Did you ever read Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire? Well, then you’ve basically read Bender. Of course, there’s no boxing in this book…or gambling. But what we do have are two twenty-somethings who kind of dislike each other, but decide to be roommates anyway. They also have an undeniable attraction to one another, and don’t mind using their kitchen counter for activities other than food preparation. So, basically it’s the same plot-line as Beautiful Disaster, minus all of the interesting side activiites. Will you look at that cover photo though? Me likey 🙂
Keegan is looking for a place to live. After looking at a few different places which would result in her having a psycho for a roommate, she has basically given up hope of ever finding anything worthwhile. Honey, I’ve been there! Then she finds the perfect place which is right in her price range, but her roommate would be a rude, crude hunk of muscle who calls her chubby behind her back. Also, his name is Camden. Seriously? His name alone should have been a warning sign to stay far away. So what does she do? She signs the lease! Let me tell you that this would only turn out well in a romance novel. In real life we would probably hear on the 6 o’clock news about a young woman assaulting her roommate for being a dick. Anyway, they fall into a routine where they basically avoid each other at all costs, but once Keegan starts dating someone else, Camden starts to show a jealous side which indicates that he may have deeper feelings for her than she ever realized. Again, if you have read Beautiful Disaster you will realize that this is pretty much a borrowed story line. I mean, he even has a nickname for her! If you haven’t read this other book to which I keep referring, then I apologize for providing you with useless comparisons.
Once these two quit tiptoeing around their feelings and just hump each other already, we are provided with some pretty descriptive and interesting sex scenes. Let’s just say after reading this novel I will probably never look at workout equipment the same way again. Who knew how many different muscles you could actually stretch on one of those things. Tee hee, giggle giggle! Although, it does seem pretty unprofessional, not to mention unsanitary for Camden to bring Keegan to the gym that he owns, and then have sex with her all over the equipment. I feel sorry for the cleaning lady. Next time you go to the gym you might want to consider giving that machine an extra wipe-down before you even start using it. Just saying, you never know.
Now it’s time for me to go off on a mini-tangent, mainly because there isn’t much more to talk about in regards to this book. An interesting part of this story, and a theme that I am starting to see more and more of in romance novels, is the question of physical beauty. Keegan has always seen herself as rather curvy, and not the prettiest girl in the room. Then you have Camden, who has the body of a Greek god, and he can’t keep his hands off of her. I feel like a phrase which is very common nowadays in smut, and in this book as well, is, “A guy likes something to hold onto during sex”. Well doesn’t that just make all of us size 8’s and up in the world feel better? Honestly, it kind of does! You mean I don’t need to have the body of a Victoria’s Secret model to end up with a good-looking guy, and I can have that bowl of ice cream for dessert? Sweet! Actually, not really. You see, they kind of take it back.
Romance novels will always spout on and on about how the girl isn’t comfortable with her body image, but that the guy still sees her as beautiful. HOWEVER! One of Camden’s first comments about Keegan was that she was the “chubby girl”. He then insists that she go to the gym with him to workout. It’s only after she starts working out regularly, and losing weight, that they begin a sexual relationship. And best of all, every other woman who sees Keegan with Camden can’t believe that he would date someone as ugly/large as her. So what message exactly are you trying to put out there? Clearly it can’t be that Keegan is the only one who sees herself as unattractive, and that it’s just an issue of self-image. You say that he likes a woman with curves, but then she has to start exercising and losing weight before he officially wants to start a relationship with her. Seems like a doube-standard to me.
All in all, this book was just sort of blah. I actually finished reading it months ago, but couldn’t bring myself to write a review about it because I didn’t really know how I’d fill up an entire blog post. Something that’s interesting though is that Bender is the first book in a series which will focus on each one of Camden’s brothers, and even though I didn’t fall in love with this book I am excited to read the others. We are introduced to each of his brothers throughout this book, and I thought they were more interesting characters than Camden. A little snippet is provided at the end as to what the next book will be about, and I must say I am intrigued.
Series: The Core Four, book 1. I just realized that I have no freakin’ idea why this book was called Bender. Anybody else know? Is it a baseball thing considering that all of the brothers are named after baseball stadiums, or something stupid like that?
Should you read it? Meh. You know that other book I kept talking about at the beginning? Beautiful Disaster. I think that one was more interesting. Slightly more ridiculous and unbelievable, but more entertaining.
Smut Level: Pretty graphic and smutty, especially the scene in the gym. But it couldn’t really hide the fact that the plot was sub-par.
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Hi! I’m not a fan of the gym anyway, and won’t run unless someone is chasing me. Thanks!
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I’m not fond of the body issue in romances and the world at large. I feel as a romance writer I should put something in about it because as you said, it’s in all romance books, but I feel like I’m adding to the problem when I do. Honestly, men don’t need a six pack to be good in bed and women don’t need to starve themselves to be good in bed.
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LOVE this book! And love your review 😉 I’m pretty sure ‘Bender’ is a baseball thing as the second book is called ‘Slider’ and features a guy holding a baseball bat on the cover…. but I have no clue about anything baseball related so I couldn’t tell you what it refers to!! Time to look at google…:D
Thank you for this review!! I’ve been on the fence about reading this. I’ve been wanting to read Beautiful Disaster more. So again thank you for helping me make my choice easier.
Great review! I laughed so hard at the gym equipment section. Extra wipe downs in the future! My hubby said the title is a type of pitch. 🙂
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