Author: Amy Queau
Series: The Progress Series #1
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: March 1, 2013
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Psychological
He is exactly what she needs. But how far into his mind is she willing to go?
Jesse has a curious attraction to Charlene, a hostess at the restaurant where he works. Outwardly he’s rude, awkward and unapproachable. But his sudden bursts of charm are inescapable. A devastating childhood filled with physical and emotional abuse have left him complex and frigid.
Charlene, an innocent, is quickly mystified. Her craving for him generates an infatuation and a purpose. Losing weight and gaining confidence, she begins taking more risks. She defies her past, damaged and tender, in order to move ahead.
"Progress" is a realistic tale of two friends who both have similar issues that make them hesitant to get close to anyone. Jesse's demons have manifested into an emotional detachment, and Charlene's, a physical one.
If nobody makes the first move then nobody gets hurt.
Is love is just an obsession when there's nowhere left to run? Their journeys take them down parallel paths which leave them just as emotionally unmatched and conflicted as the day they met.
As the story progresses the viewpoints change, giving the reader an insight to the character’s thoughts and feelings.
This is the story of Jesse and Charlie. Jesse is a sexy, bipolar, troubled manwhore in his late twenties with major trust issues. He will sleep with anything that is skinny, hot, walking and over 18…..ewww 🙁 Charlene or Charlie is a 24-yr old big….fat (however you want to qualify it) girl with some shitty self-esteem. She was terrorized all through school for her size so her self-esteem is in the toilet. She genuinely a sweet and nice girl if she just saw herself a little better. She is still living at home with her parents, working in pizza parlor called Crimson and has never had boyfriend. She meets Jesse at Crimson. He is the delivery boy and she is the front hostess. Progress is book 1 and is the story of Jesse and Charlie meeting and all the bullshit that happens in their dysfunctional “friendship”. She figures out he is bipolar, has trust issues, anger issues and relationship issues. Enough issues for you? But with all that I could not help loving their very damaged but endearing relationship. He is just one big ball of issues but still very sexy in his own way.
Jesse treats Charlie like crap half the book and sweet the other half. How could I like a book where the male lead treats the female lead like shit the majority of the book? I have no effin’ idea but I did, I really really did 🙂 He is so messed up but Amy does a great job of helping you understand why and makes you care about him in spite of the craziness. His attitude is not all because of him being bipolar and that understanding gives him “pass” some of the time.
I spent most of book 1 pissed at Charlie but mostly because I saw some of myself in her when I was younger. As a big girl, I understood her need to take the emotional abuse even when most would have told him to “go fuck himself” from the beginning. Throughout this book Charlie spends it dealing with her weight and by the end has lost a substantial amount of it. Jesse becomes that “extra” motivation she needs to lose the weight. As most girls she has the “if I lose enough weight he will pay attention to me” mentality. She grows and gets stronger emotionally as she loses the weight. It is a wonderful thing to experience with her. After one very hot night with Jesse, Charlie finally decides to “man the fuck up” and Jesse decides to leave because of it….nice right? WTF?? That was me after reading the end 🙂 Progress ends in a cliffhanger between Jesse and Charlie…..thank god book 2 is already out.