Series: A Perfect Fit #3
Published by Forever on January 30th 2018
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
This laugh-out-loud romantic comedy proves that, when enemies become lovers, all bets are off!
Jessa Gibson may be new in the little town of Granite, Texas, but in no time at all her gourmet food truck business is booming. Soon she'll have enough money to open the restaurant of her dreams. But first, she'll have to appease the hot local health inspector, no matter how strange his "violations" sound to her. No pink plastic gloves? Really?
Max Hager isn't exactly who he says he is. Pretending to be a health inspector is a (mostly) innocent mistake. A mistake made way worse by Max's immediate, electrifying attraction to the curvy, sexy, redheaded chef. Throw in a whole lot of lust, and things in Jessa's little kitchen are about to really start heating up. But can Max find a way to come clean with Jessa before his little deception turns into a recipe for disaster?
Why did I read this? Why? I managed to finish it but only because I forgot to download my next book.
The basic premise of the story is that Max, a local electrician, comes back to town after visiting his parents for two weeks. He finds out his friend and sort of father figure might lose his business at the end of the month because someone started parking their food truck in the park across the street from his restaurant and all, yes all, of the diner’s customers are now eating lunch at the food truck. (We will come back to this.) Max decides to help him out and pretend to be the new Health Inspector to scare of the food truck guy. Instead of a male owner, he meets Jessa. Sexist Max feels bad about trying to run off a woman but he needs to help Pops and keeps up the guise of Health Inspector. As he gets to know Jessa, and they begin having sex, Max knows he has to come clean but he is afraid to lose his lady over the lies.
Here’s my problems with this story. In More to Love, we have awkward characters and no real romantic connection. The only thing we really know aboux Max is that he was a chubby kid/teen who decided to start eating well and exercising and now is very cut. But Max fears returning to his prior chubby self and is over obsessive about what he eats. Since Max can’t cook and can only make himself bagged lettuce, he ended up being befriended by the man who owns the local diner, Pops, who makes Max a “special” every day for lunch. Special is their code for healthy meal along the lines of grilled chicken and vegatables or veggie burger and baked fries. They need a code because it is wrong to eat healthy? Maybe unmanly? Pop doesn’t have anything healthy on his menu so that Max can just order a #12? I will conceed that it is funny that whenever Max’s friend Sam comes in and asks if he can have the special too, Pops tells him that they just ran out. Of course, Sam eats a burger and fries almost every day so you wouldn’t think he would be interested in whatever special Max gets because he has to see what Max is eating every day.
Let’s stop and talk about Max’s food issue. Do you know anyone who eats super healthy or organic or everything kale, or is super into exercise who doesn’t like to talk about it, obsessively? Whether it is a runner or someone who just starts a new diet, they have to tell you every healthy meal they ate for the last week. Yet Max acts like it’s a dirty secret. His friends have to notice that he never, ever, ever eats anything decadant. So why does Max treat eating healthy like he’s wearing women’s underwear? I need the “special”, *wink*wink*.
Max is also a bit horrified by Jessa’s eating habits whether she is just having a sandwich or eating cold pepperoni pizza for breakfast. Jessa is average/plus size and doesn’t obsess about not being a size 2, nor does she obsess about what she is eating. Instead of talking to Jessa about eating healthier, Max runs home to eat. This is actually something he fears anyone find out, even more than the fact that he’s been lying to Jessa about being the health inspector.
I never felt any real connection between them, but they begin having sex even though Jessa knows it is a bad decision to sleep with a man who (she thinks) has control over her ability to do business. And not only is Max horrified by Jessa’s food choices, he keeps trying to get a rise out of her by making up stupid health violations and is disappointed when she meekly agrees to make the changes. He likes a woman with more fire! Of course he never thinks that a smart woman trying to run a business would know better than to mouth off to the man who can shut down her food truck. Jessa also overhears her friends say that they are surprised about Max and Jessa dating (although they never go on a date) because the women Max “dates” are all very thin. So far Max likes thin, spunky women who eat healthy and Jessa is none of this, and there is not much internal monologue where Max is explaining why he can’t get enough of Jessa. When his friends figure out what Max has done and question his relationship with Jessa considering that he has been lying to her, he gets angry and declares how well he knows Jessa. But really, he doesn’t. They really only have sex and not until most of the way through the story does he even bother to ask her any personal questions. And the sex scene aren’t even that great but then again Max is “well-hung” so that makes up for it, right?
Just to go back to the reason Max lies in the first place, Pop’s literally has no one coming into his diner except for Max and his friend Sam for a month. Not. One. Person. Because they are all eating every day at a food truck??? Our office cafeteria has been closed for two months now being redesigned and every day they have one or two food trucks stop in. They rotate them because each truck specializes in something different (pizza, hot dogs, cajun, etc) and each only have 5 to 10 things on their menu. They rotate them because NO ONE wants to eat that same unhealthy food truck offering for more than once in a week. You can’t tell me everyone in town is going to eat from same food truck every day for a month and no one is going into Pop’s restaurant unless there is something wrong with Pop’s restaurant. There is also just Pop there at the restaurant. Did he let go his cooks and waitresses because no one came in for a few days. Those people need to make a living too.
Yes, I am often told I analyse this stuff too much but if you are giving me a romance with no real romance between the main hero and heroine, I am going to start nitpicking the rest of the story since there is nothing else of interest going on. I wanted to just DNF and move on from this and the only reason I finished is because I forgot to download my next book. I had no wifi and it was either re-read something or just finish this.
Before deciding on accepting a review copy of this book, I looked at the other Alison Bliss story I read, Size Matters, because I simply couldn’t remember it enough to recall what I thought about her writing. I don’t know why I focused on the one good scene in the story before I grabbed this one but I did, ignoring my own notes on the poor character building in the prior book. Well, I am sorry I didn’t read my own review a bit more carefully. Worse, it wasn’t until I was writing this review that I even noticed that I started, book 2 More to Love, and tossed it because I hated the characters, all except MAX who I thought would be so funny and make a great love interest!!
This time I am going to make a note NOT to grab the next book in this series.