TBR Challenge: The Plus One Chronicles by Jennifer Lyon

The Plus One ChroniclesSince this is the first challenge, I went all out, and read three short stories! They were all combined though, and really should be read all together. I read (as you can see) The Plus One Chronicles by Jennifer Lyon. (The Proposition, The Possession, and The Obsession.)

​I remember reading Part I: The Proposition around the time it came out. I also remember being surprised that it was a series series … because a) I tend to avoid them b) it was still relatively new for romances to not have closure at the end of the “book.” So, I knew I didn’t want to read on until it was finished and I could read the series in one go. I like Jennifer Lyon’s writing, and have since she wrote as Jennifer Apodaca. Remember those Brava anthologies? Good stuff. I know the theme for this month was “a short,” but I’d also been wanting a well written sexy story. I re-read The Proposition then immediately glommed on to The Possession, and immediately The Obsession​​.

The PropositionI’m not going to write a formal review because … well I don’t want to. But I do want to talk about the stor[ies]. Here’s the book blurb.

Savagely sexy billionaire Sloane Michaels ruthlessly controls his life and everything in it. Even his sex partners are carefully negotiated plus-one arrangements, including his latest, the fiery bakery owner, Kat Thayne. But Sloane’s control is challenged when his mentor becomes seriously ill, and his need for Kat, his need to possess her at all costs, rivals only his single-minded goal of vengeance for the murder of his sister.

After surviving an attack six years ago, Kat Thayne escaped her fears in the protective world of her beloved bakery. Then Sloane Michaels storms into her life, making her feel beautiful, strong and sexy. Yet as Kat pushes her boundaries and uncovers a dangerous secret in her past, Sloane’s controlling side emerges. Worried that Sloane will possess her mind, body and soul, Kat fights to keep her hard won independence. But just as Sloane demands her complete surrender, she discovers he has a dark side that could destroy them both.

The PossessionKat Thayne is a great character. I love how real she is – she’s damaged, but not broken, flawed, insecure, yet steady and certain. She’s basically the best we can all hope to be. I’d really love to be her friend, and to have a friend like that. Sloane Michaels is … as close to perfect as a guy (and hero) can get. He’s a giant teddy bear. And I mean giant. I liked how Ms. Lyons made the MMA aspect relevant, but not pedantic. The story is hot, but it’s also all about the relationship, which I find great. There was a part either in the second or third story where I got a little eye-roll-y, but the third story also made me cry. There’s this section that just … tears you up emotionally.

I don’t want to write huge spoilers, but I think Sloane’s driving force is habit, and his horrible mother. She’s what leads to the resulting conflict between Kat and Sloane, but they work it out. Usually I think the heroine is too soft for giving the hero another chance, or pursuing the relationship, but here it really worked, and I think was the best possible way for the story to be written.

Sloane’s light bulb moment is also a tiny bit deus ex machina, but I’m ok with it nonetheless. I know I sound incredibly vague, but I want you to read this trilogy! And then come back and talk to me about it!

I mean, chemist turned baker heroine, and MMA fighter turned billionaire mogul hero. They’re both damaged in different ways, yet the best they can be. Even the uber tragic past works – and usually I’m turned off by the excessively sad back story that doesn’t seem that realistic. (Thanks a lot for that, real life.)

The ObsessionI finished The Obsession at 3:30 AM and was practically screaming. Ms. Lyons is evil for ending Part II thus, and I was so glad I already had The Obsession on hand, so I could keep reading until I felt I reached an ok (and sufficiently happy) stopping point.

I also appreciate how Ms. Lyons gives us sufficient closure, and ends on a high note. I knew that things were good, that Kat and Sloane were going to work, and have their happy ever after, and that life would continue to happen, but they’d be ok. And isn’t that all we can ask for anyway?

So yay TBR challenge for pushing me to find and finish this series. I know I’ll be re-reading it, and looking for more of Ms. Lyon’s books. In fact, I found myself wishing for Marshall’s story, despite him already being engaged. In a way though, I hope that’s the end – always good to leave people wanting more, right? And I expect more wonderful, different stories from Jennifer Lyons.

(Incidentally, The Proposition is free right now for kindle/the kindle app, so go and get it right now!) Have you read these stories? Or anything by Jennifer Lyons/Apodaca? Any thoughts? :)

3 thoughts on “TBR Challenge: The Plus One Chronicles by Jennifer Lyon

  1. I’ve read all her books as Jennifer Apodaca, and of those I liked her Samantha Shaw mysteries the best. They’re what I would classify as cozy mysteries – but they are humorous and there’s a healthy dollop of romance in them. It’s a series that did sort of die on the vine though with editorial shuffling at Kensington. I don’t recall any annoying cliffhanger at the end of the last book published – but admittedly it’s been a while since I read them!

    She switched to the Lyon pen name when she changed publishers and started writing paranormals. Those I haven’t read, so no comment – but my guess is that the Lyon name probably is a little different in tone than the Apodaca name – which always did have sort of that “fun and humor” vibe to it.

    • Wendy,

      Wow, I guess this shows how out of it I am? I think LS broke me, because I’ve yet to recover from my reading slump that started in ~09. :\ [Please don't tell me that's just real life/growing up.] Hmmm cozy mysteries – I’ve read Kate Carlisle’s but am behind – because you know, series. Meh. I wonder if she’ll self pub more Samantha Shaw books…

      But anyway, my point is I didn’t know/forgot the Lyon pen name was for paranormals, but The Plus One Chronicles totally isn’t PNR. It’s straight up erotic romance, so yay! And it’s adult – he’s 30, she’s 28(?). I liked that they ran the gamut of emotions. I laughed at some, the characters were real, and if you read them all as one, there was awesome closure + HEA. If you haven’t read them, I think you’d like them. :)

      • I downloaded the first book in Plus One just recently. I’m “part of the problem” and tend to get hooked on novella/series. I blame my sordid past a soap opera junkie :)

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