First and foremost a big thank you to Book Smugglers who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review! You ladies are the best!
Confession time: I don't read a lot of romance, and I've never picked up a "chick-lit" book. (Not that I have anything against these genres at all.) I do, however, read urban fantasy, which is romance and horror's weird love-child. When the author talked about her influences at the back of this book I really appreciated the roadmap, while much of this might be familiar territory for many readers.
Okay, so if I'm not a romance reader then why was I so keen to pick this book up? Two words: Bisexual werebear. I'm so sold. When I was reading I was also pleasantly surprised that the main character is also of a more, ahem, robust body type than you usually see depicted in stories like these. In fact, the writing Khaw did in respect to body image, fat shaming, and self-esteem was my favorite part of the book. You get to see this woman struggle with her size and how she is perceived by others. And, without giving too much away, the more her self-image improves, the better she is able to see not only herself but others around her. I loved that.
The novella is a bit choppy, jumping from scene to scene without much transition, and some characters come and go so swiftly it can be hard to tell who is important and who is not. I particularly liked the roommate and the love interest (though it would be cheating to tell you who that is). I was a little surprised that for a romance this novella is fairly tame in the sex department - if you're looking for super steamy this is not the place, however it is quite sweet. All in all it's a lovely meringue of a novella with some great things to say about body image stirred into the mix. I'd certainly give Cassandra Khaw another read in the future.