When I started this journey seeking the best fat representation in books I found tons of young adult novels and I shared 30 recommendations. I am happy that young adults have the opportunity to read more books than ever before with variety, especially a plus-size teen reading about a plus-size teen, ya know? I venture to say that 10 years ago this was not the case, so we are making progress. Sadly, I don't have as many adult novels to recommend, but hopefully I'll share at least one that speaks to you. If you have any recommendations I can add let me know.
A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone
Synopsis: When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her...
As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Synopsis: Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes and keeps him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.
But Fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they're dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all—true love.
Teach Me by Olivia Dade
Synopsis: Their lesson plans didn't include love. But that's about to change...
When Martin Krause arrives at Rose Owens's high school, she's determined to remain chilly with her new colleague. Unfriendly? Maybe. Understandable? Yes, since a loathsome administrator gave Rose's beloved world history classes to Martin, knowing it would hurt her.
But keeping her distance from a man as warm and kind as Martin will prove challenging, even for a stubborn, guarded ice queen. Especially when she begins to see him for what he truly is: a man who's never been taught his own value. Martin could use a good teacher--and luckily, Rose is the best.
Rose has her own lessons--about trust, about vulnerability, about her past--to learn. And over the course of a single school year, the two of them will find out just how hot it can get when an ice queen melts.
40-Love by Olivia Dade
Synopsis: This match is no game.
When a rogue wave strips Tess Dunn of her bikini top, desperate, half-naked times call for desperate, please-cover-me-kids-are-coming-closer measures. Enter Lucas Karlsson, AKA that flirty Swede in the water nearby. When he prevents her bare buoys from being exposed to fellow vacationers, even an ocean can’t drown the sparks that fly.
Lucas, a former top-level tennis pro now giving lessons at the resort, fled there after the abrupt, painful end to his injury-plagued career. But he’s finally ready to move on with his life—and after a few late-night, hands-on sessions with Tess, he’s eager to prove he’s the ace she wants.
But this match comes with challenges: She’s forty, and at twenty-six, he’s barely old enough to rent a car. Worse, they only have two weeks together before Tess returns to her assistant-principal life in Virginia. During that brief time, they’ll have to play hard, take a few risks, and find out whether their chemistry is a one-shot wonder…or whether they’re meant to be doubles partners for life.
Sweetest in the Gale by Olivia Dade
Synopsis: 3 stories + 3 couples = 6 lonely hearts finding happily-ever-after at last.
"Sweetest in the Gale": Much ado about love...
Candy Albright has always stomped confidently through the halls of Marysburg High, passionate and loud and entirely devoted to her students and her various English department initiatives. From his first day as her colleague, Griff Conover couldn't look away, despite his best efforts.
After a summer apart, though, Candy returns to school a changed woman. Muted. Dimmed. Bowed by a grief Griff recognizes all too well, but doesn't yet understand. And when they're thrown together to coordinate a poetry project, he can't resist the urge to read between her lines once and for all--even if doing so means he'll have to confront his own loss...and his own lonely, longing heart.
"Unraveled": The more tightly wound a man is, the faster he unravels...
Math teacher Simon Burnham--cool, calm, controlled--can't abide problems with no good solution. Which makes his current work assignment, mentoring art teacher Poppy Wick, nothing short of torture. She's warm but sharp. Chaotic but meticulous. Simultaneously the most frustrating and most alluring woman he's ever known. And in her free time, she makes murder dioramas. Murder dioramas, for heaven's sake. But the more tightly wound a man is, the faster he unravels--and despite his best efforts, he soon finds himself attempting to solve three separate mysteries: a murder in miniature, the unexplained disappearance of a colleague...and the unexpected theft of his cold, cold heart.
"Cover Me": First comes marriage...
Elizabeth Stone has no health insurance. No savings. No one to turn to when she finds a lump on her breast...except James Magnusson, her friend of over twenty years. When he offers her a marriage of convenience for healthcare coverage, she'd be a fool to say no. But given the emotions she's buried for so long, saying yes might lead to a broken heart.
James won't take no for an answer. Not when marriage could save Elizabeth's life, and not when he's finally realized how much he needs her. Even during his doomed first marriage, James considered Elizabeth a special friend--one he had to keep at a safe distance. Now he's free, and Elizabeth is his wife...but will they finally have the chance to be together, only to have everything torn apart?
Content guidance for "Cover Me": This story contains discussions of breast cancer, an on-page mammogram and biopsy, and a definite happily-ever-after.
This book contains one entirely new story ("Sweetest in the Gale") and two stories previously published in the He's Come Undone and Rogue Acts anthologies. The latter stories have been lightly edited since their original publication, and "Unraveled" has a new epilogue.
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
Synopsis: Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (a.k.a. Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks—even though her best friend Mel says she’s the pretty one. She starts dating guys online, but she’s afraid to send pictures, even when her skinny friend China does her makeup: she knows no one would want her if they could really see her. So she starts to lose. With punishing drive, she counts almonds consumed, miles logged, pounds dropped. She fights her way into coveted dresses. She grows up and gets thin, navigating double-edged validation from her mother, her friends, her husband, her reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?
In her brilliant, hilarious, and at times shocking debut, Mona Awad simultaneously skewers the body image-obsessed culture that tells women they have no value outside their physical appearance, and delivers a tender and moving depiction of a lovably difficult young woman whose life is hijacked by her struggle to conform. As caustically funny as it is heartbreaking, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl introduces a vital new voice in fiction.
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
Synopsis: Bingo Love is a story of a same-sex romance that spans over 60 years. A chance meeting at church bingo in 1963 brings Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray together. Through their formative years, these two women develop feelings for each other and finally profess their love for one another.
Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid 60’s, Hazel and Mari are reunited again at a bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.
From TEE FRANKLIN (NAILBITER’s “THE OUTFIT,” Love is Love) and JENN ST-ONGE (Jem & the Misfits), BINGO LOVE is a touching story of love, family, and resiliency that spans over 60 years.
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Synopsis: Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:
a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise
"123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)..."
Bridget Jones' Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.
Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you'll find yourself shouting, "Bridget Jones is me!"
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Synopsis: Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And... do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.
But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Synopsis: Talia Hibbert returns with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral...
Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.
When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?
Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his... um, thighs.
Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?
Dietland by Sarai Walker
Synopsis: The diet revolution is here. And it’s armed.
Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.
Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group called “Jennifer” begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a sinister plot. The consequences are explosive.
Dietland is a bold, original, and funny debut novel that takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our weight loss obsession—from the inside out, and with fists flying.
Graham's Delicacies by Mina Waheed
Synopsis: Six people and three love stories all in one bakery.
Jen goes to work, agonizes over college, and looks forward to the stolen moments in the kitchen. There she can watch Emilie bake love into every morsel. Their delicate friendship takes a step towards a budding romance, but will Jen’s anxiety help them survive their first hurdle?
James has never been kissed but he wants to be. Especially by his co-worker Sam, who he can’t talk to without turning into a little jerk. Sam is made of all the good stuff, but will James’ deepest insecurities allow him to kiss the boy?
Alex won’t let some foodie with a video camera bash their beloved bakery, even if it means to be petty. Except they’re nowhere ready for Yujin, the one who got away and is now romancing them. Will Alex’s pride let them see the gold heart the bashful king hides?
Grounded for Christmas by Savannah J. Frierson
Synopsis: The weather outside may be frightful, but Mary and Joseph waiting out the storm together in a private lakeside cabin may be much more delightful.
Joseph Douglas isn’t just any pilot—he’s #PilotBae, complete with dark hair, blue eyes, and a jaw cut so sharp it would make a diamond jealous. He's also Mary Jefferson's little brother's best friend. But after soaring high with him for one night a few years back, his careless words had her crashing to earth, shattering her heart. But that doesn’t stop the shards of it from beating for him still.
Unbeknownst to Mary, Joseph is determined to put those shards back together. The skies feel different without Mary's sparkling brown eyes, sweet smile, and decadent curves in his life; so when a snowstorm strands them during their holiday travels, he takes the chance to man up and make things right.
They only have a few grounded nights together. How will romance between them take off a second time toward happily ever after?
Grab your copy of this short holiday IR romance featuring a hottie pilot; the older, curvy STEM heroine he adores; and a private cabin with only one bed.
His Only Valentine by Katrina Jackson
Synopsis: Kenny, the Asian-American spy, has been dating Maya, the fat Black cam model, for a few months. He used to be the kind of guy who didn’t put anything above his job and his ambition to become the best spy at The Agency. (Or second best spy, next to his idol.) But now that he’s managed to take his relationship with Maya offline, he’s finding it difficult to imagine that anything could ever be more important than coming home to her every night.
Maya can’t believe that her life is this good. Her cam channel is doing great, her savings account has a tiny bit of padding, and she has a great boyfriend who treats her like a queen and makes her blush more than ever before in her life. But she doesn’t have a great history with relationships and the upcoming fake holiday has her nervous that this is all too good to be true.
On their first Valentine’s Day together, Kenny and Maya want to make the day perfect, even when they’re forced to abandon their original plans and fly to Hong Kong to protect a foreign diplomat from a possible assassination attempt. Along the way, the two begin to realize that maybe their honeymoon phase is so good because this is what real love feels like. And it’s even better than they dreamed. .
His Only Valentine is an interlude in The Spies Who Loved Her series. These erotic romantic suspense stories are about sexy secret agents and the civilians who bring them to their knees. This story would make the most sense if you read Private Eye first.
Grand Theft N.Y.E by Katrina Jackson
Synopsis: Cleo Wright is just a happy scammer on a mission to rob a rich man before his ex-wife or the federal government seize all of his money and possessions. She's not expecting to meet another rich man who makes her want to use her nimble fingers for other, not thieving, things. But Robert Shimizu is just that man.
The two share a night of fast cars, expensive champagne and the best sex of her life. But Cleo is who she is and when Robert wakes up the next morning, she's long gone... with his car and a few other very expensive possessions.
It takes him months to track down the woman who stole his favorite watch and his heart, but when he does, there's fireworks.
Mentions of parental illness and death.
Holiday Honey by Chencia C. Higgins
Synopsis: In a city miles away from her loved ones, Kailyn is desperate not to be idle during the time of year when loneliness and depression are highest. Inspired by the age of technology, she cooks up a scheme to ensure she will be around someone's--anyone's--family, even if she has to pimp herself out to do it.
Cory fields questions about his personal life from his family regularly but during the holidays those questions morph into the sort of pressure that makes it hard for him to breath. He stumbles across a find that would not only garner him reprieve on Christmas Day, but also secure radio silence for a least a couple of months. The price might be high, but the results feel worth it.
Set during Christmas, this holiday addition to the JustOneNight.com series is about what can bloom when you let your guard down and lie to get folks off your back.
The JustOneNight.com Series
No Strings Allowed - Book 1
No Love Allowed - Book 2
The Week Before Forever - Book 2.5 (available exclusively on author's website)
No Games Allowed - Book 3
Holiday Honey - Book 4
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
Synopsis: Olivia Dade bursts onto the scene in this delightfully fun romantic comedy set in the world of fanfiction, in which a devoted fan goes on an unexpected date with her celebrity crush, who’s secretly posting fanfiction of his own.
Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he's known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.
April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.
Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.
With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?
Team Phison Forever by Chace Verity
Synopsis: Tyson Falls is ready to get married. After being disowned by his parents, his adorably grumpy boyfriend has made cautiously optimistic Tyson embrace the concept of family again. Armed with a ring and the newest video game, Tyson has plans for the nerdiest proposal.
Life throws a wrench in Tyson’s plans when he meets someone online during a multiplayer match. Someone that makes him rethink if he’s ready to start a family—the half-sister he never knew he had.
With the harsh reminder of how messy families can be, Tyson plunges headfirst into despair. Phil doesn’t deserve to be dragged into such a terrible bond. As Tyson wades through trauma and tries to push away the concept of family, he keeps turning to the man he loves most—the person who challenges him to redefine family.
Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Synopsis: She just wanted to claim her inheritance. What she got was a husband…
Xeni Everly-Wilkins has ten days to clean out her recently departed aunt’s massive colonial in Upstate New York. With the feud between her mom and her sisters still raging even in death, she knows this will be no easy task, but when the will is read Xeni quickly discovers the decades old drama between the former R&B singers is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Secrets, lies, and a crap ton of cash spilled on her lawyer’s conference room table all come with terms and conditions. Xeni must marry before she can claim the estate that will set her up for life and her aunt has just the groom in mind. The ruggedly handsome and deliciously thicc Scotsman who showed up at her aunt’s memorial, bagpipes at the ready.
When his dear friend and mentor Sable Everly passed away, Mason McInroy knew she would leave a sizable hole in his heart. He never imagined she’d leave him more than enough money to settle the debt that’s keeping him from returning home to Scotland. He also never imagined that Sable would use her dying breaths to play match-maker, trapping Mason and her beautiful niece in a marriage scheme that comes with more complications than either of them need.
With no choice but to say I do, the unlikely pair try to make the best of a messy situation. They had no plans to actually fall in love.
**This is a stand alone romance that can be read along with RAFE: A Buff Male Nanny. It features a woman sick to death of her family's sh*t and a plus-size Scotsman who just wants to make sweet, sweet music. And love.**