Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
When beautiful businesswoman, Stephanie Spicer, finally gets together with handsome American lover, Rick Martin, a senior manager at the UK office of her biggest client, her life seems complete. But her life is thrown into turmoil when her boss, Katrina, sends her to Los Angeles to work on an important branding promotion for the company.
Feeling alone in the very office where Rick’s overpowering wife, Diane, is also a senior manager, Stephanie seeks friendship with Asha, the attractive airline stewardess she’s met on her flight over. Taking Stephanie into her home, her heart and her bed, Asha takes her under her wing and keeps her passions high.
When the success of the project is sealed at a high-profile company event by her impromptu presentation together with her old flame, tennis star Kelly Finch, Stephanie prepares to fly home and pick up her life and passionate affair with Rick. But a revelation about Diane’s “love plus one” forces Stephanie to make a decision that will forever change her life.
Can Stephanie keep her new-found love as she also tries to manage the challenges of delivering her client’s branding account in America? Or will his suspicious wife try and change the ground rules and bring her back to earth?
Love Plus One by Gemma Stone is apparently already the 4th entry in the so concisely titled “Stephanie Spicer Erotic Touch Romance”-series. I sincerely hope that the other volumes are a whole lot better than this one because it was quite frankly a huge let-down.
Let’s start with the fact that I’m already having a problem with the above summary since it implies that there is an actual plot to be found here as well as characters who have personalities and struggles to face. Sadly, the actual “story” features none of that. The plot exists at best only as a sort of frame for the one thing the author tried to forcefully squeeze in as much as possible: sex. The entire narrative consists mainly of sexual scenes between Stephanie Spicer and various other characters (both male and female) with only short intervals of non-sexual content.
Stephanie Spicer, the main protagonist, has literally one trait as a character: everyone who lays eyes on her is immediately physically attracted to her – no matter their gender or sexual orientation. Even the airport security employee had of course nothing else on her mind when checking her over. And, of course, Stephanie herself is more than happy to comply with everyone’s desires, despite the fact that she finally managed to get together with the man for whom she apparently has some kind of “romantic” feelings. But make no mistake, actual emotions are mentioned only in passing in order to get to the next bed scene as fast as possible. I don’t even have anything further to add about the characters since they are nothing more than cardboard cut-outs of stereotypically successful and attractive business people with no personality or depth to comment upon. Oh, and the relationships? People meet and sleep with each other a few scenes after. That is pretty much the extent of how most interactions go including the “main” one between Stephanie and Asha who meet exactly three times in the entire book – two quick meetings on a plane and the one time they sleep with each other after a dinner conversation that was mostly summarized in a few sentences.
Now let’s talk about the sex scenes, shall we? After all they are clearly the only thing the author seemed to care about. Are they perhaps that mind-blowingly amazing or intricate to even remotely justify tossing everything else a good story should offer out the window? That would be a big “no” on my part. There is certainly nothing new or unusual about them. To be fair, they are not particularly badly written or so but I just got tired of them after the third one. There was no way for me to really get into them, since they felt utterly meaningless and I did not care about the characters involved in the least. There was even a f/f/f threesome that was apparently supposed to show the “awakening” of one of the participants – in other words, finding out that she enjoys intercourse with women. But there was no depth to it at all and the characters felt terribly fake and unrealistic.
In conclusion, to treat this so-called “novella” as an actual work of quality fiction seems almost like an insult to every author who strives to create compelling storylines with interesting and engaging characters. Please, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate well-written sexual content within a narrative as much as the next reader but it should exist to add to the relationship development between characters and the plot as a whole, not replace them.
The cover design by CB Messer is fine, I guess. The scantily clad women at least make no secret out of what this book is all about. There is nothing particularly remarkable or exciting about this cover but then again neither is there about its content.
Sales Links: Amazon
ebook, 16700 words
Published May 23, 2017
by Deep Desires Press
Edition Language: English