Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-60504-130-0
Paranormal Romance, 2008
To Fat and Back is a story set among a few folks working for Hollister Candies. Carrie Flanagan is the office fatty, er, chubby but she has to make things so hard on herself by being infatuated with the office hunk Michael Donovan. Michael naturally prefers her svelte roommate Shiloh. Carrie is oblivious to the fact that her buddy Billy Hollister (who is, of course, thin and cute and muscular because fat guys, unlike fat women, are not worthy of love) is besotted with her. I’m sure it amuses you as it amuses much as me that the fatty of the story is also the most shallow of them all.
When a magic spell ends up causing Michael to balloon up to almost five times Carrie’s size, guess who he turns to for some comfort and cry as he tries to deal with his unexpected problem. This is Carrie’s chance to have Michael notice her for more than five seconds for once, but Billy is not going to stand there and let things happen. So what happens next? Yes, I know. You have read this story before, minus the magic thing. So have I.
Still, I’m glad that Carrie isn’t a dim-witted doormat or anything here. She’s not in love with Michael, she just wants to have sex with a hot guy, and honestly, I don’t blame her for wanting that. The short story is pretty funny at many places and I have a good time reading it.
I do get confused by the message Ms Rae is selling me, though. Yes, I know, beauty is more than skin deep, we should respect fat women because they deserve love and hot sex too… but how strange it is that at the same time the heroes have to be slim and muscular as well as hot-looking. Since the story follows the formula where the hero is concerned, the respect-all-fatties message comes off as insincere. Or are we really agreeing here that fat men should be shipped off to Tonga even as fat women deserve more TLC and respect?