Here’s one for your smart romance category.
Blurb: She’s not looking to fix him. She’s looking to love him, if he’ll let her in.
Some facts are indisputable. The sun rises in the east, sets in the west. Gravity exists. Indira doesn’t like Jude. Jude doesn’t like Indira. But what happens when these childhood enemies find the only thing they can rely on is each other?
On paper, Indira has everything together. An amazing job, a boyfriend, and a car. What more could a late twenty-something ask for? But when she walks in on her boyfriend in an amorous embrace with a stranger, that perfect on paper image goes up in flames.
Jude has nothing together. A doctor that’s spent the last three years traveling the world to treat emergencies and humanitarian crises, a quick trip home for his best friend’s wedding has him struggling to readjust.
Thrust into an elaborate (and ridiculously drawn out) wedding event that’s stressing Jude beyond belief and has Indira seeing her ex and his new girlfriend far more frequently than any human should endure, the duo strike a bargain to be each other’s fake dates to this wedding from hell. The only problem is, their forced proximity and fake displays of affection are starting to feel a bit…real, and both are left grappling with the idea that a situation that couldn’t be worse, is made a little better with the other around.
It’s a fateful day when Indira walks into her apartment to discover an unsavory situation between her boyfriend and a woman and peanut butter. Suffice to say that Indira walks out, moves in with her brother Colin and his fiance, Jeremy, in the midst of their wedding preparations, and another houseguest, her childhood nemesis, Jude Bailey. What seemed like a welcome refuge has become anything but in Mazey Eddings’ The Plus One.
For the first third of this very well narrated audiobook, I was enjoying the play between Indira and Jude as well as the fact that Eddings’ wrote these characters as very real people. Indira isn’t a fluffball but a complex person with complex emotions, especially regarding the father who walked out on their family when she was a kid. His action affected the rest of her life, giving her trust and self-esteem issues that she is working on to this day, and is probably one of the reasons that she has become a psychiatrist. Her career is also useful in her budding relationship with Jude, who as a doctor for a world medical organization, has been to war torn countries and now has PTSD as a result.
Somewhere in the middle when it became obvious that Indira and Jude were a couple, pacing and plotting got bogged down. I think this is a problem every time a couple gets together too early. In this case, it allowed for several sex scenes that seemed too drawn out, especially when you’re listening to them. For the second and third, I pressed the forward button and if there was a fourth, I did as well. I think I blocked it out. Ha.
In between the sex scenes, we see Indira’s father as the self-absorbed jerk he is. And we see Jude grapple with his eventual return to doctoring in war torn countries and how ill the thought makes him. For me, it was all of these relationship issues that really made The Plus One worth reading as well as Indira donning a bumble bee costume for Halloween, of course.
Unfortunately, when I began The Plus One I had no idea that it was part of a series, so the entire epilogue, well, most of the entire epilogue was wasted on me as I really had no investment in the other couples. And, actually, as the third in this series, many characters were mentioned throughout who just sort of blended together because the author took for granted that the reader/listener would know who they were so didn’t try to differentiate between them. For this listener, they became just mind-numbing names.
All in all, a decent read about interesting characters.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.