What do you get when you mix a shy, brawny MMA fighter with a shy, geek girl who’s afraid of brawny men? Pure magic, thats what!
Payton, geek-girl and web designer extraordinaire, is finally ready to step out of her shell and dip her pinky toe into the dating pool, which leads her to Bradyn MacTavish’s gym to tone up her fabulous curves. “The world fell away,” when Bradyn, a heavyweight fighter, sees Payton walk into this gym.
Unfortunately, when it comes to talking to women, Bradyn is the tongue-tied, awkward, fat kid he used to be, not the confident Red Scot persona he is in the octagon. Payton wants nothing to do with Bradyn. Due to a traumatic experience in college, men like Bradyn scare the bejesus out of poor Payton. No matter how much attention Bradyn pays Payton, she’s not having it until her girlfriends lend a helping hand to throw these two together.
Bradyn…OH EM GEE…be still my beating heart! Bradyn is Book Boyfriend gold! Bradyn was willing to jump through whatever flaming hoops required to get Payton to see him as a more than just the Red Giant, as Payton not-so-affectionately nicknames him. Although I empathized with Payton’s situation, she did frustrate me a bit, placing Bradyn in the same box as the man who attacked her in college.
“[…] that man adores you. Not all big men are abusers and rapists. Just like, not all average guys are nice and harmless. You just have to learn to read the warning signs.”
Don’t misunderstand, I liked Payton and her honest, no holds barred word vomit, but what kept nagging me about her character was why didn’t this woman — who is obviously VERY intelligent– ever get professional help to deal with her PTSD? In the TWELVE YEARS since, Payton just shut down; preferring to exist in her “imaginary room filled with Star Wars posters, video games, and a princess bed,” instead of living her adult life. That reaction to trauma is so very real, so I do appreciate why Payton was portrayed that way. Though I will admit to an occasional deep sigh as Payton keeps putting off Bradyn, who has done nothing but show her that he means well toward her.
Besides Bradyn and Payton, what I thoroughly FLOVED about this book was the dynamic between Payton and her girlfriends; Mia, Kennedy, and Royal. These heartwarming interactions brought out such hilarious moments, that had me laughing out loud as I read along. Also, the other ladies gave Payton some much needed REAL TALK at just the right times. Although the Sisterhood of the Curvy Girls was a big part of The Red Scot‘s storyline, Ms. Turner weaved it in without the reader (i.e. me) ever feeling like it took away from the journey I was on with Bradyn and Payton.
The Red Scot is a sweet and sexy read with bits of suspense and lots of humor. The story was well-executed and paced perfectly for the not-so-romantic subject matter included along the way. I can’t wait for each of the other ladies’ stories and who they’ll be paired with in the future. Btw, if you read my Release Day Spotlight, it looks like Royal will be next in the Curvy Girls Club series.
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.*