Kimberly Smith

Plus One

A fake date, an amazing woman, a broken man: Will their arrangement lead to the romance of a lifetime?

Gerald Harrison lied to his lawyer to meet with a couple of super affluent investors to pitch a business idea. He created the perfect woman as his girlfriend, who was loosely based on his gay best friend, Mel.

He is at his wit's end when Mel comes up with a solution. Gerald will do anything to make this deal happen and agrees to pay a woman to pretend to be his girlfriend. Mel arranges for a woman that he knows to be this pretend girlfriend for hire.

Asia Gates agreed to go on a paid date in her half-sister's place after Lisa hurts herself a few hours before the date. She can only imagine what kind of toad slash geek this guy must be if he has to pay for a date. She would rather loan her sister the money she needs, but Lisa won't take it.

When they meet, Asia is surprised by the handsome man as Gerald is by the curvy African American woman. The first few minutes of their encounter, Gerald can't seem to keep his foot out of his mouth and his eyes off the beautiful black woman.

Gerald is captivated by Asia, who calms his nerves and excites him in ways that scare him. He's never been with anyone like her. She has a big heart, a head for business, and a body that calls to him. When she volunteers to continue their charade, Gerald can't resist the idea of getting to know her better and starts to love the idea of beginning an interracial romance with Asia.

Asia tells herself that she is only getting involved further because she can see the potential of Gerald's business idea. She's lying to herself. Asia is attracted to the good-looking geek. She agrees to help him further and tells herself that she can keep her hands off of him.

Gerald starts to fall for Asia during the extension of their deal, who pushes him away without explanation. Maybe it's for the best, he thinks until he watches another man expressing fondness for his woman. Asia's ex-boyfriend, James, accompanies his group on the weekend getaway. Gerald can see the predatory look in his eyes when he gazes at Asia.

During the weekend trip, secrets are exposed. Just as their romance begins, the pair are faced with medical issues, racism, and a pandemic that could cost them everything. Then again, the problems may prove that love is the greatest equalizer of all.
262 printed pages
Original publication



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