The Plus One by Mazey Edding
Spice: 4; there are a few descriptive scenes
Sexy Times: 4; there was a lot of good build up and Jude and Indira had been fighting their attraction to each other a long time
Library Book - overdue - eek!
Will you like this book? You might if you like:
Enemies to lovers
Romance that take on tough issues
This is my third straight romance with a childhood friend/enemy to lover. I love this troupe, obviously, mostly because it provides so much backstory for the characters and allows the reader to jump right in. I have no idea why, but sometimes I get a little anxious about the hero and heroine meeting and in these books, they already have that relationship. It feels comfortable and I like comfort in my romances.
In this book, both of the main characters actually need a fair bit of comfort themselves. Jude is a doctor working for a Doctors Without Borders-like organization. They paid for his medical degree so he owes them a specified number of years of service. He is home in Philadelphia for his best friend’s wedding and then will be off again for one last assignment. But the problem is that Jude is experiencing PTSD after working in various war-torn and disaster areas. He has lost his faith in his ability to heal people. Back home, attending various wedding related events, he can barely keep it together.
Indira is the sister of Jude’s best friend, Collin, and Jude and Indira have been bickering their whole lives. Indira just wanted to hang out with her older brother and his friend, but they wanted nothing to do with her and Indira and Jude have been like oil and water their whole lives. Indira is a psychiatrist, working with children, but she is also suffering mentally. Her father abandoned her and her brother when she was young and Indira has been trying to figure out how to earn people’s love ever since.
This is the third book in the series, which I actually didn’t realize.I didn’t feel like I needed to read the other two books in order to follow this one. I liked that there was a cast of characters, and I loved the lightheartedness of the wedding festivities; Collin and his fiance, Jeremy, were great foils for Jude and Indira and they provided emotional support for the main characters. But the story’s focus stayed on Jude and Indira’s which was great; when you are reading a third book in a series I feel like the main characters can get short shrift because the author is filling the reader in on the people from the previous books. It didn’t feel like that in The Plus One.
The dialogue was snappy between Indira and Jude, the story moved along at a good pace. The fake date troupe was introduced but really it never went too far since they told all their friends. And as I mentioned there was a lightness to some of the scenes, when Jude and Indira reverted back to some child-like behavior. But this book also took on some serious issues: PTSD, imposter syndrome, childhood abandonment. All handled very well I thought. And Edding didn’t give an unrealistic third act break-up. Jude and Indira realized they loved each other deeply, and it was going to be work for them to stay together and fight for their relationship. It felt mature, it felt real.
I laughed and I cried with this book. Jude and Indira were going through a lot and their pain and sorrow was so palatable, but it was never so heavy that it brought the book down. I tore through this one in a day, I wanted to see how Edding would resolve Jude and Indira’s issues. Definitely a book I would recommend but with the caveat that you should have tissues at the ready.