Let me preface this review with stating that I knew a few things about this book before starting my read.
Having said that, the beauty pageant setting didn't bother me. In fact, it felt like it could have been any setting, but McKinlay chose that setting as her back drop. For all I know, she planned it out that way for the sake of Oz and Lupe. And maybe it was used as a springboard for the relationship between Olivia with Mel and Angie. Who Knows.
And if I remember correctly, Mel has had body issues since book one, so her internal dialog about her weight and her thoughts about pageants didn't come as a surprise.
Tate finally got his act together and put on his big boy panties. I hope he comes to his senses and goes back to the way he was before with some modifications. Just because you've been handed things your whole life doesn't mean you can't make them your own. He got into Princeton but didn't he have to do the work to graduate? He got the job with his father's firm but didn't he have to work to get to where he was/is? For the love of butter Tate, snap out of it!
Which leads me to Marty and my thought that he said what I would have said if I had been there. Wow! I'm talking about these people like they're real!
Now for the Love Rhombus. Jennifer, aka Murder by Death, don't hate me but I liked it to the point that I'm convinced McKinlay put it in there for a reason. Manny's conversation with Mel at the end led me to that conclusion. And for Steve to just "happen" to be around the pageant is suspicious to begin with. I don't remember why he said he was supposed to be there. Manny and Steve will have something to do with Joe in the future and it's going to benefit Mel. It has to! I just can't believe our beloved McKinlay would steer us wrong! This also means that the banter between the men was "planted"! She's trying to throw us off with her use of Love Geometry!
My head hurts and I don't have any cupcakes...