Big Girl Panties

Asbury Park's Stephanie Evanovich's debut novel shows how fitness can open doors to a young woman’s true self—even, or especially, when it’s cloaked under mounds of fat.

Courtesy of Publisher

The debut novel from Asbury Park author Stephanie Evanovich, Big Girl Panties, is a romantic comedy about a plus-size wallflower who suddenly finds herself among the beautiful and famous.

Holly Brennan, an insecure, frizzy-haired redhead, can only fantasize about dating a sculpted hunk like Logan Montgomery, the prominent personal trainer to pro athletes who is often photographed squiring a series of statuesque blondes.

So when Holly, boarding a flight to Newark, discovers she is seated next to this specimen of male perfection (and has to raise the armrest to squeeze in beside him), she is horrified. After awkward small talk, Logan unexpectedly offers to help Holly get in shape at his exclusive gym in Englewood.

Evanovich, niece of bestselling mystery writer Janet Evanovich, has said her own journey to fitness through personal training informed her portrait of Holly. As the pounds melt, Holly’s confidence soars and Logan finds himself attracted to her, never mind she is the opposite of his usual Barbie-doll type. Holly, only ever the self-conscious loner, can’t help wonder whether Logan’s amorous attentions are an elaborate practical joke.

But, Evanovich leaves no doubt about Logan’s intentions. In an unusual device, Evanovich’s omniscient third-person narrator constantly switches perspective from one character to the other, removing the possibility (and the fun) of the reader sharing Holly’s anxious speculation.

More than a tale of lust, Big Girl Panties (William Morrow) shows how fitness can open doors to a young woman’s true self—even, or especially, when it’s cloaked under mounds of fat.

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