A gym nemesis pushes a fitness influencer to the max in Amy Lea’s steamy debut romantic comedy.
Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes and mostly ignoring the trolls. After her recent breakup, she has little stamina left for men, instead finding solace in the gym – her place of power and positivity.
Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new gym patron who routinely steals her favorite squat rack. Sparks fly as these ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination. But after a series of escalating jabs, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents’ engagement party.
In the lead up to their grandparents’ wedding, Crystal discovers there’s a soft heart under Scott’s muscled exterior. Bonding over family, fitness, and cheesy pick-up lines, she just might have found her swolemate. But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their budding relationship to the ultimate test of strength.
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I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book. Amy Lea and I are mutuals on social media. All opinions are my own.
Initial Thoughts 🧠
Set on You by Amy Lea is one of my most anticipated books for this year. I came across the book as the love interest was marketed as inspired by Chris Evans. Yes, I have the biggest crush on him.
Aside from that, the overall hate-to-love concept also drew me in. I really had a good time reading Set on You, but there were also some things I didn’t like.
Also, it’s been months since I last wrote a book review, and I feel super rusty, so this will be a little short.
Slow-Burn Chemistry and Family Relationships
From the very start, the main characters had a really interesting rivalry. The slow-burn chemistry between them was filled with tension and I like how it was executed. Scott’s antics were quite charming and I love how he keeps Crystal on her toes.
I also liked the family connection between Crystal and Scott, and how it helped their relationship. Speaking of family, I always love reading about big families and their healthy dynamics. Coming from both an Asian household and a big family, I could easily relate to Crystal’s and Scott’s relationships with their respective families.
Highlighting Social Media’s Problematic Side
Since we’re in the digital age, where people can’t seem to live without social media nowadays, I feel like we need more stories that tackle the dark side of social media. As a plus-sized influencer, Crystal wasn’t immune to the fatphobic and offensive comments left on her page, but she knew not to deal with it.
I like how Crystal developed her approach, from ignoring them to dealing with them altogether. In reality, it’s not so easy to deal with negative comments that can affect our self-image and confidence. I totally applaud Amy Lea for highlighting such an important topic for Set on You.
Pacing and Character Development
I couldn’t fully connect with Crystal, I guess that was just because we have so many differences, but I get where she’s coming from. It’s just that she rubs me as someone who’s too judgmental, but I totally understand why she’s having trust issues.
Although, I like how the whole trust issue thing between them played out and how Crystal realized she needed to work on herself first before truly letting Scott in her life. However, it felt rushed towards the end, since the “break-up arc” was around 88% of the book.
Still, the payoff was good despite having slow and filler chapters.
Overall Thoughts 💡
This book made me feel a mix of emotions: cringing at Scott’s cheesy pick-up lines, feverish with the steamy scenes, and giddy with their chemistry. Reading this book was entertaining despite some issues I had.
Do I recommend Set on You?
Yes, if you’re looking for a quick, light-hearted read that also highlights relevant issues.
In Case You Missed It…
I chatted with Set on You author, Amy Lea a while back. Check out the interview here!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Lea is a Canadian bureaucrat by day and contemporary romance author by night (and weekends). She writes laugh out loud romantic comedies featuring strong heroines, witty banter, mid-2000s pop culture references, and happily ever afters.
When Amy is not writing, she can be found fan-girling over other romance books on Instagram (@amyleabooks), eating potato chips with reckless abandon, and snuggling with her husband and goldendoodle.
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Let’s Chat! 💬
Have you read Set on You yet? What are some of the books you read with plus-sized main characters?