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REVIEW: Heavy Issues by Elle Aycart

Dear Ms. Aycart:

This is one erotic romance that I wished for less sex and far more time spent with the characters out of the bed, or out of the car, or off the bike. The book starts off with Christy getting intoxicated with her friends and wishing for a, well, male prostitute.  She rips off her engagement ring and it lands on Cole Bowen who just happens to be walking by at the time. Cole has had his eye on  Christy ever since she came to town but she didn’t throw off any signals and he isn’t much for the difficult pursuit. But the ring thing along with Christy’s vocal declarations of needing sex eases his path, so to speak.

Heavy Issues Elle AycartChristy has a lot of issues with her body and sex.  It makes sense that she would drunkenly say that she would like a stud for hire.  He would be paid to please her and thus she wouldn’t be as self conscious in bed, or so she thinks.  Cole has other ideas and lots of energectic sex ensues and while it is graphic, I was somewhat dismayed. Cole treats Christy without much regard. She has serious image issues and pleaded for him to take it slower, easier, not so obvious. But he ignores her, splaying her in front of the mirror, making sure the lights are on bright, and so forth.  I understood that I was supposed to appreciate how much Cole loved Christy’s body but when she is pleading with him, particularly their first time, to dial it down a little. I had a hard time believing that Christy was even aroused if she was so concerned about her body, let alone dripping with so much moisture that they could fill a kidddie pool (that is my descriptor and not in the book but yes, she is very very very wet all of the time).

When we eventually do see the couple upright and engaged in non sexual activity, I am pleasantly surprised at how funny and genuine the characters come off.

Christy’s issues with food are well articulated. Food is like a drug to her, and a bad one. She’s conquered it but like an alocholic, always tempted by it. People don’t observe her limits, constantly pushing food on her. She’s eventually taken to telling people she has a gluten allergy. The scene in the restaurant where her food allergy and her engagement ring leads to a series of erroneous assumptions had me literally laughing out loud.

Both Christy and Cole have mommy issues and those, too, are interesting and thoughtful.  Christy has accepted her mother’s poor parenting with resignation but Cole’s pain over his mother’s abandonment festered and affected his ability to have a loving adult relationship. But so little time is spent teasing out the characters and their backstory that at times they are like  rock em sock em robots whose sole misison is to fuck rather than fight.

The emotional conflicts were more enticing than the sexual ones.  Cole struggled to let Christy in even when he accepted that he might have strong feelings for her but I felt more should have been done to address Cole’s need for control which served as a counterweight to Christy’s issues toward her weight because Cole’s need to be directing and controlling the action arises out of his need  to maintain the correct emotional distance.

There is not much internal contemplation and much of the character reveal is done through infodumps, but it is not a criticism, just a point of reference for readers.  I enjoyed this story but I felt like it could have used a few less sex scenes and more emotional development.  C+

Best regards,



Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. JenM
    Sep 14, 2012 @ 19:30:40

    I’m right in the middle of this book and I would agree that Cole pushes Christy a bit too much initially given her body image issues (I, too, was wincing at the mirror scene), however, I’m enjoying the story and characters a lot and will most likely end up giving it a “B”. I really like this author’s style. I had picked up her previous book, More Than Meets the Ink, on a whim (couldn’t resist the tattooed hero) and was very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it, so I knew I would be reading this one.

  2. Kaetrin
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 01:00:08

    I’m interested but will have to wait for a special. $7.99 is a but much to try a new author especially when the recommendation is somewhat qualified.

  3. REVIEW: Inked Ever After by Elle Aycart
    Apr 11, 2013 @ 12:02:07

    […] have been a mistake for me to read this because while I had read a previous book in this series (Heavy Issues) it was not the book featuring the main couple in “Inked Ever After.” Thus I was lost. […]

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