THE FASTEST WAY TO FALL by Denise Williams

From the publisher:

Britta didn’t plan on falling for her personal trainer, and Wes didn’t plan on Britta. Plans change and it’s unclear if love, career, or both will meet them at the finish line.

Britta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it’s a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time.

As CEO of the FitMi Fitness app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves—coaching. Britta’s his first new client and they click immediately.

As weeks pass, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He’s surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance.

Wes isn’t supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta’s credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she’s practically dating the fitness coach she’s reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big.

I loved Williams’ debut novel, How to Fail at Flirting, so I was really looking forward to this new one, and it did not disappoint! This book stands alone just fine, however, so no worries if you didn’t read the first one. Like many romances, the connection between the two books is the friendship between the female characters. The first book was about Naya, and this book is about her friend Britta.

Britta wants to be a writer. She is an editorial assistant for a lifestyle magazine with a strong online presence, and there is one opening for a writer coming up. Her competitor for the job is Claire, and they are rather wary of one another. But when Britta suggests a series on one of the new health and wellness apps, her boss decides that Claire should test out a different app. They will both write about their experiences and Britta is thrilled.

Britta is, in her words, fat. She struggles with accepting her body but her goal isn’t to lose weight; it’s to feel better about herself naked, and to jump out of a plane. She was denied the skydiving experience because of weight limits. She joins a fitness app that stresses wellness over weight loss, and assigns a personal coach to each user. Her coach is Wes.

Wes is very experienced at coaching; in fact, he owns the company. He hates his role as CEO and misses coaching clients, so his partner urges him to take on a client or two and get back to what made him happy, at least part of the time. He takes the two newest clients, one of whom is Britta. Her profile makes him laugh, and he reaches out to her, explaining that this isn’t a weight loss app and the goal is never pounds off, but rather eating better and exercising more. Britta is all in.

We don’t hear a whole lot from Claire, who is quite svelte, but the app she is using is big on pushing tons of exercise and crazy diet tips, with the goal of losing pounds every week. This app just started using coaches as well.

Britta gets to work, tracking what she eats every day, her exercise – a dance class for seniors that she accidentally joined – and how she feels about all of it. Wes is very encouraging but not pushy, and they get along well. Pretty quickly Britta points out that their email communications would be so much better in chat, so Wes shares his chat name and they move to that, and eventually texting. Coincidentally, they both live in Chicago, but this is online app so meeting up isn’t possible. Except Wes really likes her, and the feeling is mutual. Eventually, an accident forces a meetup, and things gets interesting.

Wes hasn’t like anyone this much in a very long time. His ex was a cold woman, and she left him and the company to start up her own wellness app, now in direct competition with his. Britta has had a crush for a long time on a former wo-worker, but he treats her badly, and she is finally ready to move on. And Wes is so nice and so hot!

There is a lot of drama here between their jobs, their love lives, and their relationship, but I couldn’t help but root for Britta and Wes to find their happy ending, and eventually they do. There are a lot of laughs along the way, and a bit of sex, just enough to keep it real, and of course some angst. It was also refreshing to read a romance with a plus-size heroine, which I’m sure more exists but is rare. This is another terrific read from this author, and I am looking forward to the next book in this unnamed series.

11/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE FASTEST WAY TO FALL by Denise Williams. Berkley (November 2, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593101926. 384 pages.







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