**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**
Title The Plus One Pact
Author Portia MacIntosh
Release Date May 21, 2020
Description from Amazon
What if your plus one could be the one…?
Cara has officially run out of men. Her most recent dates have gone from bad to worse, and when her dating app informs her there is no one left in her area to choose from, she is at a dead end.
But with a summer of events ahead of her, she needs to find a solution, fast; someone to keep her company at the never-ending weddings, family gatherings and gender reveal parties that she can’t face going to alone. So when she meets handsome, confident, Millsy on a night out she may be in luck. They could not be more different in personality, but he too has a summer of events ahead and is desperate to get his family off his back about finding a ‘nice girl’. What if they made a pact to help each other out and be a plus one for the summer? Just as friends of course…?
I loved the idea of this story. Friends who decide to become each other’s plus ones for events – super fun. Obviously, this is an HEA rom-com so I knew where this was heading, but I thought it sounded good nonetheless. Also, I really loved the last Portia MacIntosh book I read.
Some Things I Liked
- Cara and her job. I loved that Cara had an unconventional job. It made her a more fun character to read about.
- The realism in Cara’s falling out with her high school friends. I thought Cara’s story was really open and honest about her struggles as an almost-thirty year old woman in the modern age. Again, I really liked her character.
Some Things I Didn’t Like
- Millsy’s name. I just hated it. I don’t know why but it really perturbs me when adult men go by a goofy nickname. It’s fine if it’s like just your friends from childhood but who introduces themselves as their silly nickname? I say this with a total biased opinion because I saw an email signed “Woody” at work one day (and I work in finance). I just couldn’t take him seriously with that name.
- The romance was totally undeveloped. Also, Millsy’s backstory was relatively undeveloped. At the end of the story, the reader learned that several assumptions we had made about him (from things other characters had said) turned out to be untrue. I wish his story as well as the romance had been fleshed out more.
This story feels pretty complete. There were no side characters that I felt would merit a spin-off or side story. I would definitely keep reading Portia MacIntosh’s other books, but I don’t think I would read another book about these characters.
I wasn’t super crazy about this book. The ending really saved it for me but I had some major issues with the development of the romance and overall story. I think this book had a lot of potential, but it fell short in several places.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar – although this is a holiday story, the vibes are so similar. If you like stories about revisiting the past in order to discover what your future has in store, try this holiday story by Kiley Dunbar. It also features a makeover that the main character feels much more herself after receiving.
- The Move by Whitney Dineen – if you like clean, rom-coms about starting over in a new place with hilarious, sometimes over-bearing parents, try this book by Whitney Dineen.
- Make or Break at the Lighthouse B&B by Portia MacIntosh – if you liked the writing style here, try this 2020 release by the same author. (I really enjoyed this one).