Set on You is a cute swoony romance about being vulnerable and learning to trust again. Once burned twice shy your favorite motto? Then you’ll have to read this one! I enjoyed this debut romance and the romantic angst! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes and mostly ignoring the trolls. After her recent breakup, she has little stamina left for men, instead finding solace in the gym – her place of power and positivity.
Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new gym patron who routinely steals her favorite squat rack. Sparks fly as these ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination. But after a series of escalating jabs, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents’ engagement party.
In the lead up to their grandparents’ wedding, Crystal discovers there’s a soft heart under Scott’s muscled exterior. Bonding over family, fitness, and cheesy pick-up lines, she just might have found her swolemate. But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their budding relationship to the ultimate test of strength.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: racism, fatphobia
I couldn’t not love Crystal. As a fitness influencer and biracial curvy heroine, she is used to trying to embody confidence. To show the haters – and there are haters – that they won’t get her down. But is her desire to always be strong, going to mean that she loses the ability to be vulnerable? While this theme is only really focused upon towards the latter half, it’s my favorite part of Set on You. As a woman of color myself, I can only empathize with this constant idea that we have to be strong and so this theme resonated strongly with me.
Part of love is to find someone we can trust to help share our burdens. To know that letting them listen to us is enough and that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to handle ourselves. This universal theme emerging cemented my enjoyment of Set on You. This enemies to lovers romance began with me entirely agreeing with Crystal on why she didn’t like Scott. And, to be honest, it took me a while to warm up to Scott. But over time this teasing-and-riling-you-up gives way to a softie underneath – it was just a love/hate for me.
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Crystal was – by far – my favorite element in Set on You. I could empathize with her reservations about trusting. Thinking that our relationships are always going to go down the same path. That we will always be a second pick. With quick banter (born from insults), Crystal and Scott certainly have sparks. But I would say that my favorite part of the book has to be Crystal’s journey and character.
The latter half was definitely my favorite as she was given a bit more time to explore her own insecurities and fears. If you think you might like Crystal as a heroine, then pick this one up for yourself! Find Set on You on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.