I received The Party girl (Getting Physical #3) for review and I was about to write said review but then decided to discuss this series instead. Because I think Morgan has taken your standard romance tropes and injected them with a few very clever concepts that should be common, but aren't, that makes her writing and this series a stand out for me.
***The Rebound Girl (Getting Physical #1)
The Rebound Girl gives us a professionally and sexually aggressive woman in Whitney who goes after whatever she wants. We also get a resistant, beta love interest in Matt.
It's jarring at first and I was all….I do not like this girl! While I'm not sure I would ever be friends or hang out with Whitney, mostly because I'm a shy hermit - but hey! maybe opposites attract and all, I learned to appreciate Whitney's boldness, confidence and honesty. She doesn't "learn the lesson" that she should tone it down or that her abrasive behavior was covering some deep wound from her past. To be sure - she crosses lines and needs to mature, but she essentially remains unapologetically Whitney.
Matt could be sort of passive in a way that got irritating but had an inner strength and moral compass that grounded Whitney, while she challenged his passive nature without either disrespecting who they were as individuals.
The Derby Girl (Getting Physical #2)
We meet another strong heroine with Gretchen, a roller derby girl, and serial college student. She has issues but it was Jared who grabbed my interest.
He is an alpha, arrogant jerk. We met him in book #1 and for reasons….I didn't like him at all. But once again Morgan adds a twist. Jared is at a crossroads in his life. He wants to rebuild the close friendships he once had and succeed in his new joint business venture with them but his arrogance is what made him one of the best plastic surgeons. He has a reputation as great humanitarian for his charity work but only he knows his true selfish motivations for his sacrifices. How does he humanize himself to others but still get the accolades he craves? Because he does crave the attention. I thought it was an interesting take on that type of guy and how you don't need to change yourself, so much as make peace with your decisions and move forward. Perhaps refocus your goals and priorities. As with Whitney in The Party Girl, he didn't get a personality transplant just because he fell in love. This was a thoughtful examination of what makes this guy tick, not a romance ploy.
I really liked how Jared's perceived weakness (being an arrogant asshole) was really a strength when channeled correctly.
The Party Girl (Getting Physical #3)
First off, I knew Kendra from book #1. She's Whitney' & Jared's business partner and best friend. I loved Kendra's tell it like it is & responsible personality. She's an esthetician who loves partying, fancy clothes, creature comforts and has breast implants. I have no idea why the breast implant thing struck me. As I mentioned, I knew and loved Kendra from the previous two books but then all of a sudden in her book I was like - can a heroine have breast implants?? Isn't she supposed to be all humble and natural? Realize beauty is only skin deep? And where the hell did I get THAT preconceived notion from? Since when did I get all judgey?
It made me realize that I have only read about women with breast implants who are the man stealing shrew and the girl that all women hate. We expect sweet women for our heroines. Even when the women are confident, which thankfully, is more common these days, to eschew those vain desires once in love with the hero.
And it's pure genius to pair her with a hermit who's adverse to any and all technology. lol I loved the compromises and thoughtfulness of Kendra and Noah in this one. Very sweet.
I don't think her books are going to connect with every reader and I do get VERY frustrated with her characters at times. They tend to be kind to a fault, if that's possible. Sometimes she takes a direction that has me so angry and I'm sure she's just wasting my time! What I've learned though, is to trust Morgan's writing. If I let it play out, the actions of the characters reveal truths that help them grow into better people with healthier relationships. Any other path would have felt underdeveloped.
This series in particular, made me realize that as evolved and tolerant as I think I am, I still judge. I think it's completely fair to like or not like characters based on their actions. But in my case, I realized I was making snap judgments based on their sex life or appearances, a few pages in, without really getting to the story. Something I thought I was above.
Gender roles is also a recurring theme. I love how Morgan forces you to look at behaviors that are generally accepted from male characters but frowned upon for their female counterparts and confronts it head on.
Overall, to me, the Getting Physical series was about embracing and accepting yourself – flaws and all, knowing when to let go of old behaviors that hurt the people you love and when to hold on to who you are as a person, instead of conforming just to please others.
Have you ever read a book that helped you change your perspective?