Review–Thrown for a Curve (Perfect Fit #2) by Sugar Jamison

thrown for a curve by sugar jamisonPublisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publish Date: February 25, 2014
How I got this book: eARC from the publisher through Edelweiss

WHEN YOU’RE A big girl

Cherri has often wished she were thin and graceful like a ballerina instead of being a six-foot-tall blonde with curves that require serious caution. Surely a charming Irishman like her new boss Colin, with his throaty brogue and to-die-for bod, would never go for someone like Cherri. Unless maybe he’s looking for the exact opposite of a delicate lass?

there’s more of you to love

When Colin hired Cherri to work in his furniture-restoration shop, he had his eyes, first and foremost, on her artistic talents. But now he can’t help but see Cherri for the lush, spirited beauty that she is…and, soon enough, he finds himself mixing business with pleasure. But Cherri turns out to be more vulnerable than she appears. Is she in need of more than Colin can give? Or could it be that a feeling stronger than lust has him thrown for a curve?
*blurb courtesy of Goodreads

I picked up Thrown for a Curve because the first book in the Perfect Fit series, Dangerous Curves Ahead, was an absolute hoot. The heroine was snarktastically funny, and her curvy self gets her HEA without having to diet or drastically change anything except her attitude about accepting herself.

One of the best things about the story was the way it centered around her clothing store, Size Me Up, and the crew who worked there. I want a Size Me Up store in my neighborhood–a place that caters to women who are not a standard size, and provides terrific fashion advice AND alterations to make everything fit just right.

Thrown for a Curve is about one of the crew at Size Me Up. Cherri Rudy is both tall and curvy, she’s six feet tall and built like an Amazon. At 22, she’s had no luck getting dates, because guys her age are still looking at undersized waifs.

Cherri has, let’s call it a crush, on Colin O’Connell, the best friend of both her boss Ellie and her husband Mike. Because they’ve all been palling around for years, Colin has always seen Cherri as a young girl, but for the last year he’s had a hard time keeping her in the “friend zone”. She’s grown up into just the kind of woman he wants.

But Colin is 12 years older than Cherri, and his overprotective buddy Mike has declared that Cherri is off limits. Inexperienced Cherri isn’t ready for just a fling, and she has a ton of responsibilities weighing her down.

Cherri’s grandmother, her only family, has Alzheimer’s. Cherri is still sailing up the river of denial, and pretending that her Baba is not getting progressively worse fast. Meanwhile, Cherri is working to support the two of them and living in a house that is falling down around them.

Cherri may or may not need a man in her life, but she certainly needs help from her friends that she is too scared or too proud to ask for, until her grandmother’s health becomes a crisis.

While Cherri is dealing with grief and loss, Colin is the one who steps in to help her. While he’s terrific about it, there’s also an element of him taking care of Cherri too much. He’s finally figured out that he wants Cherri in his life, and will do anything to make her see that she needs to be with him, when really, he needs to be with her.

I was disappointed with Thrown for a Curve, especially after the sparkle of Dangerous Curves Ahead. While Cherri’s need to care for her grandmother was heartbreaking, the way that she took all the burdens on herself took the story on more of a downward turn than I was expecting. Cherri has been incredibly self-sacrificing, and sometimes she seems both too good and too innocent.

A big deal was made of the 12-year age gap between Cherri and Colin, yet it didn’t seem that their real issue was the age difference so much as the huge experience gap. Colin frequently tells himself that he needs to keep away from Cherri so that she has a chance to explore life, but then he takes over everything when her grandmother’s health goes into a crisis.

There’s also a baby ex machina plot, and that is one of my least favorite tropes.

For a series that started out much lighter, Thrown for a Curve is weighed down by all the angst of the two main characters. There isn’t nearly enough of the story with the Size Me Up store and its regulars. I want to go back to the store. I also still want the store.

I give Thrown for a Curve a C+

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