It’s probably unsurprising that I requested this trilogy of books. They feature a billionaire MMA fighter and a baker heroine. Sloane Michaels is a retired, successful MMA fighter who founded a successful franchise of gyms that cater to up-and-coming fighters who are training. One night, while at wedding, he spots Kat Thayne quietly setting up the wedding cake for the wedding reception. He’s immediately attracted and would like to get to know her better. Unbeknownst to him, Kat is a survivor of a vicious attack which left her with a permanent limp and an extreme wariness of men. When he approaches her, she immediately puts him off, and flees. He follows, and finds her being attacked in the parking lot of the wedding venue. Her assistant has been stabbed, and Kat is trying to help him. Sloane jumps into action, calling 911 and providing medical assistance until the paramedics arrive. While Kat is grateful for his help, and attracted to him on an empirical level, she is definitely not interested in getting involved with this overpowering man.
Sloane perseveres, and finds that Kat is the survivor of an attack. He makes no bones about wanting her, but offers to help train her in self-defense so that should she ever be attacked again, she can protect herself. Kat is desperate to become the self-confident person she was before the attack and agrees to the training while making it very clear that she has no interest in becoming involved with him. Of course, they train, and of course, that training leads to a physical encounter. But both have demons. Kat comes from a family of renowned scientists, and is the black sheep of the family. She was involved with a man, David, who works very closely with her mother, and her parents would like nothing more than for Kat to reconcile with him. Although Kat can’t remember much about her attack, she knows that David, who was present for the attack, knows more than he’s saying and that his account of the attack is not accurate. For his part, Sloane is seeking revenge against the man who attacked and killed his sister. He’s announced that he’s coming back to the MMA for one night, hoping to draw out his sister’s killer. As they become involved, they realize that David’s involvement in Kat’s attack is more sinister than first suspected. Sloane’s protective instincts go into overdrive. At the same time, Sloane is relentlessly training for his fight. Will his decision to kill the man who murdered his sister come to fruition? Will he end up in jail?
The first thing I’ll say about these books is that they should have been one book. There really isn’t enough story there to justify dragging them out over three. I understand that billionaire/ingenue trilogies are all the rage right now, but there just wasn’t enough “there” there to justify the three book trilogy. On top of that, the story is quite predictable. From the beginning, I was able to tell what would happen next. Now, I read a ton of these books, given that the trope appeals to me. But my problem with the story was that there was nothing unusual about it. Billionaire hero? Check. Ingenue/Damaged heroine? Check. Gay best friend? Check. Vendetta? Check. Family reconciliation? Check. It was too predictable. On top of that, I found the love scenes to be quite generic. There wasn’t much cutting edge about it. In the end, it added up to a series that I felt was self-indulgent in length and unremarkable in story-telling. For me, this series is a pass. There are far better billionaire/ingenue trilogies available which have stronger stories to tell. My grade for the Plus One Chronicles is a D.