Monday, March 25, 2013

Picture Perfect

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ebook young adult body image

Fashion design major Cat Mitchell has a closet full of gorgeous clothes - and not a single thing fits. After two years of runway modeling for easy cash, an accident shattered her lower leg bone and her self-esteem in just one swift fall. Ten months of no exercise, prescription steroids, comfort eating and yoga pants meant returning to campus as a size twelve instead of her former size two. 

When her gorgeous long-time friend with benefits sees her for the first time after her accident and snubs her in front of all her friends, Cat’s self-image hits rock bottom. Her sorority sisters all insist that she looks gorgeous, but all Cat sees is the roll of her stomach when she sits down, or the dimpling at the back of her thighs that wasn't there last year. Cat’s therapist prescribes something radical to stop the downward spiral - nude modeling for a nearby college's human form drawing classes. 

When Cat faces her fears and bares it all for the class, she realizes that she's posing naked in front the most gorgeous, buffest guy she's ever seen in her life. He asks her out after the class, and after one steamy night together, Cat's absolutely smitten.

Nate’s pretty close to perfect – he takes Cat rock climbing when he discovers that it makes her feel strong and becomes a great chef after he learns that the perfect pesto sauce makes her swoon. Cat starts to feel like her old self again - confident and beautiful - as long as Nate's around. Even when he discourages her from entering the Real Woman Project, a design competition for plus-sized apparel, she reasons that he's just trying to prevent old body image wounds from splitting wide open again.

But when Cat goes home with Nate for Thanksgiving, she discovers something shocking from his recent past that proves that he hasn’t always been so encouraging of women of all shapes and sizes. Cat has no idea what to think, but she does know one thing - this might destroy their relationship before it's even had a chance to get off the ground. 

Before Cat can figure out whether the real Nate is the sensitive, adoring guy she fell in love with, or an undercover asshole, she'll have to finally feel comfortable in her own skin - even if it means leaving him forever.


I found the classroom easily enough, and saw through the doorway there was just one person in there - a woman with frizzled, half-gray hair exploding from a floppy cloth hat in a way that somehow looked completely natural on her. She wore a gauzy tunic over flowing pants, and long strands of beads that clinked together as she busied herself with some portfolios on her desk. She was muttering to herself, and I had to clear my throat just to get her attention. 
“You have the wrong classroom, darling, this is human form class.”
“Oh, no.” I said. “I’m it.”
“You are...?”
“I am the human form. And I’m pretty nervous.”
“Oh!” The woman threw her head back and laughed. “You must be Catherine.”
“Cat,” I said, nodding. 
“Yes, you are beautiful,” she said, tilting her chin up to peer into my face. “And a gorgeous height. They’ll love this.”
Over my shoulder, someone said, “Whoa, we’re drawing a supermodel today, huh?” 
For a split second I wondered who the hell he was talking about, until I realized he meant me. 
A split second later, when I saw his face, I wanted the dull tile floor to split and swallow me whole. 
I recognized him. And I wished I hadn’t. It was Hannah’s hot friend from the bar the night Jake snubbed me,. Meaning, he was going to be drawing the nude model. Which was me. 
His name popped into my head as my face flushed. Nate. The hottest guy I’d ever met.   And he going to see me and my fat rolls naked in about five minutes. 
Holy. Shit. Holyshit.
He was one of the tallest guys I’d ever seen. I was guessing he was six foot three - almost a head taller than me. The hard angle of his jaw trailed down to a strong chin, and it was all dotted in a day’s worth of dark stubble. I drank in his dark,, sparkling eyes. That tousled mess of dark chestnut hair that made him look like he’d just gotten out of bed. The round neck of his t-shirt dipped just low enough to give me a peek at his shoulder muscles and the tops of his pecs when he bent down to set his bag on the ground.

Then he rolled up his sleeves. Even his damn forearms twitched with muscle and tendon. His hands were wide and strong with long fingers, and smudged with charcoal, and in the space of three seconds I had a brief fantasy about a trail of charcoal outlining the path of his hands across my skin.
“Yes, this is Cat, and she’ll be our model today.”
Nausea roiled in my stomach. 
“Are you alright, dear? There’s a little room through that door,” she gestured to a door behind her, “where you can change into your robe. You did bring a robe?”
“I...uh...” I just had my wristlet wallet, car keys, and cell phone.
“It’s your first time? Really?” The guy had such a look of surprise on his face. 
“Well, I used to model, but then I got in an accident, and had some surgery,’s just been a long time. I look a lot different than I used to.” The words came out breathlessly, like I wasn’t even sure I wanted to say them until they were already out. I couldn’t believe I’d said anything. It was his damn friendly face that made me want to tell him my life story.
“Let’s remember our guidelines, Mr. West? Don’t ask the models questions?”
The guy flushed red and shuffled some papers around on his desk. “I’m sorry, Professor Astor. You’re right.”
“Thank you. Now, get your materials ready, hmm?”
Professor Astor gently put a hand on my back and led me to the door. “You, Cat, can call me Julia. You can go ahead and get dressed back there, and I’ll come knock when we’re ready for you.”
My head spun. I’d known I was going to have to undress in front of other students my age. But the last thing that had occured to me was a guy this hot would be part of that group. I gritted my teeth. Nate being here should not change anything. I wouldn’t let his being here change anything. He was just a guy, and I was just a model. I was here to feel beautiful, to feel powerful. I was not going to worry about what one guy thought about me naked. 
He was just one guy.
One completely gorgeous guy.

Author Bio:

Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since she's not, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and
girls falling in love and really living life for the first time. When she's not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.


Now this is not your run of the mill Romance book by any means.
I think most women can relate to Cat's story in some way.  It's heart breaking really that Cat just can't get comfortable in her own skin but she went up 4 size in less than a year so it's quite understandable. Nate is Cat's knight in shining armor making her feel sexy & strong. All is going so well until discovers his past. I think Cat leaving Nate and finding herself was the most important life changing event Cat could have done. He pleads with her to hear him out but Cat doesn't want to hear what he has to say~ so he makes a grand gesture now can she forgive him?


"And the way his palms pressed against me, like my curves were only helping him grab onto me, move me where he wanted me to go--I could have written my ass a love letter right then and there."

"...Now you're my entire definition of perfect."

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