Author: Brighton Walsh
Release Date: 6 May 2013
Number of pages: 68 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: ebook copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Carina Press, B&N, iBookstore, Kobo, Read an excerpt
Grade: 4.5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Olivia hates the singles scene, so when her best guy friend, Ian, offers to be her plus one to a series of weddings she has to attend, she agrees. Although she doesn't want to complicate their lifelong friendship, she can't pass up the chance to have a steady date without the dating drama. What she doesn't expect is to now find Ian so incredibly sexy.When Ian sees his old friend Olivia dolled up for wedding #1, the boyhood crush he once nurtured transforms into smoldering attraction. It doesn't take long for their no-strings arrangement to turn physical. But as Olivia's desire to stay "just friends" becomes clear, Ian's feelings are deepening. In the time they have together, how will Ian convince Olivia that one plus one can make for a lifelong pair?
My Thoughts: With summer approaching it seems that more and more wedding romances are published, and this time I would like to draw your attention to this little gem I just discovered two days ago. I started reading Plus One because the blurb sounded like a fun, flirty wedding romance with the "from-friends-to-lovers trope" that I just love, and it didn't disappoint! It was cute, it was light and it was delightful! Brighton Walsh just got added to my must-read authors and I can't wait to read more of her stories (hopefully full length novels)!
Although the story is just 68 page-long, Brighton Walsh managed to tell a well rounded story with three-dimensional, well-developed, interesting characters the reader could root for, and despite its shortness Plus One left me fully satisfied.
I think one of the reasons for Plus One's success is that the premise can resonate with a lot of people, because at one time or another all of us had to go through what Olivia has to: who didn't have to suffer through one or more awful first date(s)? And who didn't dread going to a wedding alone, sans date? And because of that, Olivia was a very relatable heroine. It didn't hurt that she was a lovely, genuinely nice and funny character too.
And Ian... *sighs* he was dreamy! Even though we are told he is quite handsome, what stayed with me was what a warm-hearted, devoted and gentle guy he was. I just love the "best friend to lovers" trope and Ian was the bf of my dreams. He was funny, considerate, tender and thoughtful. He was a great friend besides being a hunk ;-)
He definitely wouldn’t be a bad guy to be on the arm of at all these weddings. At six foot three, he exuded a certain innate manliness, but even with all that height, he still had this gentleness about him that could only come from being raised around women. The youngest—and only boy—of four kids, he grew up to be sensitive and understanding. Not to mention the fact that it wasn’t exactly a chore to look at him, with his tousled blond hair and clear green eyes. No, he wasn’t her normal type—which was to say he wasn’t tall, dark, broody and a complete asshole—but she could definitely see his appeal.
I loved the easy banter and familiarity between Livvy and Ian, their every scene and conversation radiated that deep and strong camaraderie and affection that shows how close they grew through their many years of friendship. And Brighton Walsh is to be lauded because despite this strong bond their sexual chemistry was believable and utterly hot, and their love intense:
Shaking his head, he dropped his gaze to his feet. “I can’t do it anymore. I thought I could, I thought I could take whatever you could give, but I can’t do this half-assed bullshit anymore.” He looked up, his eyes boring into hers. Almost seeming to steel himself for what he was about to say, he took a deep breath. “I have been in love with you for twenty years. Twenty goddamn years.” Reaching up, he ran both hands through his hair in a sign of frustration. “I can’t pretend I’m not anymore. I want to be yours, Liv. Not just your plus one.”
Brighton Walsh's writing is captivating and delightful. I fell hook, line and sinker in love with Plus One right from the very first page when she shared this laugh out loud funny horrible date scene:
“So, interesting fact,” the guy sitting across from her said. His confident tone suggested he really did think it was interesting. “Cat urine is one of the most difficult things to get out of carpet.” Olivia Winters just stared at him, no longer surprised by what came out of the mouths of the men she dated. After a solid eighteen months of nothing but shitty and shittier dates, she was done. Done. She didn’t need this. She wasn’t a leper, for God’s sake. She was cute and fun. She owned her own bakery—her own successful bakery, thank you very much. She had a great sense of humor, if she did say so herself, and gave one mean blow job—or so she’d been told.Who could resist bursting out in laughter after that first paragraph? I certainly couldn't :-D
Verdict: Plus One was a delightful little story I devoured in no time. Both Olivia and Ian were loveable characters and their chemistry besides being sizzling had more depth due to their strong friendship and affection. I loved Brighton Walsh's writing style, her dry humour shining through Olivia's thoughts made me chuckle out loud, while her well developed 3D characterization was infused with so much heart and emotion that it made me sigh. A wonderful funny and romantic story I can only recommend you pick up!
Plot: 9/10 - I just love the "best friends to lovers trope" and here it was executed to perfection!
Review originally posted at Book Lovers Inc.