Y. M. Nelson and Nerdy Romantics guests Marcie, Staci, Pam, Dana, and Mary recommend romance reads with plus-sized main characters as the last installment of the “Who Gets An HEA?” miniseries. The mini-series showcases romances with marginalized heroes and heroines, and in episode 24, we feature romance novels by Amy Lea, Olivia Dade, Denise Williams, Kendra Sumter, and Kat Baxter.
Because all of us personally connect to this representation, we also talked about the nomenclature of fat. How do you talk about someone’s weight or body size with positivity and non-judgement? Dana also addressed the frustration with finding books with good fat representation. Do you have recommendations or authors you like who have body positive plus-sized main characters? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org We’d love to feature these books!
In this episode, we recommend:
Set on You by Amy Lea (Influencer #1):
Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen’s happy place is the gym, until firefighter Scott comes in and smashes that peace. Sparks fly as these enemies turn lovers, and when they recognize each other at their grandparents’ engagement party, they see each other in a different light. After they’ve fallen for each other, a picture of the two of them goes viral in a very bad way, forcing them apart and causing Crystal to rethink her influencer career.
The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams:
Britta is a plus-size editorial assistant at a wellness blog and is on track to be a writer. Her test gig: write a column for a new fitness app, FitMi. Wes is looking to settle his soul and get back to the fundamentals of virtual personal training instead of his CEO duties at FitMi. When Wes decides to train Britta, they make a connection online. But when Wes and Britta decide to workout in person, all of each of their secrets come to light and threaten to break up their careers and their now more-than-friendship.
Who’s Gonna Love You Better? by Kendra Sumter (Books 1 and 2):
Nykia Wilson is a 30-year old registered nurse. She meets Rontreius Griffin, lawncare business owner, after he’s been hurt. Despite a disfigurement Rontreius has, Nykia is smitten. And despite Nykia feeling her body is not what guys want, Rontreius does. Both of them have to get over what they’ve come to believe about their attractiveness to come together.
Book 2: Nykia and Rontreius have found that once in a life time love in each other. But, not everyone is happy with their union. They must work through these naysayers to get to true happiness together.
Real Men Love Curves by Kat Baxter (Curvy Ever After, Book 1):
Luke and Erin have been best friends for years, but after she’s broken up with her latest boyfriend, Erin divulges to Luke that she’s never had an orgasm … at all. Luke offers to help teach her how to have one, but he’s in it for more than the sex; he wants Erin’s heart as well.
All the Feels by Olivia Dade (Spoiler Alert, Book 2):
Alex Woodroe is one of the stars of hot fantasy show Gods of the Gates, but he’s recently exhibited some reckless behavior. Because of that, he’s been assigned a minder, Lauren Clegg. As they get to know each other, they fall in love, but when something happens that gets Alex in trouble and costs Lauren her job, Lauren has to decide between getting her job back and being with Alex.
A Highlander for Hannah by Mary Warren (Mystic Falls, Book 1):
Hannah Glen has just broken up with her boyfriend, quit her job, and now she’s back at her family farm. Why’s she here? She doesn’t know, but maybe her friend’s suggestion of buying a love spell will do the trick. When she awakes the next day, Hannah finds a Scottish Highlander in her family’s barn. Go figure. Graham is 200 years and thousands of miles away from his home. The only way he can get back is another spell cast during the spring equinox, so Hannah and Graham have to hang out for a few months. Can they stand each other that long? Or are these anger flares really sparks of love?
What we point out:
- Book or series’ title and author
- What the selection is about
- Why we love these marginalized main characters
- Why we love the stories in general
- Who these stories would be perfect for (heat levels, tropes, character types)
Other topics addressed:
- What does it mean to be plus-sized?
- Nomenclature of fat
- how do we find plus-sized romances with healthy representations instead of those that fetishize being fat?
Where to find these books:
*The Bookshop.org link/image above is linked to a list of books reviewed on the podcast . By purchasing a book from there, you support independent book stores, and I will receive a small commission for each purchase when using these links. (This does not affect what you pay.)
Where you can find some of our Nerdy Romantics Guests
Dana and Staci:
While Dana and Staci represent themselves here, they are also permanent guests on the L-5 podcast, a YouTube podcast reviewing newly-released movies and TV shows. Check it out!
Mary Warren lives in central Illinois with her husband and 3 children. Her journey to seek out and encourage fat representation began after reading a book that had the fat representation she didn’t even know she needed. This spark inspired her to read as many fat main characters as she could.
After a while, she became an activist for representation on TikTok under #fatgirlsinfiction and then founded fatgirlsinfiction.com a website dedicated to the books and authors featuring positive portrayals of fat characters. Since then, she has kept reading and talking about fat girls.
She is now also writing about fat girls. In March of 2022 she will be contributing to the anthology Curves and Magic. A Highlander for Hannah, Mary Warren’s debut novel, has time travel, magic, and of course romance complete with HEA available now.
*This button is an Amazon affiliate link. (This does not affect what you pay.)
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