Over the past few years, there has been a push for more inclusive characters in romance novels, with a real focus on fat love interests. There have been some positive and well written titles, but many authors have failed at creating stories that feature plus size women who find love while also not shaming them about their weight. Oliva Dade has quickly emerged as an author that can write relatable fat characters without being condescending and without their weight being the only thing that defines them. Spoiler Alert is no exception to this, and I highly recommend this fun and charming romance.
From Goodreads: Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately. April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction. With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?
This book was a delight from start to finish with just enough angst and real-life drama to keep it interesting and keep the reader invested in Marcus and April’s relationship. What I like most about Dade’s writing is that it is real while still allowing the reader to escape into the romantic world she’s created. April is a fat woman who doesn’t let her weight effect every aspect of her life but at the end of the day she is still a human being and has let her fear of how people view her weight effect some decisions in her life. This doesn’t make her weak, it makes her relatable. And while other authors would want to write the love interest at the perfect hero who is there to swoop in and reassure the woman that he loves her despite her weight or her other “imperfections,” Dade doesn’t do that. She doesn’t like perfect characters because that’s not how life is and Marcus isn’t the typical romance hero. He has the looks, and the money, and the fame but he too has things he is afraid to show to the world. There’s nothing more boring than perfection and Dade writes imperfection beautifully.
While the romance plot to this book is implausible (a famous actor falling in love with a fan), the writing is authentic, the dialogue is realistic and clever, and all the characters are enjoyable so the fact that this would never happen in real life doesn’t matter. While I truly believe anyone would find this book enjoyable, if you are into cosplay, fandoms, or read fanfiction, I think you will find this book even more special. If I had one issue with this book, it’s that I could see someone with no knowledge of the fandom world feeling lost with some of the terminology and the nerdy world that April and Marcus live in. But I would still recommend this book to general romance readers.
I really loved this book and am happy that authors like Olivia Dade are writing fun romance novels with plus size heroines and flawed but realistic love interests. The themes of acceptance and finding joy in your life at any age were wonderful and much needed right now. I highly recommend this book.
Favorite Quote: “I’m not looking to be fixed. I want to be loved and liked and desired not because of my size, not despite my size, but because I’m ME. My character, my choices, my words.”
Author: Olivia Dade
Published: October 6th, 2020
Rating: 5 Stars