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Fat Heros and Heroines in Fiction — Some Recommendations

December 17, 2013

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, and have found some more fiction with larger-than-usual leading characters. Interestingly enough, a lot of them are by indie authors, and about half of the books I’ve read in this genre were free for my Kindle (and I love a free ebook — it’s part of the reason I have over 1,200 titles on my Kindle).

First up is an interconnected series of books by Jasinda Wilder: Big Girls Do It boxed set (including Better, Wetter, Wilder, and On Top), Rock Stars Do It (all three books in one: Harder, Dirty, and Forever), Big Girls Do It Married, Big Girls Do It On Christmas, and Big Girls Do It Pregnant (these are listed in the author’s suggested reading order).Big Girls

Just as an FYI: I got the boxed set of the first four Big Girls Do It novels free, but I paid for the rest of the books because the first four were so good (and I read them all in one day — a record for me).

In the Big Girls set, our leading lady is Anna, a DJ, who has been told all her life that she’s fat.

My mom says I was always fat. She once tried to tell me she had to buy my baby clothes in the husky section at Sears, but I don’t for a second believe that nonsense. Mom exaggerates. She took me with her to my first Weight Watchers meeting when I was five. All I remember is all the talking about food making me hungry.   I’ve always had a passion for life and I think that translated into a bit of overindulgence. What can I say? I’ve never met a cupcake I didn’t like.

This is a typical larger-than-usual-heroine romance (at least from what I’ve been reading lately) where the leading lady thinks she’s fat (she’s what I would call an in-betweenie), meets a hunkalicious man that all the women swoon over, he has eyes for no one but her, but she has trouble knowing what he sees in her or why he’s interested in her (especially sexually). These books are not for those who don’t want to read steamy sex scenes in between the parts that advance the plot (although, those steamy sex scenes do serve to advance the plot too).

Another book I loved and read in one sitting is Her Dragon to Slay by Julia Miller. Plus-sized heroine meets injured hunk who turns out to be a shape-shifter of the dragon variety, and she becomes his one and only lifemate. Lots of danger, hot sex, and interesting plot twists. The second book in this series comes out in January (I hope) and we’re given a taste of what that book is about at the end of Her Dragon to Slay. I’m looking forward to that one too.

Then there’s Hearts of Ishira, by Bethany Aan (this one I’ve read six times since I bought less than a year ago).

Arianna was always a bit of an empath, but when she wakes, broken and disoriented, on a strange planet, she is the only human able to communicate psychically with the big, sexy Thorsani warrior who rides in with his men to rescue the Earth women from their crashed space transport.

The Thorsani, humanoid but descended from sentient cats eons ago, are also marooned on this planet they have named ‘Ishira’. Hunter and his brother Jace are Commander and lead physician of the Ishira colony. When the captured women tumble into their lives, the small Earthlings turn the men’s world upside down. The girls bring drama and heartache, laughter and light…not to mention the first opportunity for sex in more than ten years.

Ri, the oldest of her group, is drawn to both Hunter and Jace. Aside from being strong and capable warriors, they are also brilliant, sensitive men who delight in her abilities and her curvy form. Her power as a Reader gives her an instant, deep connection to Hunter, but Jace’s playful curiosity about her species and his tendency to geek out about various things endear them both to her.

Ri doesn’t know what to do with the two beautiful, wonderful men who seem to think she’s something they both want to keep. But for Ri and her ladies, their tumultuous new life takes a very interesting turn when they discover that the Thorsani way is to marry in teams of men…

The question is… who brought them to this planet, and why? And why in the world would someone be out to kill Ri?

But most important of all… Why do the insectoid Solvari mean to destroy every Thorsani in existence… and those who mate with them?

There will be a second book in this series also. I got to be a test reader for Hearts, and I’ve been asked to be a test reader for the second book also. I can hardly wait!

The final book, Fat Vampire by Johnny B. Truant, wasn’t at all what I expected. I’ve read a lot of vampire novels and vampire romances, and nothing in any of those prepared me for this book. Most people become vampires on purpose, knowing full well what they’re getting into (they think) and are more than willing to give up a daytime life. This is not that kind of story at all.

(Holy shit, I just found out there are six books in this series, and you can get them as a boxed set. Well, I know what I’m getting me for Christmas…)

Anyway, back to the book. Reginald (our lead character) is overweight and kind of a loner. It is rather ironic that he sells gym equipment (after all, whoever heard of fat people actually using gym equipment and not getting thin because of it, am I right? /sarcasm). Without spoiling the plot, he becomes a vampire, which is when this really gets interesting. I mean, who has ever heard of a fat vampire? Seems like an impossibility, right? After all, the lore is that when you become a vampire, you lose your “imperfections” and become better, faster, stronger, more “perfect.” Yeah, not so much in this book. But I didn’t find the book or its treatment of Reginald as a fat vampire to be shaming of fat people in general, although Reginald does seem to have a bit of an obsession about food — after he’s “turned,” he has no need for any sustenance other than blood, but he seems to find comfort in eating the foods he loved before he was turned. I’m looking forward to getting the whole boxed set and reading them all. And if the rest are as good as the first, I’ll probably read them all in one sitting.

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