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Curvy Girls Can Rule

Curvy Girls Can Rule

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Guys aren't supposed to fall for their curvy best friend.

They’re also not supposed to walk away.

Eighteen months ago Cameron left. Left Twin Rivers. Left his friends. Left her, Peyton Callahan.

And she moved on. The accident that took her brother's life ripped her world apart. The one person who could understand wasn’t there, and Peyton hated him for it.

When he shows up back in town, all she wants to do is prove how well she recovered without him, how little she thinks about the past.

But her past… well, he still thinks about her.


Main Tropes

  • Curvy Girl Romance
  • Friends to Lovers
  • Sweet Romance


Guys aren't supposed to fall for their curvy best friend.

They’re also not supposed to walk away. 

Eighteen months ago Cameron left. Left Twin Rivers. Left his friends. Left her, Peyton Callahan. 

And she moved on. The accident that took her brother's life ripped her world apart. The one person who could understand wasn’t there, and Peyton hated him for it. 

When he shows up back in town, all she wants to do is prove how well she recovered without him, how little she thinks about the past. 

But her past… well, he still thinks about her. 

Escape into this heartwarming and sweet young adult romance with unbreakable friendships and exciting first loves where the nice guys don’t have to lose. 

Curvy Girls Can Rule is the first book in the completed About That Girl series. It’s a standalone story with a happy ending, perfect for fans of Kasie West and Julie Murphy.


~ Pey,

I’m not coming back. You need to forget about me.

Cam ~

Cameron is missing.

Eighteen months ago, those three little words changed Peyton Callahan’s life forever. Everything that came after was like a punch in the gut, one right after another.

Your brother is dead. Our rescue crew found Cooper’s body in the wreckage at the bottom of Defiance Falls.

They’d found her best friend, Cameron, the next morning. He went over the falls with Cooper, but he’d made it out of the car first. He washed up on the river bank miles away from the sight of the crash. He was unconscious, with a badly broken leg and a dangerous fever, but alive.

After Cooper’s funeral, Julian, his twin, had left to go live with his aunt. Peyton knew it was hard for him walking around with Cooper’s face, seeing the regret in everyone around him, and hearing the wrong twin had died. She knew he needed the escape, but that left Peyton alone to deal with their parents’ grief along with her own.

But the final blow threw Peyton over the edge. After he was discharged from the hospital, Cameron—her lifelong best friend—left her too. His dad claimed they sent him to work with a world-class physical therapist to get him back in shape. She hadn’t even had a chance to tell him goodbye.

Now, eighteen months later, Cooper was still dead and Julian was still gone while Cameron was off at some Olympic Training Center chasing his gold medal dreams.

“You’ve been polishing that same spot for the last ten minutes,” Peyton’s mother said as she stepped behind the diner counter, taking inventory of the coffee supplies. “Either wipe the whole counter or go clock out for dinner. And cancel your plans. I need you to work the late shift with me.”

“Again?” she groaned. “I need to work on my STEM project tonight.”

“On a Friday night?” Her mom’s eyes filled with pity. “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

Peyton scowled at her mother. Right she may be, but ouch. Once upon a time, Peyton had no shortage of friends and frequent weekend plans. Things changed after that night, and so had Peyton. Her STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—project had saved her sanity over the last few months. It gave her something to focus on besides her grief.

“Go get dinner,” her mother said in a softer tone. “We have some healthy new salads and vegan meals on the menu. You’ve been doing so well lately. Don’t let all the fried foods here tempt you. I’m proud of you.” Her words were kind, but there was no emotion behind them. Ever since the death of her stepson—whom she’d loved like a son since he was six years old—Sofia Callahan went through the motions of being a mother. She was like a robot, and the only thing that seemed to matter to her anymore was her work at the diner she owned with her husband, Brian, Peyton’s stepfather. Her parents threw themselves into working at the Main Street Diner. The Main was everyone’s favorite restaurant in Twin Rivers, thanks to Sofia’s blend of Spanish and American dishes along with her extensive dessert menu.

It made it difficult for Peyton’s diet to be around such great food all the time, but she was doing so much better these days. She was making healthier choices and felt like the old Peyton was finally resurfacing again.

Peyton clocked out and put in her order for a roasted veggie sandwich with goat cheese on whole grain bread with a small side of vegan mac and cheese. It was a high carb day, so she got to pick all the healthy carbs. Tomorrow would be a low carb day of mostly veggies and lean proteins. Peyton had found carb cycling a diet plan she could live with and still achieve good results.

And I’m under my calorie allotment for the day! She might even have enough calories left over to squeeze in a dessert of frozen yogurt on the way home.

Peyton tapped her iPad screen and launched the app she was working on for the STEM competition she’d entered a few months ago. To enter the preliminary round, she’d had to develop a social networking app or website designed to promote positive online experiences among high school students. The project was right up Peyton’s alley. She was good at coding and had an eye for web and app design. And she had a cause that drove her passion for the project.

Four months ago, she’d created the idea for No Body Shame, which she called No BS. The idea was for a social networking app, just for the students of her school. The app would provide a completely anonymous place where students could come to talk about body issues, labels and stereotypes, and how they affected people. Peyton hadn’t expected much, but out of all the submissions in her school district, No BS was chosen, and Peyton had received a small stipend to create her app and submit it to the statewide competition over the summer break. She’d spent most of the summer building her app’s infrastructure and had launched the beta app on the Twin Rivers High website more than a month ago.

To her complete surprise, her fellow students were actually using it. She was able to collect enough data and examples to submit for the state level competition and won first place! Now she was gearing up for the national STEM competition next month. She tried not to think about the grand prize scholarship to her college of choice. She didn’t want to get her hopes up, but No BS was gaining in popularity, and Peyton spent all of her free time responding to comments and monitoring conversations. No BS had to maintain a positive user experience. That was the whole point. She would not tolerate cyberbullying of any kind, and she was working with her friend Katie and her mother on the security aspects of the app. She wanted to guarantee anonymity, but she still didn’t have the budget for that. Katie’s mom was helping her build a decent security system. She wasn’t ready for nationals yet. But she was close. Peyton was so proud of her accomplishments, but more than anything, she was grateful for the distraction No BS gave her. When the memories got to be too much, she poured everything she had into the app. And for months now, No BS filled the empty void where her friends used to be.

I love this app! It’s such a relief to come here and see how many girls (and boys!) are dealing with the same issues I’ve dealt with for so long. I used to think I was alone. That there was no way anyone could understand what I went through last year. Some of the boys in my class started calling me “butterface.” At first, I didn’t know what it meant, but it didn’t take long for the humiliation to sink in. Apparently, I have a great body … ButHerFace… I just didn’t realize I had an ugly face. I’m not a perfect beauty queen and I’ve never tried to be anything other than what I am. (I’m certainly not an ogre) The constant jerky remarks about putting a bag over my head had me begging my parents to send me to Defiance Academy next year. But after hanging out here, I’ve decided I will not let them shame me. I’m proud of who I am and I have a lovely face. Thank you No BS!


@MyFaceIsMyFace Don’t you let those idiot boys run you away from your school. You hold your head high and show them how amazing you are inside and out.

—@ChocolateIsLife #EndBodyShamingNow

@MyFaceIsMyFace,@ChocolateIsLife is right #TheFutureIsFemale


Peyton’s heart nearly burst at the user’s comment and positive replies. It still astounded her that so many people were using her app. No BS was exactly what so many young adults needed. She just prayed she could keep the cyberbullies away.

—@MyFaceIsMyFace #GuysAreIdiots. Especially teenage boys who travel in packs. I guarantee if you showed an interest in any of them, they’d be thrilled. Keep your chin up and don’t let anyone’s words have that much power over you.#WeGotYou #NoBS

—@CupcakesAreMyNemesis, @NoBSmod

“Ashley, you’re so bad!” Peyton looked up at the familiar laugh. The hairs rose on the back of her neck at the sight of her former friend. “But you have the best stories.” Addison Parker slid into the seat next to Peyton without acknowledging her presence. Addison was too busy with her cheerleader friends to notice.

“Peyton, honey, can you clock back in and wait on your friends?” her mom asked in a rush. “I have two waitresses late for their shifts, and we’re filling up.”

“Sure.” Peyton slid off the bar stool where she’d sat, not bothering to remind her mother these girls were not her friends. Addie used to be one of her closest friends, but not since that night. Gone were the days when Addison Parker fussed over Peyton’s makeup and when Peyton’s slow burn romance with Cameron was the topic of almost every after-school conversation. After Cooper’s death, their friendship fell apart, and Addie moved on to new friends. Meaner friends.

“Hi, guys,” Peyton said brightly, forcing a cheerful tone. “What can I get you?” She stood poised with her order pad on the counter, refusing to look at Addie. It hurt too much to see the cold insensitivity there.

“I’m starving,” Ashley said. “I could eat a whole plate of chili cheese fries all by myself.”

“Gross,” Addison said. “Can you imagine the calories?”

Peyton coughed to cover her laughter. She’d seen Addie eat her weight in chili cheese fries more often than she could count.

“You’re right. We should do salads,” Ashley agreed. “It would be so nice not to care about our weight like you, Peyton. Just look at that hamburger and mac and cheese she was chowing down on before we got here. It looks so divine. But willpower, ladies. I’ll have a half Cobb salad with ranch dressing on the side.”

“Would you like steak, ham, or turkey?”

“Obviously, turkey,” Ashley said as if that would make up for the mounds of cheese and bacon she’d neglected to substitute.

“I’ll have the same,” the other girls echoed.

“Anything else?” Peyton asked in a bored tone, not bothering to point out that her meal had a quarter of the calories of the diner salads they were about to inhale.

“Let’s split some breadsticks. One for each of us,” Veronica added. “I haven’t had carbs in ages.”

“Just this once,” Ashley agreed like she was allowing it against her better judgment. “We’ve hit the gym pretty hard this week.” She eyed Peyton’s phone. “I suppose we could have been bingeing Netflix like some people, but we are in peak physical condition. A little bread won’t kill us.”

Peyton wanted to defend herself and point out she was the one eating the healthy food here and she was working on building something incredible—something they all used—not watching Netflix on her phone. But it wasn’t worth it. They wouldn’t believe her anyway. She turned toward the kitchen to put in their order when Ashley’s next words hit her like a truck.

“We’ll have to watch it over the next few weeks before school starts, ladies. Rumor has it Cameron Tucker is returning from the Olympic Village in Emerson. After more than a year training for the Olympic track team he’ll be looking like a god and it’s our job to help him integrate back into the social world of Twin Rivers High.

In a panic, Peyton gathered her dishes, tossing her half-eaten meal in the trash. Her hands trembled as she caught Addison’s eyes for just a moment. For one second, she thought she saw sympathy there, and then it was gone.

Peyton raced into the bathroom at the back of the kitchen, her heart hammering in her chest. After eighteen months, Cameron was coming home. She looked at herself in the mirror, and disgust and self-loathing gazed back at her.

“I can’t see him like this.” She eyed her fuller figure. After Cooper’s death and the destruction that came after, Peyton, always a curvy girl, had turned to food for comfort. In her grief, she hadn’t cared. By the time she started noticing the world carrying on around her again, the damage was done. She’d gained more than fifty pounds, and none of her clothes fit her anymore. Not even her fat jeans. After months of diet and exercise, she’d lost some weight, but she still had a long way to go.

Peyton closed her eyes, refusing to look at herself any longer. She remembered how awful it felt the first time she had to buy a dress from the plus-sized department. She’d vowed she’d die before she’d ever shop on the fat side of the store. Now she had no other choice.

She couldn’t bear the thought of seeing Cameron again. The last time they were together, their lifelong friendship was turning into much more. But there was no way Cameron Tucker—track god and Olympic hopeful—would ever look at her the same as he had that night after such a perfect first kiss. The girl he kissed that night didn’t exist anymore.

* * *

Peyton jog-walked in the darkness around the school track. It was late, but she couldn’t face going home. Not until she worked off the calories from a dinner of too many carbs. She pushed herself to go faster. Thoughts of seeing Cameron again drove her like she had a demon hot on her tail.

She’d thought she had come to terms with her lot as the fat girl. It had been that way her whole life, and for most of it, Peyton was strong enough to rise above the petty body shaming and find a level of confidence in herself that never wavered. But after gaining so much weight since she’d last seen Cam, how was she ever going to face him?

Being the fat girl was nothing new. Peyton was in third grade when she first realized what made her different from everyone else. The thing that made her lesser somehow. She was only eight years old the first time the F word came to haunt her. Now, nearly a decade later, she could still remember the name of the classmate—a friend—who’d shattered her illusions about herself. Allison. It was ancient history, but her words cut deep into Peyton’s eight-year-old soul. Peyton and Allison were in the girls’ bathroom with a bunch of their classmates. Allison spoke to her from another stall.

“How much do you weigh, Peyton?”

“Um, I don’t know,” Peyton said.

“You know you’re fat, right? Like twice the size of anyone else in our grade?”

Young Peyton didn’t have a response to such harsh words. Of course, she knew she was bigger than most of her friends; she wasn’t blind. But she hadn’t realized her size gave others a license to ridicule her. Apparently, that made it okay … because Peyton was fat.

Then in sixth grade, PE class with Coach Anderson was a living nightmare. Every day, filled with anxiety, Peyton headed to the gym with her classmates for her ritual hazing … from the teacher who had the best opportunity of anyone to help her overcome her weight problem before it became a lifelong struggle.

Twelve years old and Peyton had to answer to the name “Big Mac” during roll call. She wasn’t the only one with weight issues. Peyton remembered a “Pat-the-fat” and an “Amanda-big-boned” in her class that year too—all names brought to life by the illustrious Coach Anderson. There were others who didn’t perform well athletically, but they got to respond to their actual names in class. But it was okay ... because Peyton was fat.

Coach Anderson started every class with running laps. If you couldn’t make it three laps around the gym without stopping or walking, you got more laps. Some days, Peyton was forced to run-walk laps the entire period rather than play kickball or field hockey with her classmates. And then she went back to class sweaty and ashamed for being ostracized from her friends. But it was okay for a grown-ass man to shame a sixth grader because Peyton was fat and needed to learn that was not acceptable.

Peyton hated PE with every fiber of her being. And now, here she was running laps in the middle of the night like her life depended on it.

“I have four weeks left before school starts,” she reminded herself, taking the last turn in the track as she slowed to a stop. One more month to lose some of the weight she’d put on in Cameron’s absence. “I can drop twenty pounds in that time if I really push it.” Her calves burned, and she felt a little dizzy, but she had one more lap in her tonight. Peyton refused to be the fat girl anymore.

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