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Review: One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

Title: One to Watch

Author: Kate Stayman-London

Year Published: 2020

Category: Adult fiction (romance)
Pages: 424
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map)USA (OK, CA, OH, NY), Morocco, and France

FTC Disclosure: I paid for this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers—and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition—under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, wickedly observant debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men—and herself—for a chance to live happily ever after.
Review: I have only ever watched about half an episode of the Bachelor, it's never really been my type of TV show. So how come I enjoyed reading this book so much?

Bea is a fun character and she isn't one dimensional. She is confident, but not. She is fashionable, fun, defensive, a good friend, and markets herself really well. What she is not is sure about love and what she really, really wants from life. So a chance to be the "star" of a dating reality show? Sure! She'll show everyone that plus size people can find love, too. But what if it hurts and isn't easy? What if she can't trust the men on the show (since some are real jerks)? And what if she falls in love?

I admit that I felt like I was watching the show in real time, hoping certain men would be kept on with each episode. I wanted Bea to be happy and to pick the guy I wanted for her. I wanted it all to work out with a happy ending. So, yeah, I enjoyed reading this book even though I don't plan on watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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