USA TODAY BESTSELLER • Real love . . . as seen on TV. A plus-size bachelorette brings a fresh look to a reality show in this razor-sharp, “thoroughly charming” (Hillary Clinton) debut.
“Relatable, incredibly smart . . . an extraordinary debut.”—Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Date and The Proposal
“Divinely witty and engrossing . . . Grade: A”—Entertainment Weekly
Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers—and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?
Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition—under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.
But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, wickedly observant debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men—and herself—for a chance to live happily ever after.
In Stayman-London's charming debut, 30-year-old Bea Schumacher is a plus-size blogger whose star is on the rise. After a late-night drunken blog post about the lack of body diversity on Main Squeeze, a dating show where 25 contestants compete for the hand of a bachelor or bachelorette, goes viral, Bea is tapped to be the next star of the show. Though reluctant about putting herself out there, Bea eventually signs on, enticed by the opportunity to expand her platform and potentially play the princess in a love story. Once on the show, Bea finds herself subject to the rejection and mockery she feared, but she also meets good, smart, and kind men who seem to genuinely love her and whom she could love back if she lets herself. Peppered with chatlogs, text messages, social media reactions, and splashy People articles, Stayman-London's debut is chatty and fun, brilliantly capturing the highs, lows, and drama of reality TV. Occasionally, Bea's critique of Main Squeeze's lack of diversity reads more like the author is signaling wokeness rather than genuine concern about underrepresentation, and the villains make easy targets. Still, this smart, delightful page-turner is a great way for dating show fans to pass the time while waiting for the next season.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book was great from beginning to end. I cried, laughed, and yelled internally. I loved how the blogs, fan chats, podcasts, etc. were woven into the story. It made it feel like a real Bachelor season. Maybe one day Bachelor will actually become totally inclusive, but if not I can always read One to Watch to relive one of the best seasons.
Wanted to really love
It’s was an okay read, super quick and nothing to amazing! Didn’t really care for the added dialogue within the actual story, felt that time could have been used for further character development. Overall it seemed drawn out, but at the same time rushed. Also didn’t love the whinyness Of the main character I relate to her thought process but it was hard to read for so long into the book.
The premise of the book is promising. But it ended up being boring in parts and seemed to drag along the way. Very little character development and unrealistic dialogue between the characters.