Izzy As Is, by Tracie Banister
Publication: January 24, 2018
About the book:
The party is over for bikini model Izzy Alvarez. For six years she’s made a good living by flaunting her God-given assets on runways and in front of cameras, but now as she approaches the big 3-0, the bodacious Latina is shocked to learn she’s aged out of the profession that’s kept her in mojitos, mani/pedis, and designer thongs. What’s a girl with a taste for the finer things in life and no marketable skills to do?
Getting a regular job is too boring to even consider, so Izzy decides to follow in the footsteps of her newly-engaged frenemy and become a trophy wife. Although she’s desperate and too broke to get a chipped nail fixed, Izzy still has standards for her future husband, which means no uggos, no vertically-challenged guys, and no geezers who need to pop a blue pill to perform in the bedroom. Enlisting the aid of her computer whiz nephew and her closest pals, Izzy goes on the prowl for a rich, marriage-minded man, encountering likely candidates in a lot of unlikely places.
The high life she’s dreamed of may be within reach when Izzy meets a charming, successful man who’s not only hotter than a steamy summer night in Miami but ready to settle down. Now all Izzy has to do is make sure her loud, crazy Cuban family doesn’t scare off el hombre perfecto—oh, yeah, and squelch those pesky, romantic feelings she keeps having for the sweet, cash-strapped guy she’s known forever.
Will Izzy’s hunger for money win out, or will her fiery heart demand to be heard?
Do you ever start a book and then start to worry that you aren’t going to get into it or be able to connect with the main character? Well, stupidly, that is what I was thinking as I started Izzy As Is, wondering if I would be able to like this spoiled woman. However, I very quickly fell in love with Izzy, all of the characters (except her sister Ana), and the entire story! This was such a funny and unique story that I quickly formed an addiction to and was sad when it ended simply because I wanted so much more fo these crazy characters.
At the ripe old age of 29, Izzy is informed by her agent that she is aging out of her profession as a bikini model. Running out of money and no motivation for a different career, Izzy decides she needs to find a rich man to marry. In between her man hunting, I was treated to wonderful, hilarious banter between Izzy and her three best friends – Topaz, Nacho, and Zane, as well as, the laugh out loud craziness that was Izzy’s family.
Although I wasn’t sure about Izzy initially, she turned out to be a breath of fresh air as far as female lead characters go. Model or not, that woman could eat. She credited her Cuban heritage for her appetite and her metabolism for her figure, but regardless this woman was an eating and drinking machine (many, many Mojitos were consumed). Another wonderful quality about Izzy was her self-confidence. Except for some moments here and there as she sought out wealthy husband material, she was absolutely herself with no regards to others’ opinions about her. Even when she was “modeling” in front of a wing shop, handing out samples on the sidewalk, she still carried herself as if she was a princess – and it was fabulous.
I learned after reading that Izzy got her own book after she was a character in a previous novel, In Need of Therapy. I assure you that you do not need to read that novel to enjoy this fantastic cast of characters and their stories. However, I can promise that you will fall in love with her wonderful friends – especially the yummy, sweet, smart, talented Zane. The same goes for family, except for, as stated previously, her miserable wretched sister Ana. Everyone else is funny, unique, and add to the amazing novel that this is. There are plenty of embarrassing moments for Izzy, a hilarious first date with a doctor, plenty of absolute insanity at family gatherings, and so much more that made this such a fun, light-hearted read that also has plenty of sweet romance! I highly recommend this one to my readers!! 🙂
*Many thanks to the author for providing this novel in exchange for my honest review!