Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Plus-One Agreement, or What Happens When You Begin with a Break-Up

Successful job? Check. Swish wardrobe? Check. 
Mr. Right? Not so much… 
Emma Burney might not have a man, but she has a very practical solution for that: the plus-one agreement. A guaranteed date for any occasion. The problem? Her date is the gorgeous Dan Morgan, the man she lusted after for years. 
Dan is all about keeping it casual, so when Emma decides to call it quits on their arrangement, he isn't bothered. Well, maybe there's just a little bit of dented ego. After all, he's always prided himself on his plus-one prowess. So when Emma begs just one last date…suddenly he's got something to prove!
This delivered a twist that I've actually never seen in a romance novel before, and this delighted me!  It's so rare that I come across a trope or theme that I haven't seen done in some way before, that it's a brilliant hook.

They break up.

Right at the beginning.  We're introduced to the two main characters,it's clear that they're made for each other, and in the very first chapter they break up.


Phillips takes the plus-one trope (aka the stand-in/fake boyfriend/girlfriend) and turns it on its head.  It's happened, they've done it and they haven't declared their love for one another.  But it's when Emma realises that she actually needs Dan to step in and help her out one last time (even after calling a halt to their arrangement), that the fun begins.

It turns out that he's now determined to get revenge.  Or laid.  Either way, he's certain that actually, this arrangement is the best thing that's ever happened to the two of them,and he'll do anything to keep it going.

So when they realise that actually, they've had feelings for each other all along, we just melt a little more.

There's also a depth to the characterisation that is really impressive; we, like Emma, underestimate Dan until his past is revealed and it certainly makes us rethink the assumptions we make about characters.

Phillips has outdone herself in a novel which twists the twist.  Love it!!

Mills & Boon boy Kevin loved the twist so much, that he couldn't stop working on it even whilst working on the armoured car...

1 comment:

  1. I love Modern Tempted Day! I find all my future mills and boons here! This one sounds particularly fab!