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Living Large [Hardcover]

Rochelle Alers , Donna Hill , Brenda Jackson

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Book Description

Jan 2003
A voluptuously entertaining black fiction anthology about women who are living large - and loving larger - this collection of romances features all-new novellas by four best-selling, critically acclaimed, beloved authors.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Heads turned, gazes shifted, jaws dropped, and lips parted in muted whispers as Elaine Jackson's statuesque figure moved with fluid grace, leaving trailing in her wake the subtle scent of a classic perfume. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ego booster for the beautiful plus size women .... 23 Jan 2003
By Ms. O - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Let me say off the bat, I am not a romance novel reader. For whatever reason, they aren't my type of reading; but, I don't knock those who do. My joy is seeing people read ... period.
I picked up LIVING LARGE because of its unique theme that the main female characters in each story were plus size. This book is complied of short stories written by some of the busiest black authors in the romance field. While I won't go and give a descriptive synopsis for each story, I will say that I found something positive in each one.
If I had to choose a story as a stand out it would be STRICTLY BUSINESS by Francis Ray. Her writing is crisp, clear, and concise. I related to the main character and found her to be approachable and realistic. Coupled with the fact that to me she was the one, out of all of the main characters in the stories, who most fit the description of a full figure person. Being an avid reader, so often you get a little tired of the main characters being "perfect" in all different ways. So it was refreshing to see the stories written from a different angle.
I can only hope that this is the beginning of a trend, where the main characters represent the many different makeup of people .... Pus size, small, corporate, blue collar, etc.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining anthology 18 Jan 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Reunion" by Rochelle Alers. After over two decades of marriage, her husband Dwight left her for a younger much thinner model. Though Dwight is just about the only man she ever seen having dated him in high school, real estate mogul Elaine feels surprisingly free especially after seeing scientist Ruben, home for the high school reunion.
"Surprise" by Donna Hill. She is fifty. Her husband of thirty years is fifty-five. They raised two children, both adopted. She has a grandchild. So how will the family cope with her being pregnant when she struggles with acceptance of this miracle?
"Bare Essentials" by Brenda Jackson. Dominique and the hunk first see one another while both jogged at o'dark in Simon Park. Each is attracted to the other, but he practices law at the court in which she sits on the bench as a judge.
"Strictly Business" by Francis Ray. Garret watches Monica dump her cheating boyfriend while wishing she were his. He gets a chance when her father assigns her to work with him on a project, but Monica demands their relationship remain strictly business.
All four tales in this delightful collection star strong protagonists who make for an entertaining anthology. Fans of contemporary romances except Twiggy clones will enjoy each contribution in which the road to love is filled with detours especially when the full size female characters fear the hunks will philander with thinner women.
Harriet Klausner
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this collection of stories!!! 27 Oct 2004
By S. M. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The main reason I picked up this book was because three of my favorite authors were in it. Rochelle Alers, Donna Hill and Brenda Jackson. Having these three authors in one book is such a delightful treat. Living Large is a collection of four short stories about full figured women who not only exemplify sexiness, but these sisters are intelligent and very loving.

Reunion - Rochelle Alers (Rating of 5)

Reunion finds Elaine Jackson Stewart meeting up with an old friend, Reuben Whitfield. Reuben was the school nerd nick named "The Scientist" who grew up to be a very handsome successful dentist. A man who is sparking flames in Elaine she thought was long put out. Reuben has always loved Elaine because she was always so nice to him. Now that she is divorced from her college sweetheart he wants to let his old friend know how he feels and hopes she will open her heart to feel the same.

My favorite part of the story was when Dwight, Elaines ex wants to get back into Elaine's life. When Elaine shows him what he will never get again all I could do was shout "You go girl!!!!"

Surprise - Donna Hill (Rating of 5)

Elizabeth has returned from a two week spa trip to put the spark back in her marriage. The surprise she has will change their lives forever and is very unexpected. This story is really sweet. The way her husband dots all over Elizabeth is wonderful, but at first I was very angry at his initial response. When I thought about it I had to realize that it was a shock, so his reaction is not too far fetched. During the exchange between Elizabeth and her adopted daughter I had actual tears in my eyes. It was also nice to see an older couple still living life to the fullest and so very much in love. I hope when I'm in my 50's I'm that lucky to still be very much in love, minus the surprise of course. This story was very sweet and very touching.

Brenda Jackson - Bare Essentials (Rating of 5)

Brenda Jackson has yet to disappoint, and let me tell you this story is hot, hot, hot, and did I mention this story is hot!! Judge Dominique catches the eye of la handsome lawyer. Feelings she thought long gone have come back to turn her life into a tail spin, and she goes out of her way to avoid this handsome gentleman. Jordan wants to see her again, and when he realizes she is a judge for a case he is looking into he sees that as his chance to approach her and let her know he is very interested in her. The thing is he vowed never to get involve with someone he works in law, but he finds himself drawn to Dominique.

The love scenes in this story had me screaming "Order in the court!!!" I would not mind having a personal training session like this one!!! This story was very nice, and was very sensual. When it comes to a Brenda Jackson story, you know it will be awesome.

Strictly Business - Francis Ray (Rating of 2)

Monica Jones works at her fathers firm, and just broke up with her untrusting boyfriend when she caught him with another woman. Monica has decided no more business mixed with pleasure and is concentration on her career and her upcoming trip to Rome. Enter Garret McKnight. What he wants, he gets, and he wants Monica. He has to convince Monica that he is action and not just full of talk. Monica wants to keep their relationship strictly business. Her sorry ex keeps trying to get back into Monica's life and it takes Garret to tell Bryn to step off!!! This was my least favorite story. With Francis Ray her stories are hit or miss, and I don't like a lot of her stories. This is the only story I won't be reading again.

The stories by Rochelle, Brenda and Donna are simply awesome. You have characters who are various age ranges, all the women are successful professional women, and all of the women work out which is excellent. You even have one character who is a virgin, which I know many people won't believe, but they do exist. This is a book I will read over and over again with the exception of Francis Ray's story. This book is worth owning and adding to your personal book collection. I gave the book a rating of 4 only because I gave Francis story a 2 rating. The other stories I rate a 5.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 and 3/4 stars 6 Mar 2003
By curvynovelsdotinfo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Heroines: statuesque, plump, voluptuous, abundant
Four professional women of various ages and sizes try to find ways to fit love into their busy lives.
What worked for me:
It was a toss-up for me to choose my favorite, particularly between Donna Hill's joyful "Surprise!" and Francis Ray's well-written "Strictly Business", but in the end I give my vote to Donna Hill because the plot twist in her story was most definitely a surprise! Then too, there's the fact that the hero and heroine are a long-married couple. As a wife myself, I just adore stories about long-time twosomes who still have that magic spark!
What didn't work for me:
Short stories aren't my favorite format to read, mainly because the limited amount of space requires authors to heap background information on the reader in large clumps, which gives them a more contrived feel than that of a full length novel.
Fans of contemporary short stories and African American romances are sure to enjoy this delicious collection about love, lust, and passion.
Warning: there are some steamy passages, an occasional coarse word, and one weight-loss scenario in this book.
If you liked "Living Large" you might also enjoy the "Tales from the Heart" and "At Long Last, Love!" anthologies.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 19 July 2005
By Sunnie B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am not a big fan of the whole "novellas" format, but since I'm working my way through all of Brenda Jackson's books, I got this one. Her story "Bare Essentials" is the only one I kind of liked -- except for the ending. The love scene alone made me really look forward to my next workout session with my husband! :) However, the plot was thin and the editing was non-existant.

I guess I'm tired of everything ending in these rushed weddings. Come on! Maybe since I've been reading romance novels for less than a year I'm a bit more critical, but I do expect character development. How can each and every hero and heroine go through the same thing "I've never felt this way before", "no man has EVER kissed me like that", "I knew from the moment I saw her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her". Give me a break!

The one saving grace is that the women in this book aren't a perfect size 6 and are able to show a sexy confident side. I just got Welcome to Leo's so I hope that collection of stories is better.
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