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?
Brighton Walsh is a storyteller at heart. Whether through words or pictures, she’s been weaving tales for as long as she can remember. After decades of cultivating her writing, she finally decided to give life to the voices in her head and set forth to write her first novella. Love is her first love, and writing about it is a dream come true. When she’s not overwhelmed by the incessant chatter in her mind, you can generally find her with her nose buried in a steamy book or partaking in some retail therapy. The setting of her life story takes place in the Midwest, characters including her very own real life hero she found in her supportive and swoony husband, and her two energetic kids who (fortunately) know nothing about the naughty things she puts down on paper.
- Tattoos or piercings? Both. Hey, look at that. I cheated with the first question.
- Summer or Winter? Blech. Neither. But if I had to choose, winter.
- Morning or Night? Night
- Cake or Pie? WHAT KIND OF EVIL QUESTIONS ARE THESE? Okay. Pie.
- Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
- Coke or Pepsi? Is this a real question? Coke.
- Comedy or Horror? Comedy
- Pancake or Waffles? Waffles
- Peanut Butter or Jelly? Peanut butter (and now I’m singing the peanut butter jelly song)
- Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs
- TV shows or Movies? Movies
- Pen or Pencil? Sharpie
- Shower or Bath? Shower
- Rain or Snow? Snow
- Rock or Rap? Rock
- Ketchup or Mustard? Ketchup, a thousand times, ketchup.
- White or Wheat? White
- Movies or Reading? Reading
- Car or Motorcycle? Ohhh…motorcycle
- Paper or Plastic? Paper
- Gum or Mints? Gum
- Twitter or Facebook? TWITTER. Yes, I feel strongly about that one.
- Real book or e-book? Depends on the book. I used to say real book, but I read so much faster on e-book, so I’ll go with that.
- Milk chocolate or Dark chocolate? Milk chocolate
Plus One by Brighton Walsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have to disclose up front that I personally know this author. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t let that sway my opinion of Plus One at all. One of the reasons I know Ms. Walsh personally is because I admire her as a writer and she always seems to know just what I’m looking for in heroines and heroes and she brings that to her writing.
In Plus One, we meet Olivia, who is tired of endless dates with men that she just can’t connect with. In fact, we meet her while she’s on one such date… and I can’t blame her for setting up a rescue phone call once I heard some of the first date horror stories! It turns out it isn’t her best friend, Emma, calling to rescue her though. It’s her best friends, younger brother, Ian.
Ian has always been a part of her life, and over the years has become one of her best friends. Olivia has never entertained the idea of looking at him romantically simply because in her mind he was never an option. When Ian finds out that Olivia has 9 weddings to attend, either as a bridesmaid or a guest, he offers to be her ‘Plus One’ to each of them and after a moments hesitation, Olivia accepts.
Like I said above, Walsh knows how to write heroines. The problem I often have with romance is that I find the actions of the characters to be unbelievable or just plain unexplained at times which then leads me to dislike the heroine/hero. I never had that problem with Plus One – the characters are so wonderfully written and developed, I thought I was reading a story about friends that I knew! Olivia is smart and successful and yet she struggles in this one area of her life. And while I may not have agreed with every decision she made along the way, her actions made sense. She struggled to wrap her head around the idea that this person who has been so much to her could possibly become more. And the niggling fear that is always there when you mess around with such an incredible friendship… what if something goes wrong, how do I go on without this person in my life, is excellently conveyed here, not only because he’s her friend, but his sister is also her friend… would she lose both of them if it didn’t work out? Definitely a believable struggle.
Okay… so another thing that Brighton does wonderfully well… the naughty stuff. The banter between the two characters is so well done. It’s light and funny, showing us just how great their friendship is and then it’s full of tension and UST showing us their incredible chemistry.
Ian … *fans self* remember when I said Brighton knows what women want in a hero? well… imagine this …
While there’s nothing wrong with a woman having her way with me, I prefer to be the one calling the shots in the bedroom.”
He brushed a single finger down the line of her jaw, and instead of moving away, swept his finger over her lips.
Leaning in, he brushed his lips against her ear. “I need to taste you.”
I mean… he’s sweet, and wonderful to her… not just as a guy trying to get in her pants, but also as a friend and confidant. And man, can that guy talk in the bedroom…
Ian’s story is slowly revealed to us and it turns out that he’s crushed on Olivia for years. convincing himself that any sort of relationship other than friendship just isn’t going to happen and so he’s moved away trying to put some space between them and pursued other relationships which all ended up missing something. But he never ditched Olivia … he has always been her friend and I admire that.
His feelings for Livvy are obvious from the start to us readers, but it makes sense that Olivia didn’t and couldn’t see it and getting to see the evolution from friend to lover is one of my favorite kinds of romances around and Brighton Walsh captures what I love about it best.
If you’re a contemporary romance fan, this is definitely something you’re going to want to pick up when it comes out on May 6th. It’s a quick, light, read that will have you falling in love right along with Ian and Olivia. Definitely put Ms. Walsh on your favorite authors list… she’s for sure on mine!
Thank you to Ms. Walsh for an advance copy for an honest review.
Plus One is a fun and sexy story that is a super quick read but gives you enough character development and story to really enjoy it. The whole friends to more in a book has always been one of my favorites and it is easy to get right into it with Olivia and Ian.
Olivia is sick of the dating scene and just happens to have a bunch of weddings she has to go to over the next few months but no date. Enter Ian. Ian and Olivia have been friends for a long time as she happens to be best friends with Ian’s sister Emma. When he takes Emma’s place to make the “emergency” call during one of Olivia’s dates, he finds out about the weddings and offers to be her “plus one”. Never mind that he has secretly (or not so secretly to some) been in love with Olivia and the second he offers to do it, he starts to wonder if he is setting himself up for some serious heartbreak.
I loved reading the banter and seeing the relationship that Ian and Olivia had. It started with the first phone call and carried all the way through the book. Also, when they finally do get to the sexy times…perfect. Even I may have to claim Ian as one of my favorites…just saying. He’s smart, sexy, and wants more than just a hook up…he wants the whole relationship thing with her.
If you are looking for a quick and easy read, this may be the one for you. For me, characters make the story and sometimes with a shorter novel it is tough to do. Not so here, Walsh does a great job of creating a believable story along with some great characters.