Diary of a Dieter
by Marie Coulson
Release Date: 8/17/13
Genre: Contemporary Romance, British Romantic Comedy
Curvy girl, Charlene Winters, had it all: the great career, wonderful friends and a dreamy fiancé.
With her wedding day just three weeks away, Charlene is dealt a devastating blow. Suddenly finding her life, hopes and plans in tatters, the jilted bride sinks into despair and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough. With the heartache of her fiancé’s infidelity still fresh, Charlene’s whisked away by her friends on a life-changing holiday. But how will this big fish cope now that she’s back in the dating pond and surrounded by slender trouts with Botox lips?
Frustrated by best friend Adam thwarting her attempts at romance, and her girls Vanessa and Dana eager to set her up with a boy toy, Charlene decides the time for change is upon her. What she needs is a change of scenery, a change of dress size and maybe, a change of heart.
My Rating: 5 Coffee Cups!!
So before reading this I was pre-warned with these two things: 1- Marie Coulson will not be held responsible for any peeing of pants and 2- She has a talent for making up curse words. These were both very fair and accurate warnings, which I am also happily passing along to you. This book was hilarious. I don't think I've laughed this much at a book in awhile. Also, it's British! What's not to love about things that are British?! If you read any bit of my bio you'll see that I am a self proclaimed anglophile, so I'm pretty sure this book served as a form of anglophile crack for me.
This book essentially opens to Charlene being dumped. 3 weeks from her wedding. On Christmas Day. She is, pretty understandably, devastated and humiliated. She has the support of her best friends Vanessa, Dana and Adam but the jilting leaves her completely planned out life pretty much in shambles. And her self -esteem crushed. Not only did her fiancee call of the wedding, he admitted that he was cheating AND blamed her for it because she gained some weight. He was a horrible, terrible guy who I truly wanted to virtually castrate. Her friends rally around her attempting to bring her out of the depression she falls into and trying to get her back on the dating horse. Now this is where some of the hilarity happens. She has some of the WORST first dates that I think I may have ever read. They are INSANELY funny and terrible all at the same time. But as funny as it is, it's heartbreaking for Charlie. She is a typical girl- she just wants to find her Prince Charming. The thing is, she already has one right in front of her and she just doesn't open her eyes enough to see it. Adam.
Adam has been her best friend since they were like 12, when she beat up a bully for him- a then chubby little boy. They never looked at each other romantically, but he has been her everything for as long as she could remember. He helps her deal with her family. Although Charlie's family- particularly her Gran (do NOT underestimate the hilarity of Gran)- add to the comedy in this book, they are a source of pain and bitterness for her. Constantly judgmental, never supportive and consistently ridiculing her, Charlie's family is a tough pill to swallow. But Adam goes, serves as a buffer and offers his shoulder to cry on after ever encounter. As the book progresses, it's easy to see that Adam is in love with her. Not a best friend kind of love, but a true to the bone, heart blazing kind of love. Also, as the book progresses you want to slap some sense into Charlie to help her see this. Adam picks her up every time she falls, he is supportive of her (even when he believes she's making a huge mistake) and he accepts and loves her as she is.
Lifting my chin with his knuckle, he shook his head lightly.
“I am looking at you. I’m always looking at you, and do you know what I see?”
I shook my head.
“I see a fun, gorgeous, sexy, and incredibly amazing woman.”
I sniffed into my tissue and gazed at him through my tears.
“Well, if everyone thinks I’m so damn hot and sexy, why can’t I see it, and why the hell am I still yet to get laid?” He chuckled. “You are hot, sexy, and incredible. I have no idea why you don’t see it. As for why you haven’t gotten laid, the guys you’re choosing clearly have no idea what they’ve got in their hands.”
The thing that really had me truly LOVING this book is that it's not just an amusing, sometimes raunchy comedy. It has heart. As cliched as that may sound, it's the truth. The romance is sweet, the characters are completely honest (I could totally see Charlene being one of my friends) and the bit of heartbreak and angst in the story are 100% believable without being over the top or feeling unnecessary. You follow Charlene's story and you get annoyed at her, you want to hug her and you want to laugh at her, but you become invested in her story- in her life.
Hauling my gym bag beside me, I pushed my way into the gym. The smell of sweat immediately wafted up my nostrils, and I gagged loudly. Dana cringed beside me.
“Oh my God. Charlene, it smells like crotch in here!”
Snorting a laugh, I held my hand over my mouth and nose. She wasn’t wrong. It wreaked, but the need to lose weight was overruling my need for fresh—or at least less clammy—air. Holding our breath, we made our way through the reception to the large aerobics hall at the far end. If there was ever a fear of us being blinded by old women and their cellulite … we were wrong. A sea of slim, fit, toned, and tall beauties turned and began scanning us up and down.
“I feel naked. Let’s go. We clearly don’t belong here.”
Spinning around, I moved toward the exit, but Dana blocked my path.
“Nope. You wanted to do this, and I bet they didn’t always look like that. Maybe this class really works!”
I furrowed my brow at her “Do you ever drop that optimistic glass you carry around?”
Dumping her bag on a bench, which was pushed against the white-washed wall, she smiled brightly. “Nope.”
Well, of course she was feeling good! As she slipped off her coat, I stared at her wide-eyed. Wearing a pair of tight leggings, a sports top that showed off far too much of her toned midriff, Dana was right at home amongst these women. I groaned in displeasure.
“Are you kidding me? Where did you get that body, and how much did you pay for it?”
She tilted her head to the side and tutted. “You had one, too, ‘til Brad started steamrolling your fitness regime. Remember?”
Did she always have to be right?
A loud clapping pulled me from my jealous glare at Dana and my attention was now focused on the petite, short blonde-haired, and clearly never-ate-a-cake in her life, fitness instructor at the front of the room.
“Hello everyone! It’s nice to see so many familiar faces, and I notice some new ones. Come up!”
I gawped at Dana who shrugged, grabbed my hand, and began dragging me to the front of the class.
“Hi, hello! It’s always nice to have new blood in our class. I’m the instructor, Francesca. Is this your first time at Zumba?”
I stood awkwardly as dozens of eyes stared at me. That’s right, ladies, I’m the fat girl. Every fitness class has one. And you all suddenly feel so much better about yourselves. That carrot you scoffed for breakfast doesn’t look so bad now. Does it?
“No, it’s our first class,” Dana answered.
Oh no. Didn’t she know she had just committed the cardinal sin of fitness class?
“Well, you ladies stay right here up front and follow the routine, you’ll be just fine.”
I was in hell. Not only was I the only chubby girl in the room, I was now the entertainment at the front of the class! Clapping her perfectly manicured hands again, Francesca encouraged people to move into a space as she hit the play button on the CD player. The Brazilian sounds of the lambada filled the room, and I felt sick.
Swaying her disgustingly tiny hips back and forth, Francesca began a routine that looked like it belonged on the stage; not a hall in one of the smelliest gyms in London. Dana, of course, was a natural. Swaying, bouncing, and shaking her pert little arse around the room like a pro, she put the rest of us to shame. Well, I say the rest of us, but I mean me.
I bounced, jiggled, and wobbled myself around that mat as though I had a feather tickler shoved up my arse. I wasn’t sure how this would help me lose a few pounds, but with the flailing of my limbs and sporadic movements of my hips, there was a good chance we’d have rain.
Now Giveaway time! There are two so make sure to keep scrolling!
Tidbits on the Author:
Born and bred in England, Marie discovered her love for writing when she was a mere child. Beginning with poetry and short stories, she soon discovered her flare and passion for the written word.
After pursuing a career in childcare, education and the care of the elderly, she left her job in the summer of 2012. Embarking on a new career as a therapist, it was at this point that she finally sat down to write a novel that had been plotted for nearly three years. Only three months later…Bound Together was born.
Ways to Stalk Her: