Meet Trevor, he's a jackass. He's looking for a dream woman he can flaunt around town and rub in other men's faces. Aside from being drop dead gorgeous, dream woman must also be a gourmet cook, come from a large family, and basically be willing to be Trevor's love puppet. Meet Zoe, Trevor's slightly over-weight and plain looking neighbor. Zoe is not having a good day. She just lost her job after exposing that one of the owner's wives was stealing money, her car's window broke, her obnoxious neighbor took up both her and his parking spots forcing her to park on the street, then he proceeded to use the last of her laundry detergent after tossing her clothes off of the communal washing machine, and, to top it all off, confiscated her pizza. Having enough of being walked all over that day, Zoe tries to reclaim her food only to have Trevor tell her "Its not like you need it." Feeling mildly guilty for saying that out loud, Trevor decides to make amends by getting Zoe a job at his uncle's construction business. He also decides to pay her to do his laundry, grocery shopping, and clean his apartment. Slowly over the weeks, Trevor and Zoe find themselves becoming friends. However, Trevor is mortified when he finds himself attracted to Zoe. After all, she's the complete opposite of his dream woman. She's plain, can't cook, and worst of all (to him) she's fat. Thinking it's just a phase that he'll eventually get over, if he screws her enough, Trevor proposes a friends with benefits relationship.
Its extremely rare when I have to skip over sex scenes between protagonists because the hero disgusts me so much that the last thing I want to read about is him getting an orgasm. I loathed Trevor in this book, to me, he had no redeeming qualities. The only reason why I didn't stop reading is because I didn't loathe the first book in the series, Playing for Keeps, so I kept hoping that Mathewson would somehow save the book... but it never happened.
Trevor's demeanor is supposed to come off as humorous and endearing, as in "Oh ha-ha, he has no regard for other people's feelings except his own. Oh tee-hee, he thinks everyone around him should be grateful for any little thing he does while he completely ignores all the things others do for him." As you can tell, this did not work for me. Trevor thinks he's god's gift to women and that Zoe should be grateful he's even deigning to talk to her because she's not up to his normal exacting standards. For her part, Zoe does everything for him except wipe his ass and instead of acknowledging all the crap that she does, Trevor completely writes it off as his due. Yes, he's paying her to clean his apartment and get his groceries, but what she does for him extends well beyond that. Somehow this attitude is supposed to come off as endearing and cute, but it just worked to frustrate me. Especially at the end, when Trevor begins to show some character growth by thinking that maybe he's been taking Zoe for granted and that his treatment of her has been pretty shitty. Of course, it immediately gets shot to hell when two seconds after that he basically thinks, "Screw that! How dare she not believe I really want to be with her?!" Trevor is just an awful awful human being.
And oh my god, the body hate in this book! There are so many malicious throw-away comments about Zoe and her weight that I lost count. Even Trevor hops on this band wagon by constantly thinking Zoe is too fat to be with him. In fact, he goes out of the way to avoid associating with her in public, even in a friendly sense, all she gets is an aloof head nod when they see each other. Trevor also constantly hears people saying disparaging things about her and just shrugs it off. Like, "yup, she's fat. Its not my problem that she keeps over-hearing co-workers malicious comments about her weight and that its hurting her so much that she's starving herself in the attempt to get to a super-model size, just so they'll stop." I wanted to smack this guy so hard. I mean seriously. He can't say one thing in her defense, even as a friend because the guys might get the impression that he actually has feelings for a woman that doesn't look like a Victoria's Secret model? God, I hated this. By the end of the book I wanted to give Zoe a cookie and tell her jump ship on this relationship.