Set on You*, Amy Lea’s debut, is a steamy, witty, and emotionally resonant enemies-to-lovers rom-com that became an instant favorite as soon as I finished it.
A gym nemesis pushes a fitness influencer to the max in Amy Lea’s steamy debut romantic comedy.
Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes and mostly ignoring the trolls. After her recent breakup, she has little stamina left for men, instead finding solace in the gym – her place of power and positivity.
Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new gym patron who routinely steals her favorite squat rack. Sparks fly as these ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination. But after a series of escalating jabs, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents’ engagement party.
In the lead up to their grandparents’ wedding, Crystal discovers there’s a soft heart under Scott’s muscled exterior. Bonding over family, fitness, and cheesy pick-up lines, she just might have found her swolemate. But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their budding relationship to the ultimate test of strength.
[T]his book explores the nuance—the “in-between”—that “self-love” is not a tangible thing you achieve and hold on to forever. Loving oneself all day, every day is an individual journey, with vastly different outcomes for everyone.
As soon as I read that in Amy’s author’s note, I knew I was reading something special. And Set on You was, in fact, incredibly special and I already know will be one of my favorites of 2022.
This book meant so much to me as someone who shared so many of the same characteristics (including the same mix of ethnicities) as Crystal, and so much of this book spoke to me on a level that I certainly never expected to find in a book. I never, in a thousand years, would’ve thought I’d one day get to read about someone like myself in a rom-com; see someone like myself as the main romantic interest and lead character.
And representation aside, this is just such a fantastic rom-com and romance. Amy managed to perfectly capture all the best parts about falling in love with someone who becomes your best friend—she perfectly captured that butterfly-inducing feeling of knowing a person and simultaneously thinking they’re the absolute best and funniest person and also being wildly attracted to them.
When he smiles, I’m immediately reminded of how different our relationship is now, compared to a month ago. We still banter constantly, but there’s a tenderness in his eyes now when he looks at me. Like he truly cares.
The tenderness, the earnestness, but also the chemistry and fun—it’s all there. And if you’re wondering if it delivers in terms of steam? YUP. 🛁🛁🛁
I couldn’t even be upset at the third-act breakup because I completely understood why it happened, why Crystal acted how she did. I can see how others might be frustrated, might not understand, but Crystal’s internal struggle and how she grappled with figuring out what “body positivity” and “self-love” meant to her…it was all too relatable.
How can he be in love with me if I’m not even sure I’m in love with me anymore?
And reading Crystal’s journey, reading how Amy articulated and captured Crystal’s realization that she could allow herself to be imperfect, to not be 100% confident all the time, was healing. And it felt so amazing to read a character that truly understood how exhausting it can be to feel like you have to act confident and positive about yourself and your body all the time; that it feels like a personal failure, that you’re letting trolls and society win if you at all slip-up or act as if you’re insecure about the space you take up or your body. It’s an enormous amount of pressure and it’s easy to forget that it’s not all-or-nothing, that just because you have a bad day doesn’t mean you’re backsliding and giving in.
“I don’t think confidence and self-worth is something you magically attain. And you don’t simply hold onto it forever like a tangible object. It’s fluid. You can be confident in every aspect except one. Or something could happen and all your confidence can be shattered in an instant. Like the Instagram photo. It doesn’t mean you don’t inherently love yourself to the core.”
Please do yourself a favor and pick up Set on You immediately. I really can’t begin to articulate just how much this book meant to me and all of the ways that it was so fantastic, so I encourage all of you to read it and see for yourself.
Read This If
- You enjoy enemies-to-lovers
- You have a crush on Chris Evans (although, who doesn’t?!)
- You love reading about the tender, butterfly-inducing moments of falling in love with your best friend
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ / 5
Where to Purchase
- Buy Set on You on Bookshop.org
- Buy Set on You on Amazon (kindle)
- Buy Set on You on Amazon (paperback)
*Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This has not impacted my review or opinion in any way; all opinions are my own.
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