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Book Review | Tracie Banister – Izzy As IsIzzy As Is by Tracie Banister
Published by Tracie Banister on January 24, 2018
Genres: Chick Lit

The party is over for bikini model Izzy Alvarez. For six years she’s made a good living by flaunting her God-given assets on runways and in front of cameras, but now as she approaches the big 3-0, the bodacious Latina is shocked to learn she’s aged out of the profession that’s kept her in mojitos, mani/pedis, and designer thongs. What’s a girl with a taste for the finer things in life and no marketable skills to do?

Getting a regular job is too boring to even consider, so Izzy decides to follow in the footsteps of her newly-engaged frenemy and become a trophy wife. Although she’s desperate and too broke to get a chipped nail fixed, Izzy still has standards for her future husband, which means no uggos, no vertically-challenged guys, and no geezers who need to pop a blue pill to perform in the bedroom. Enlisting the aid of her computer whiz nephew and her closest pals, Izzy goes on the prowl for a rich, marriage-minded man, encountering likely candidates in a lot of unlikely places.

The high life she’s dreamed of may be within reach when Izzy meets a charming, successful man who’s not only hotter than a steamy summer night in Miami, but ready to settle down. Now all Izzy has to do is make sure her loud, crazy Cuban family doesn’t scare off el hombre perfecto—oh, yeah, and squelch those pesky, romantic feelings she keeps having for the sweet, cash-strapped guy she's known forever.

Will Izzy’s hunger for money win out, or will her fiery heart demand to be heard?

Normally, reviews for Tracie Banister’s books are easy to write because she’s an amazing author, but this one is a bit more difficult. I’ve now read three of Tracie’s books—Blame It on the Fame (review), Twin Piques (review), and Izzy As Is. I really enjoyed Blame It on the Fame and absolutely LOVED the Tobin Twins in Twin Piques, but I’m a bit conflicted with her new release, Izzy As Is. Now, I haven’t read In Need of Therapy where Izzy first appeared, so I had no insight into Izzy’s personality, but maybe I should have because I’m not really a fan. I think I’m on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from “self-centered bikini model turned wannabe trophy wife” so there was no obvious way for me to relate to this character. I’ve dealt with people like Izzy and dropped them quickly because our personalities just didn’t mesh, which made it difficult to want to keep reading. But, I did and don’t regret it.

To see the story through, I latched on to a few of the other characters. Izzy’s nephew reminded me a LOT of my childhood best friend and made me think back to our pre-teen days of computer programming, testing, and not doing much outside. I’m sure that explains why I would rather sit with my laptop and look at the lake rather than jump into it. I understood (and felt) the sibling issues between Izzy and her sisters which made me want to grab In Need of Therapy immediately. To keep the spoilers at bay, I’ll just say I’m #TeamZane, and leave it at that. Overall, the story itself is solid, and I definitely won’t steer you away from reading Izzy As Is because I know so many who love Izzy’s character. This one just isn’t at the top of my list. But I’m excited to read In Need of Therapy and Mixing It Up in one of my upcoming reading marathons. Stay tuned for those reviews!

About Tracie Banister

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the back burner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. She is the proud winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award (Romantic Comedy) and a Bronze Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards (Chick Lit).

Although Tracie swore she’d never write a sequel to any of her books, the character of Izzy Alvarez, who first appeared in In Need of Therapy, would not be denied. Izzy As Is is Tracie’s fifth novel, and she hopes readers enjoy this return trip to Miami.