Guest Review: Full Bodied (Uncorked #2) by Shea Balik

Raise your wine glasses high to toast the men of Dahlonia while they discover the secret to happiness – LOVE.

For Nolan Woods, life had been a miserable existence that had left him lonely and depressed. Nothing had ever seemed to go his way. It was his own fault for being such a loser, but it would still be nice if just once he had something end up in his favor. Unfortunately, for that to happen he’d have to put down the food he loved so much.

West Baxter led a charmed life. In college, he and his friends had decided to open a winery, allowing him to travel and meet new people. It had been a playboy lifestyle but when he met Nolan Woods, he found himself longing to settle down instead. Too bad their new winery needed him out on the road to sell their wines it they ever hoped of being the success they had dreamed about.

Nolan’s misery had him taking drastic action to change himself. He never thought in a million years anyone would like him as he was. But before he could go under the knife, West had finally had enough of life on the road and seduced Nolan.

Suddenly Nolan no longer knew what to do. He didn’t believe West would ever be able to love him as he was, but if he told West his plans West just might realize what a loser Nolan was and leave him even sooner. Either way, Nolan had to pray that West would understand that Nolan could no longer be Full Bodied.

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM

Sweet but also Cringeworthy

Alright. I've enjoyed reading this series. The MCs are unique, each and every one. They all have some kind of quirk or hangup that makes them interesting. In this one we're getting into super-shy Nolan's story.

Nolan's the sweetheart who played a quiet, if pivotal, role in Mac and David's story in Bubbly (Uncorked, #1), the first installment of the series. So Nolan's issue: his weight. Too bad he doesn't realize that his guy loves him the way he is.

In that respect, this story was phenomenal and sends a fantastic message to anyone struggling with a similar problem: there is someone out there who will love you for you. Period. Unfortunately, Nolan couldn't see the forest for the trees when it came to West and how West felt about him. Nolan, you see, was too busy listening to his own seriously fucked-up inner voice. His view of himself and the people and world around him was tragically warped.


I liked these guys together and West was just ... solid gold. I wanted Nolan to do better to and for himself because he really treated himself like utter crap. Utter. Crap. Which brings me to my major, major niggle with this title.

The way the psychology of what Nolan was going through and the processes he would have had to undergo and pass to be a candidate for the gastric bypass surgery were poorly handled. Frankly, given his state of mind before, during, and after the surgery, in real life, he would never have been a candidate. He was mentally unstable and unhealthy in terms of what's required by a reputable doctor for candidates today.

no knives

That bothered me. But if I leave my over-educated psychology hat off and just judge the story on its own merits, firmly under the 'fiction' umbrella, it was in good company with the first book of the series. I simply feel it's important to be responsible when it comes to sensitive and potentially life-altering issues characters face in books because there are real-world people dealing with those same issues. This one played a little fast and loose with the obesity/weight loss/surgery/body dysmorphia stuff. It scares me a little, I won't lie.

Putting that aside, I've enjoyed both books in the series so far. I enjoy the author's writing in general and I like this group of friends we're getting to see more of. I obviously couldn't have been too permanently bothered by what I read in this one as I've already read the ARC for the third installment. It's just something for readers to keep in mind if they pick this one up, that's all.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.
Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.
An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

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