Trigger warning: I use the word ‘f*t’ in this review and reference ED. This book also focuses on infidelity.
Hey there, friends! Let’s dive right into Annie Charme’s first book in The Temptation Series, Forever Yours.
Steph’s story starts with heartbreak. Callum, her college sweetheart, and former best friend, broke her heart and shattered her self-worth along with it. Years later, Steph finds herself grid-locked in a loveless marriage with the first person to show her attention. A second chance emerges in the form of a new career. One that sends her careening into Callum’s office (and arms). Inevitably, their affair begins, and Steph is left with a horrible secret and even more difficult decisions.
This story has a few trigger warnings listed on its Goodreads page: Mature Themes and Infidelity. However, I would also like to add a trigger warning for those with ED and Binge-Eating Disorders.
I will start by saying that the story itself is quite good. It’s about a woman who accepted the love she was given when she should have been reaching for the love she deserves. Though, that being said, there is added tension/conflicting feelings with our male lead, as he hasn’t always been the most stellar partner. After all, Steph is still nursing a broken heart and a barely glued-together self-esteem after their break-up in college.
Steph and Callum have great banter and chemistry that leaps off the pages. I was rooting for them, even though, morally, I felt as though I shouldn’t have.
I felt some aspects of the story worked against it, however. For one, I feel like there could have been more thought given on Steph’s side to her affair. Most of the love scenes were completely absent of any mention of her family. I just wish there had been a hand-wave explanation along the lines of: “she didn’t think about anything but the ‘here and now’ with Callum,” or “the fact that they were doing something wrong made it feel absolutely filthy.” Her marriage felt like a sweater that was taken and put back on again for convenience, and it was intrusive enough that it was distracting.
A big point of frustration for me (the added trigger warning mentioned at the beginning of my review) was the obsession with Steph’s weight. I feel like too much attention was paid to her needing to eat and burying her feelings and her body size overall. As someone who has a history of eating disorders, it was incredibly hard to get through. I am here for a plus-sized queen. I love seeing representation for thicc ladies in the romance genre. However, this felt like it was a step too far, like a huge cornerstone of Steph’s personality was that she was overweight. It felt like the takeaway we the readers are supposed to have was, “Steph is fat, and [insert personality trait]” when I wished it was more, “Steph is a kick-ass professional, who has a great sense of humor, a rapier wit, and who also happens to have a little fluff in the middle.” It also didn’t help that a lot of peripheral characters/situations underlined her weight and equated her value as a human being to her waist size.
I will say that I liked that Cal was supportive of Steph. Her weight didn’t matter to him, which was a refreshing change of pace since it seemed to be a point of obsession for almost everyone else in the story.
Overall, I’m curious to know what happens next in Forever Mine, the second installment of The Temptation Series, which will be written in Callum’s perspective.
Have you read any romance books that feature a plus-sized lead? Got any recommendations? Sound off in the comment section below!
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