Fat & Fine
Big & Beautiful series, book 5
by Mary E. Thompson
New Release - will be available February 23 (preorder links are
After her ex insults her and breaks up with her, Sam is
determined to show him exactly what he missed out on. Sam's hurt, but Sam's no
push over. She's equally mad, too. And determined to make him eat his words.
Questioning if any man will ever look at her like she's
beautiful, Sam joins a local gym. She's led around by Brady, the gym's owner,
and is more than a little intimidated by him. His intensity scares her, but
something about him intrigues her more than she cares to admit.
When Brady defends Sam and tells her she's beautiful, she
struggles to accept his words.
As Sam works to figure out who she is, and what she really wants
to do with her career and life, Brady's strong and silent presence builds her
confidence. Until Brady dismisses her, making her think he's just as bad as her
ex. And that she'll never find someone who truly cares for her.
“Are you okay?” he finally asked.
I nodded, unable to
speak around the massive lump in my throat and the tears stinging my eyes. I
knew it I said anything I would lose it.
“Do you want to go?”
I nodded again,
anxious to get away from so many prying eyes. They might be acting nice, but
sharing my most humiliating moment with hundreds of strangers was not my idea
of a fun evening.
Brady picked up our
stuff, carrying the drinks he’d bought us, the
blanket, and our picnic basket. I focused on getting the hell out of there.
When we got to his
Jeep Brady threw everything in the back while I climbed in, ashamed and
shocked. For a fleeting second I wondered if I should be afraid of Brady, but I
knew that was crazy. Brady wasn’t dangerous, not to
me. If he hadn’t stood up for me I
would have questioned why I was with him. Instead he took out Cade with one
swing and I’d never have to
deal with him again.
Brady got in the
car and turned the key, cranking up the air conditioning, then turned in his
seat. “Come here,” he said, pulling me
The center console
dug into my side, but I didn’t care. Brady’s arms closed
around me and I lost it. Everything I’d
hid, all the fears I’d buried, all the
shame I’d felt, all the
anger I’d carried… all of it poured
I sobbed against
his strong chest, my tears soaking through his shirt. His hands rubbed up and
down my back and his heart beat a steady rhythm under my ear. I let out
everything I’d been holding in
for weeks. I hiccuped my breath and kept crying, unable to stop once I’d started.
Brady was my rock.
He held me as close as he could. He was turned at an odd angle and I knew his
back had to be killing him. I tried to pull back but he wouldn’t let me, keeping
my face against his chest. He had my head tucked under his chin and he kissed
my hair, whispering kind words as I cried.
When I could
breathe again I eased back. Brady let me but didn’t let go of me. I couldn’t face him. I
looked down, keeping my eyes from his, unsure and afraid of what I’d find there.
Mary E Thompson grew up loving to read, spending many night
hiding under the covers with a flashlight to finish a book. As an adult she
still stays up too late, but doesn’t need a flashlight
anymore thanks to her ereader.
When Mary’s not reading she’s playing with her two
kids or living out her real life romance with her hubby. She has a weakness for
chocolate, Buffalo sports teams, and wine, lots of wine.
Nickname - Sam
Job - Photographer
Level of schooling
- BFA in Photography
Birthdate - May 1
in - Winterville, NY
Favorite type of
pet - Dog
Favorite place to
visit - California
Significant other -
Most important goal
- To be happy
Worst fear or
nightmare - that my parents will never be proud of me
Favorite food - All
Wealthy, poor, or
somewhere in between? somewhere in between
Secret desire or
fantasy - No comment
What would you do
if you won the lottery? Take care of my friends.
Interviewer: Thanks for meeting
me today, Sam. I know you’re usually the one
asking questions, but we’ll try to make this
Sam (laughs): Thanks, I
appreciate that. Being a photographer I hide in the background most of the
time. Most people aren’t interested in my
Interviewer: It’s the same way in
my job, but today isn’t about me. Tell me
how you got into photography.
Sam: I took a
photography class in high school and completely fell in love. It drew me in
completely and I knew I wanted to capture moments in time for the rest of my
Interviewer: What is your
favorite moment in time?
Sam (blushes): Well, that might
be a little private, but how about I just say when Brady told me he loved me.
It was completely out of the blue, but then again, so was Brady.
Interviewer: Aw, how sweet. Can
you tell us a little more about Brady?
Sam (smiles and
gets a dreamy look in her eyes): He’s
perfect. His last name is Wright and it’s
so fitting because he really is Mr. Wright. He makes it possible for me to
achieve my number one lifetime goal.
Interviewer: Which is?
Sam: To be happy. It’s all anyone really
wants, but after Cade I wasn’t sure I’d find true
Interviewer: Well, Cade was a jerk.
Sam: Yes, he was.
What else makes you happy? Do you have a secret desire or fantasy?
Sam (blushing): Well, anyone who
knows me knows my mind pretty much stays in the gutter. That question brings up
all sorts of ideas, but none you can print. How about I just say ‘No comment’ and we move on.
Fair enough. On the other side of things, what’s your worst fear?
Sam (groans): You really know
how to dig deep, don’t you? Really, my
worst fear has always been that my parents wouldn’t be proud of me. They’ve spent years
telling me I should get a real job instead of something ‘silly’ like photography.
Even when they say they’re proud of what I’ve accomplished I
worry it’s not the whole
Interviewer: I’m sure they want
you to be successful. Would you consider yourself wealthy, poor, or somewhere
in between? That might have something to do with your parents.
Sam: I’d say I’m in between. I
charge a fair price for my work, so I’m
not poor, but I’m definitely not
rich either. I won’t get rich as a
photographer because I don’t love the work
that brings in a higher commission, but that’s
okay with me. I love what I do.
Interviewer: As long as you
have enough to eat it’s okay, right?
Sam: Oh, yeah, mama
likes to eat. That’s pretty obvious to
anyone who looks at me though. I like all kinds of foods, pretty much haven’t found one that I
won’t try! Brady gets
mad at me when I say I’m fat. My friends
use much kinder words to describe us. Addi says we’re bulky. Claire
called us lush. Mandy says chubby. Charlie likes to say fluffy, but she’s a baker so it
makes sense. Lexi says shapely, Riley is plump, and Carrie goes for husky. To
me they all mean the same thing, but Brady won’t let me say that anymore.
Interviewer: Your friends seem
important to you. How did you all meet?
Sam: Mandy, Claire,
Addi, and I went to college together. Lexi and Charlie we met from going to
Bite Me! so often. Riley and Carrie are new additions to our group and we met
them through READ. We all work well together, don’t you think?
Interviewer: Yeah, you guys are
great. I’ve noticed a few
spats though. Is it true you argue over whether dogs or cats are better? Which
side do you fall on?
Sam (laughing): Oh, yeah, that’s always been a
fight between us. I’m firmly a dog
lover. Brady picked out Lucky on our first date. He’s the ugliest dog I’ve ever seen, but
he’s so beautiful.
Brady and I think he’s perfect for us,
not so perfect on the outside, but beautiful inside.
That’s really beautiful.
Doesn’t having a dog make
it hard to travel? Are there places you want to go?
Sam: I think our jobs
are more of a hindrance than Lucky is. We’re
pretty happy at home, but if I did travel, I’d
love to go to California. The mountains and the ocean, the ancient trees and
the beaches, the hilly roads and the winding highways… it calls to the
photographer in me. I’d love to go out to
a vineyard and just wander with my camera or hang out on the beach at sunset.
It looks so beautiful out there.
Interviewer: Is that what you
would do if you won the lottery? Travel?
Sam (shakes head
Nope, I don’t think so. Our
jobs are challenging, but I don’t think we’d give up our jobs.
We’d take care of our
family and friends. They mean everything to us. I’m sure Brady could upgrade some of his
equipment and I could move to a bigger studio, but I don’t think we’d change much about
the way we live. We don’t need much, just
Interviewer: You’re so lucky Sam. It’s been wonderful to
talk to you. I wish you and Brady the best.
Sam: Thanks. This was
fun. We’ll have to get
together some time. Maybe you can join us for girls’ night some Tuesday
at Bite Me! Charlie really does make the best cupcakes you’ve ever tasted.
Interviewer: Ooh, that sounds
like a great idea!