little element of fake dating in here so you get some of that delicious “oops, feelings” and “did he do that because he wanted to or was he faking for show?” type of goodness. That being said, there are several spots where the pacing is pretty off, and what felt like big jumps forward in time.
This was a solid 3 stars most of the way through, but then the ending had me rolling my eyes so hard it quickly dropped to 2.5 stars, then 2. -_- Throughout there are some concerning issues that are just sort of brushed aside (disordered eating/crash dieting, excessive exercise), but then the final bout of depressive weight gain (20 lbs in a month?) without addressing that at all was just too much. I own one of the other books in this series but I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not at this point.
A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.