Review: Muffin Top by Avery Flynn

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Muffin Top
Series: The Hartigans, #2
Author: Avery Flynn
Publication Date: October 29, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The only thing about me that’s a size zero is the filter on my mouth. I’ve got a big personality, a big rack, and a big number on the scale. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

But when some random guy suggests I might not be eating alone if I’d ordered a salad instead of a hamburger I’m shocked silent, which is a feat, trust me.

That brings us to one sexy fireman named Frankie Hartigan. He’s hot. He’s funny… And he’s just apologized for being late for our “date” then glared at the fat-shaming jerk. Next thing I know, he’s sitting down and ordering himself dinner.

I have no problem telling him I don’t need a pity date… unless of course it’s to my high school reunion next week. Oops where did that last bit come from? And what do I do now that he’s said yes?!

Because this is no make-over story, and I think Frankie is using me for something. I just have to figure out what…


I was excited to read Muffin Top for two reasons. One: I have heard great things about Avery Flynn’s writing, but hadn’t read one of her books yet. Two: I loved that Lucy was a heroine who is larger in size than most romance novel women. My experience reading Muffin Top didn’t work out for me the way I was hoping, though. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. In order to simplify my reasons why, I’m going to break this review down into what worked and what didn’t for me.

What worked:

  • Avery Flynn’s writing in third person. I am not a fan of third person, but it worked in this book. I was able to build connections with the characters and easily follow the switch between points of view.
  • Frankie’s character. I loved this guy. He had his hang ups, but he was comfortable in his own skin. Plus, I adored how stood up for Lucy in the best possible ways.
  • All the family moments in this book. Both Frankie and Lucy’s families were awesome.
  • Lucy’s acceptance of her weight, her frustration with those who judged her, and her struggle to let go of her feelings about it. She was such an easy character to relate to.

What didn’t work:

  • You know how I listed all that stuff about Lucy and her weight above? Well, those struggles she had were on her mind ALL.THE.TIME. It’s really hard to “hear” someone beat themselves up as much as Lucy did. I know most of us have been in Lucy’s shoes with the self-doubt and anger about either our own weight or another issue, but I got tired of it. I don’t felt like it was truly resolved or lessened either. Her problems with Frankie were taken care of, but I wanted Lucy’s fragile self-esteem dealt with deeper.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Muffin Top. It will definitely resonate with readers who are looking for a heroine who is “plus” size.

 

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Excerpt:

The temptation to say “Yes, Frankie, please squash him like a bug while I clap and watch” was so, so strong—like, the guys who pull semi trucks with their teeth strong. Instead, Lucy played along with her best friend’s fiancé’s brother— OMG, that was now the name of her imaginary all-girl ska band—and smiled sweetly up at him.

“He was bothered by my dinner order, honey.”

“Really?” Frankie looked down at her plate, over to the dipshit, and then right at her. There was no missing the devil in his eyes right before he turned his attention back to the other man. “What’s wrong with what my girl’s eating?”

Mr. In Her Business blanched. Literally. The color drained out of his face so fast that he resembled one of those swipe right before and after photos on makeover blogs. How in the hell she managed to not laugh out loud she had no frickin’ clue.

“N-n-nothing,” the man stuttered.

Nope. He was not getting off that easily.

She looked up at Frankie, still standing next to her chair, his big hand braced on the back of it, and said in the clueless voice that anyone with a brain would know meant there was danger ahead, “He said I should have ordered a salad, then I might have a chance to move from a five to an eight. I’m a five because I have great tits.”

Thunderous didn’t begin to describe the dark look of pure vengeance that crossed Frankie’s face, making even the freckles that crossed over the bridge of his nose look scary. Mr. Buttinsky made a little squeaking noise that reminded Lucy of the sound of air coming out of a balloon when someone pulled the tip taut as it was deflating. Frankie took a step forward, menace vibrating off of him in waves. The other guy didn’t bother to say a word, he just took off, weaving his way at a fast clip through the crowded bar and out the front door. Lucy liked to imagine that he peed his pants a little as he did so.

“Thanks, Frankie,” she said to the man still staring at the departing figure of Mr. Peed His Pants. “I owe you one.”

Her ginger knight in well-fitting jeans and a T-shirt made some kind of noise that maybe was a response in the affirmative. It sounded kinda like “no problem.” Whatever. She was used to that from guys. She was only of interest until a hotter, skinnier, or prettier woman came along. It

was the universal fat chick cloaking device.

Determined not to let it annoy her as much as it usually would, she turned back to her jalapeño cheeseburger, spicy fries, and soda. Now she could finally enjoy her dinner in peace.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Frankie clunked down a three-fourths filled mug of beer on the other side of her table, pulled out the chair across from her, and sat down. Before she could even ask what he was doing, he waved the waitress over and told her he wanted whatever Lucy was eating, plus an extra order of fries and another beer. Once she’d left, he turned his attention to Lucy and gave her what could only be described as a vibrator smile. She named it that in her head—thankfully only in her head—because she now had a desperate need for her vibrator and maybe a fresh pack of batteries.

“You’re not gonna make me eat alone now that we’re on a date, are you?” he asked, swiping one of her fries.

About Avery

USA Today bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their ahem other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

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Join the Flynnbots: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Flynnbots/

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Review: Muffin Top by Avery Flynn

  1. I have been wondering about this one. I think I would probably take issue with the same things you do. It always seems like these books that are touted as being “body positive” spend way too much obsessing over their weight. I feel like it defeats the purpose (even though it might be relatable – but that still doesn’t mean it doesn’t get old to read about).

    • It was weird. It started out like it would be body positive, but then she got all insecure about what men think about her. Her inner dialog really drove me nuts after a while. I get that it’s a natural thing to think that way these days. I’m guilty of it, but dang. It just got old. Otherwise, this author might be one you would be good with.

  2. I thought I was the only one who didn’t love this book! I rolled my eyes so many times thinking ‘if it bothers you so much do something about it,’ which made me feel really bad because I’m pretty sure that’s not the reaction I was supposed to have.

  3. Huh, I totally thought you’d read Ms. Flynn before. I thought I read one of hers because of you. I wonder who rec’d it then. I didn’t sign up for any in this series, b/c I read a few reviews and knew I wasn’t going to appreciate her take on things. Sounds like you had a similar experience. Bummer.

    I enjoyed The Negotiator by her. Not blown away, but it sounds like it was a better experience than this one.

    • I think I’ve read a couple other books by other Flynns? Maybe that’s it. I haven’t read hers. I don’t know that I would read another based on this one. I just didn’t love it enough.

  4. I had a feeling I wouldn’t like this one. I didn’t want to read if if she’s always down on herself. We all come in different sizes and shapes and that’s okay. Sorry you didn’t love it more 🙁

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