Monday, April 3, 2023

REVIEW: The Plus One by Mazey Eddings


The Plus One is a serious and funny frenemies to lovers novel in the A Brush With Love series. In this story we get to know Indira and Jude: she's crashing with her brother after a bad break up and he's crashing there to help with the upcoming wedding of Indira's brother (aka, Jude's best friend). Their first scene together really showcases that frenemy part--they're like snarling cats with each other and their traded insults are hilarious. That veneer of funny is threaded throughout the entirety of the novel which is good because the serious PTSD he seems to be experiencing and her lingering abandonment issues are pretty heavy. Every chapter explores their individual fears and hurts while also putting them in situations that force them to acknowledge what they've both been denying--they're attracted to each other and one slam, bam, thank you ma'am is not going to be enough. They try to sell it to their friends and family as a convenient fake dating thing but that sham of a story doesn't last long.

Mazey Eddings is definitely good for an exploration of mental health and neurodivergence and it's refreshing. While her characters and their journeys could easily become heavy and hard to consume, she has a nice balance of serious and lightheartedness that keeps me coming back to her books.

What starts out as a fake wedding date turns into something these childhood enemies never expected in The Plus One, a sparkling romantic comedy by Mazey Eddings.

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 exits. 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.

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