Size Matters, by Stephanie Haefner


Grade: C-

Doing it at: 70%

Catnip: Hot Cops; Single Dad; Kidnapping; Strong Female Lead; Friends to Lovers; Wall Sex

Shame Scale:  Low. I wouldn’t want to read this on a city bus in paperback form because of the title, but the content itself isn’t too shamey.

Fantasy Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal and Elizabeth Banks

Book Description:

In this saucy, sexy, laugh-out-loud romp, a lingerie shop owner and single mom falls for the hunky cop who just happens to holster his own perfectly sized weapon.

Bryn, co-owner of Classy ‘n’ Sassy Lingerie shop with her best friend Mia, is ready to get back out in the dating world after losing her husband to the war overseas. Diving into bad first dates, online set-ups, and guys who just can’t get the message, Bryn can’t stop thinking about Eli, the sexy neighborhood cop who’s also a great dad. But between Bryn’s dead husband and Eli’s messy divorce, will these two have what it takes to overcome their baggage and fan the flames between them?

Size Matters was given to us as an Advanced Reader’s Copy.  It’s due to be released on June 1st…so if you have it on pre-order, you may want to skip this review, because thar be spoilers. From the get-go it reads like a romantic comedy, and makes you feel like, as a reader, you’re really just snooping in a friend’s diary. Immediately, we are introduced to Eli and Bryn. Naked. Well, almost naked. Fooling around and trying to get to the good stuff. But they both have kids. And jobs and mothers and dead husbands and ex-wives and all the stuff that interrupts sexy times. So, they settle for cuddles and move on.

Bryn owns a lingerie shop that also specializes in sex toys. So she’s surrounded by and is asked to discuss sex all day. Eli is a cop with an awful, confidence destroying ex-wife. He spends his days thinking about Bryn. With both of them being single parents working to figure out the whole dating thing, every encounter seems to end in disaster. Once, Bryn’s mom calls. Another, one of the kids wakes up. Every married-with-kids couple has experienced these interruptions, I’m sure. But Eli also has some major mood killing hang-ups about his size, completely because of his horrible ex Kristen. And Bryn finds the lack of confidence to be kind of a big deal breaker. Eli, despite being sexy and funny and a good person all around, has this giant (or small) thing that he focuses on and Bryn finds it annoying. She wants a guy that knows who he is and knows how to work it, small or not. Eli’s insecurities make it extra awkward.

So, they break up. Or at least stop seeing each romantically. Bryn tries online dating. She hits on her dead husband’s friend.  Bryn’s dear friend/coworker tries to set her up with her boyfriend’s friend, Troy.  And in the meantime, she starts throwing together a huge event for her shop, complete with models and an 80’s theme. The online dating starts off with just IMs and casual flirting. The first date with Troy goes reasonably well. Despite everything looking up, Bryn can’t get Eli out of her head. I suppose it doesn’t help that all his kids and all her kids go to school together and that her son has a crush on his daughter (because they’re pre-teens, it leads to a couple uncomfortable adolescent discussions about appropriate times to masturbate.)  Eli has also started dating, but his attempts are not going as smoothly. His new woman is aggravating and demanding and I wanted to punch her. Thank whatever they break up quick.

On Bryn’s second date with Troy, things are heating up. And just as they are speeding away from the restaurant in order to get vertical, Troy is pulled over. By Eli. And because he’s a cop, he does everything in his power to make the date fizzle out. One more strike out for Bryn. This poor girl is never getting laid. And the seemingly cute guy that she’s been chatting up online has turned stalker on her. Time to delete her profile. And it’s at this point in the story that Troy becomes a giant douchebag about her kids. You know, because a single widow has plenty of ways to get rid of her three small children at the drop of a hat. Of course. He even laughs at her son. During his birthday party. And then tries to feel her up. During her child’s birthday party. He’s a meathead that no one really likes, but Bryn seems to see something in him (I think she just wants to get laid).

Following the disaster that was a 10-year-old’s bday party, Eli finally hashes it out with his ex to find out why she thinks he’s such an awful person. She doesn’t, apparently. She’s just a bitch. And Bryn is deflecting stalker internet boy as well as explaining to meathead Troy that her children dictate when and if she’s able to go out. Again. Jesus, this guy can’t seem to get it. I want to smack him.

Finally Eli works up his nerve to just go after Bryn. This took forever. Both of them are pining for each other through the entire book. (JUST FRICKING DO IT ALREADY) He shows up at her shop, in uniform (hot), and just goes for it. He doesn’t say anything (hot), just stalks across her office, grabs her up and bangs her against the door. And we get a chance to find out what all the fuss downstairs is about. Small? I think that’s what he was worried about. Bryn describes it as beer can sized. Those are the words used. Beer can. Us Shame Girls actually spent a little time (a lot. stop judging) Googling what that might look like. Google is disappointing. Luckily, we have active imaginations and too much free time.

After Eli’s wall bang and declaration of love, Bryn has to break it off with Troy. He doesn’t make this easy. (I would have dumped him after date one, but I’m not as desperate as Bryn.) Troy stops over in the middle of the night hammered and thinking he’s getting some action. Then Eli shows up after his shift. With some quick thinking, and a lot of regret, she convinces Eli to come another night and lets drunk Troy sleep it off in the living room.

The weekend of the lingerie’s shop event comes, and Bryn and her coworkers are ready to model the store’s new lingerie line. What follows is action, some near naked strutting around, kidnapping, action, drunk guys, a little more action and a savior. And a giant Brady Bunch Happily Ever After. This book was okay. Not great. I read it, but I found it to be a little vanilla and bland compared to the other books that Mary and Cleone have forced on me (and I haven’t even gotten to the really dirty ones yet). And I was sad I didn’t figure out the mystery of the penis until almost the end. But Haefner is an established author with several other books and I know her fans will appreciate this one.