Woman of Substance by Annette Bower


Woman of Substance by Annette Bower
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (237 pgs)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review by Poppy

“You will never understand what it means to be fat.” With those words, grad student Robbie Smith begins the Fat-Like-Me project. In order to support her thesis, she puts on a fat suit to measure people’s reactions to the new her.

Accused of embezzling funds, Professor Jake Proctor returns home to spend quality time with the only father he has ever known. There, he meets an intriguing overweight woman who reminds him of his late grandmother. She’s witty, charming, and cares deeply for those around her, including his dying grandfather.

When Robbie meets Jake while she’s in disguise, she deceives him for all the right reasons. But how long can she maintain the deception before Jake discovers that she is not who he believes her to be?

With a depth I found surprising in a contemporary romance, Ms. Bower has created a beautiful love story as well and a lovely fiction novel about accepting others from the inside out.

Robbie is such a wonderful character. She’s loyal and determined and so willing to fight for what she thinks is right. She spars with her professor about her project: dressing as an obese woman. Her professor isn’t sold on the idea, but Robbie really thinks it’s the best way to prove her thesis for college. Her overweight friends help with insight, advice and clothing.

How could she know she’d meet a great guy while dressed in her costume?

Jake returns home to be with his grandfather, Frank, the man who raised him. Frank is a great character, so full of fun and life, despite his age. And Jake, for all his crankiness at the beginning, really loves his grandfather.  He really becomes a man to admire as the book progresses.

Ms. Bower has such a talented way with words. I felt as if I knew each character in this book, as if I would know them if I passed them on the street. The affection between many of them was palpable, friends, family, lovers.

While the storyline itself may not be overly complex, it was thoroughly enjoyable, sweet and tugs at the heart-strings. If this type of character building and description is par for the course for this author, she’s won a permanent fan.

If you’re looking for a sweet story that is populated with characters you’ll feel are your friends before you turn the last page; if you love a romance between a couple that’s built on affection before sex and is believably deep and lasting, then I recommend “Woman of Substance”. It’s more than you might think.


  1. Mary Preston says:

    4 1/2 stars is fabulous!! I’m looking forward to reading Robbie’s story & meeting all the other characters.


    • Dear Mary Preston,
      I hope you are in a much earlier time zone than I am. You have read my review while I was still fast asleep. Yes, I agree a 4 1/2 star review is fabulous. I do hope that you have the opportunity to join Robbie on her journey. The reviewer points out that this story is about accepting people from the inside out. While I wrote and rewrote this book the title was always Inside Out.
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting on the LARS review.
      Yours truly,

  2. Thank you for hosting.

  3. What a fabulous review. That alone makes me want to read this story.

    • Good morning MomJane,
      I am pleased that the LARS review could convince you to read Woman of Substance and join Robbie and Jake on their journey. The reviewer did point out that Jake too needs to be understood and loved from his inside out.
      We all wear disguises in many situations and when we are truly loved we can let down our guards and grow into the people we hope to become.
      Thank you MomJane for stopping by and commenting on Woman of Substance.

  4. Good morning Reviewer for Long and Short Reviews,
    Thank you for your review of Woman of Substance. It is encouraging to me as the author to have you comment on my way with words. My goal is to have the reader feel my characters are their friends and neighbors and your review states that I have achieved that goal. I am kicking my heels and jumping for joy.
    Yours truly,

  5. Thanks for the review. I love a good simple sweet love story and this sounds like it really fits the bill. Is it going to be a part of a series?

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

    • Hello Shannon,
      Thank you for being a reader that would enjoy sharing Robbie and Jake’s journey. I do not have a series in mind but this is how I write. I do have another book out Moving On, A Prairie Romance that is also sweet.
      If you go to my web page: http://www.annettebower.com you will find more information.
      Thank you for stopping by and reading the review and commenting.
      Yours truly,

  6. Do you have a favorite genre?

    lyra.lucky7 at gmail dot com

    • Hi Lyra,
      My favorite genre is I read what I write, women’s stories with romance.
      I like stories that involve community, involve a couple who get to know each other. I also enjoy humor.
      Thank you for asking. And LASR and I appreciate you stopping by and reading the review and commenting.
      Yours truly,

  7. Elizabeth McGill says:

    The characters are real with real emotions and genuine feelings. Sometimes we unknowingly hurt someone by looking only externally without considering what is happening inside that person’s heart. A very good read!

    • Hello Elizabeth,
      Nice to see you here at LASR’s review site.
      You have shared with me that you have read Woman of Substance. Thank you for taking the time to comment. You are right that sometimes we do inadvertently hurt people but I think as long as we learn from those experiences and try to be more open other times, we grow as humans.
      Thank you for enjoying your journey with Robbie and Jake.
      Yours truly,

  8. Excellent excerpt, this books sounds intriguing.


    • Dear Hope,
      Thank you for reading the LASR review. I’m pleased that the reviewer has intrigued you with her summary and assessment of Woman of Substance.
      Both the reviewer and I appreciate you dropping by and commenting.
      Yours truly,

  9. Very nice review about the characters.


  10. Catherine says:

    What a nice, thoughtful review. It really sounds like a terrific read–right up my alley.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    • Hello Catherine,
      Thank you for stopping by and reading LAS review of Woman of Substance. I agree that it is a “nice and thoughtful” review. Thank you. I do hope that you decide to join Robbie and Jake on their journey.
      Yours truly,

  11. Chelsea B. says:

    This novel sounds absolutely wonderful! I love all the positive reviews it’s getting. Can’t wait to read it!!!!


    • Hello Chelsea B.
      Thank you for following and reading the reviews for Woman of Substance.
      I hope that you do have the opportunity to read and share Robbie and Jake’s journey to friendship and love.
      Yours truly,

  12. Thanks for sharing! I’m starting to warm up to this book a lot. It sounds funny and heartfelt 🙂

    andralynn7 aT gmail DOT com

    • Hello Andra,
      I am pleased that you are warming up to Woman of Substance. You are right you have gathered from the reviews that there is humor and love between friends, family and respect.
      Thank you for stopping in at LASR and leaving a comment.
      Yours truly,

  13. thanks for the chance to win
    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

  14. Good Morning Everyone,
    The draw is now closed. I have all names to be placed in the random draw. The winner will be placed on the Goddess Fish Promo.com http://www.goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.ca/ and on my blog. http://www.annettebower.com/blog

    Thank you for participating.
    Yours truly,

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