After getting into a bar fight, Alexander Woodroe is in trouble. This isn’t new. Thanks to his ADHD, he often gets into trouble. But this time it’s different, the two producers of the tv show that he stars on have had enough of his antics. To keep him in line, they assign him a minder… one of the producer’s cousins. A woman who looks like a bird and is remarkably unflappable. Considering that she’s his minder, Alex finds himself liking her. And then feeling more…
In desperate need of a break from her life as an ER therapist, Lauren Clegg didn’t expect to get a job keeping tabs on a bonafide celebrity. But to keep the peace in her family when her cousin Ron asks for her help, she gives it. Grudgingly. It doesn’t help that she finds Alex attractive but also a bit of an a-hole. A charming a-hole, but an a-hole regardless. Still, she can’t help but like him… and maybe even feel more for him. But her assignment is only for nine months, besides guys like him never fall for girls like her. Except when he does…
Note: This book needs the following trigger warnings – ableism, fatphobia, body shaming, discussion of domestic abuse, discussion of workplace harassment, discussion of sexual harassment, discussion of mental illness. There may be more I missed, but this book handles the subject matters well. IMHO Also fixed fonts and font changes are present in the finished product, it’s something to keep in mind if you have a visual processing issue like I do (dyslexia, seizure, and migraine).
Okay, All the Feels totally lives up to its title. This book hit me in the feels. Multiple times. Like so many times. When I first read Spoiler Alert, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this story. I wasn’t totally in love with Alex, and Lauren wasn’t a major character in the first book at all. But I trusted that the author would be able to make this pairing work, and she did.
There’s a lot of good in here. First off, can we talk about how Alex has ADHD and how it manifests? We get to see his Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria and how it can cause him to make poor decisions or jump to conclusions. We get to see how the medications that he takes for it both help and hurt. We get to see his decision processes which can be a bit chaotic and feel impulsive to the extreme. We get to see how he hyper-fixates and also how he struggles. The portrayal of ADHD in this is well done and while there is no one universal ADHD experience this is a pretty good portrayal in fiction.
I also like the theme of choice that runs through this book. People have to choose for themselves who they want to be. But sometimes they needs a little help making good decisions. And that goes for everyone.
I really found myself liking Alex as a character. Especially his joy in simple things like taking walks, various fanfic tropes, and even just going on an old fashioned road trip. His acceptance of fan culture and his desire to be a part of it was adorable. I mean there’s a discussion on Sex Pollen. Sex Pollen for goodness sakes! I loved it.
I also really liked Lauren. She’s comfortable and content in her skin even if the rest of the world isn’t. While she doesn’t like being made fun of for things she can’t control (who does?), she doesn’t let others define her. However, what she does do is rate her own self worth as lower than those around her. This isn’t a fat person problem, although it does happen a lot with people who are overweight/fat. It’s a human problem. Particularly a woman problem. And I like that her growth is in finding her worth and what will make her happy while not sucking all of the joy out of her life.
There’s some great supporting characters. The cast of the show are great as in the first book. And I really liked that we got to see Marcus being a good friend. It’s also nice to see a good parent in these books. Alex’s mom is kinda awesome. Lauren also has her own support system, but it’s smaller and that’s part of her arc. There’s just so much in this book that I loved. I laughed out loud so many times. So so many times. I found the little interludes great…. particularly the group chats… (it’s honestly all about Whiskers ~_^)
Additionally, I loved the consent. I loved that both leads were in their late thirties. I loved that the book featured a plus-sized heroine who was okay with her weight… even if the rest of the world wasn’t.
The only disappointment was that there wasn’t a pegging scene. The author states that they wrote one but it had to be cut for length. Considering that there isn’t a lot of sex in this book, I can understand that.
Honestly, I hope that there’s more to this series. This book and the previous book are going on my reread list and if you’re a fan of fandom and plus-sized romances, then you need to read this book.
This book hit me right in the feels. And for that it gets…
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I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley