Muscles & Monsters Ashley Bennett #MusclesandMonsters #Review

This is a novella that follows a curvy pastry chef who owns her own bakery and a wolven/werewolf?/wolf-person who owns a gym. This is a realistic fantasy world where non-humans and humans are slowly integrating into communities together. This town integrated and I think it’s supposed to be recently integrated?

The main characters are super cute and adorable in their lust for one another. This does become an insta love as they seem to fall for one another after their first meeting. This hits the interested in one another thing I appreciate in romances. They like one another and are not focused on changing the other, or just being an asshole.

This goes between Tegan (Female Human character) and Atlas (Main Non Human Male Character). This story has the insecure “Does she/he like me?” and looking for hints to figure out whether the other person likes them.

It’s a novella so everything is compacted. They do show MNHMC and FMC at work, in their own place, they are always obsessed with one another.

He is a nice gym bro. And, not the “nice” creeper way. This is the second romance/erotic that I read where it involves the gym. I do not know if I am stumbling into a new interest or if the writers are just well enough writing with this as a background.

His gym bro friends are also cute and we get to see those interactions. She also has friends but they are not there a lot — seems she mostly texts/calls to interact with people in her life. Which is not that uncommon these days.

Pros:

Super cute and sexy scenes that match the characters/situations. No dubious consent.

Curvy / midsize (IDK the modern terms) female lead. She has some body image issues but it does not consume her and does not stop her from getting who/what she wants.

Spoilers: Female lead takes the lead in the sexual encounters (she goes down on him). She starts the interactions that lead them where they’re going. Yes, he offered to privately train her and get her number. But everything after was started due to Tegan.

The friends are fun to see and interact with — well his friends.

How the story handles body image issues. Tegan does not cure Atlas’s body image issues the first time they meet. She knows that they will need to work on it together if he lets him.

Lot’s of consent talking and discussion of testing, etc.

Cons:

Female Lead friends are flatter than the main dudes friends. It’s a novella so I know it’s hard to squeeze things in and keep it to the important elements.

There is a gay best friend. Who is supposedly like the bestie of besties but we don’t really see any deep connection/interactions between her and this character…. other than stereotypical “Gay best friend” behaviors….so it fell flat imo. Add in gay people please just….don’t side line them like that. Eep.

His friends felt more like friends and they were more involved with the story line.

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