Plus One by Brighton Walsh
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: May 6, 2013
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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?
Olivia, Emma and Ian have been best buddies for 20 years. They tell each other just about anything and get each other out of bad situations, like when one is on a blind date and having the worst time ever because their date is talking about cat pee. This was the case when Ian called Olivia and got her out of her blind date. Olivia was expecting a call from Emma, but apparently she was busy with her boyfriend so Ian called. They talk while Olivia is on her way home and one of the topics that comes up is weddings. Olivia has to either be in or go to nine weddings in the next six months. She was hoping one of her blind dates would be awesome and she could take him as her plus one, but no luck. Ian offers to be her plus one and while Olivia is hesitant at first she soon takes him up on his offer.
Ian has been in love with Olivia the entire time he’s known her. As he got older his puppy love turned into true love, but he was afraid to mess up their friendship. There was also the fact that Olivia didn’t see him as anything other than a friend. He even went so far as to move a couple of hours away from her to try and get her out of his system. While that worked in a way, he never stopped loving her. Now he’s torturing himself by seeing her on a regular basis for all of these weddings and he can’t help but dream of what it would be like with her.
During one of the wedding receptions Olivia drinks a bit and they come close to kissing but she pulls away. Ian thinks that he can never make Olivia see him as more than a friend, but she’s already undressing him in her mind. How can these two take the chance on love without ruining their friendship forever.
This was a short novella but it was good! I really liked both Ian and Olivia and thought they were adorable together. Their banter was cute and funny. Like I said, this was a short novella so there wasn’t a lot of plot development. Despite that, I thought the author did a good job of showing us each of the characters in a good light and making us understand their wants and hesitations over the relationship.
One part I thought was needlessly added was Olivia’s friend, and Ian’s sister, Emma. I’m not sure why she was written in. She really only served to make Olivia’s uncertainty about the relationship worse because Olivia didn’t want to betray her friend. I got Olivia’s thinking, but it really was just extra and the story definitely could have survived quite well without her involvement.
Overall I enjoyed this story and recommend it if you need a quick read or palate cleanser.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5