After his last relationship ended with his girlfriend cheating on him, Dr. Chase Summers went on a year-long Doctors Without Borders mission. Only recently returned, he's searching for a new apartment, but every one he likes ends up falling through. It just so happens that his best bud's younger sister, Josie Hammer, who is also one of his best friends, is looking for a new roommate. After a friendly get-together, they realize how easily they get along and that each of them could solve the other's problem. Even though he thinks Josie is hot as sin, Chase is determined to keep his hands and other body parts to himself, carefully compartmentalizing each area of his life, which is kind of his superpower. But the night Josie slips into bed with him, looking for a little comfort after a trying day, all bets are off. Neither one of them is getting much sleep after that, because they can't seem to keep their hands off each other. Suddenly their relationship has morphed into something far more than mere roommates, but they both share a powerful need to remain friends at all costs. Chase finds himself falling in love with Josie, but she made him promise to be the one to pull the plug on their sexual relationship when the time came. He fears that if he doesn't do it, their friendship will be toast, but if he does, they may miss out on something far deeper that could last forever.
Full Package is the fourth full-length novel in Lauren Blakely's Big Rock romantic comedy series that is all written from the first-person male POV. This time we have Chase who is best friends with Wyatt (Well Hung). He's also good friends with Wyatt's sister, Josie, and is about to become a whole lot more. Chase is a doctor who, after a major heartbreak, went on a year-long Doctors Without Borders mission. He's only recently returned and is looking for a place to live, but affordable apartments are hard to find in New York City and every one he's been interested in has thus far fallen through. Enter Josie, a bakery owner who needs a new roommate. After hanging out a few times, Chase and Josie realize how incredibly well they get along and that they would be the perfect roommates... except for one tiny detail: Chase has had the hots for Josie for a long time. However, since compartmentalization is his gift, Chase thinks he can separate the two, no problem. But it becomes increasingly difficult when he sees Josie every day, sometimes in various states of undress, and they're flirting incessantly, and talking about their sex lives. Then one night Josie crawls into Chase's bed, looking for a little comfort and all bets are off. Soon they're far more than mere roommates, but a shared powerful need to always remain friends no matter what happens may make them miss out on something far deeper and more enduring.
Chase is an emergency room doctor, who became invested in a romance with a woman who was more than just a lover. They had so much in common, she also become his best friend. But then she cheated on him and the relationship ended, leaving him floundering over losing someone who'd seemed so perfect for him in more ways than one. Now recently returned from his Doctors Without Borders mission, he needs a place to live, but every time he finds an apartment he both likes and can afford, the deal falls through. Then he and his good friend, Josie, are just hanging out and realize how great they'd be together as roommates and everything falls into place. But Chase has always thought Josie was crazy hot and living in the same small space with her only fuels his desire for her even more. Still, he's determined not to ruin their friendship by going there until the night Josie slides into bed with him. Then he just can't keep his hands off her anymore. Soon Chase realizes that he's fallen madly in love with Josie, but she seems determined to maintain their friendship at all costs. Since Chase is the one who's better at compartmentalizing, he eventually finds himself faced with either risking that friendship for the chance of something better, or needing to let go of the love of his life in order to keep her in his life as a friend. Overall, I liked Chase and thought he was a great guy, but I couldn't help feeling that his characterization could have gone deeper, especially since the entire story is written from his POV. In all honesty, his past failed relationship could have played a stronger role. I did like, though, that Chase fell so hard for Josie and embraced those feelings. The only reason he was willing to put them on the back burner is because he thought that's what Josie wanted.
With this being a first-person POV story, we primarily only get to know Josie through Chase's eyes. She loves cooking and owns a successful bakery. Josie used to be roomies with Natalie (Well Hung), but then Natalie married Wyatt, leaving Josie needing a new roommate to help with the rent. So far, she hasn't been able to find anyone who isn't a total flake, but since she and Chase have been friends forever and get along great, she figures the two of them can help each other with their respective problems. When things start heating up between them, she embraces her desire for Chase, but at the same time, she's adamant that their friendship is the most important thing. She fully expects their fling to eventually end, and when that time comes, she wants them to go back to the way things have always been for them. Since she's the one who has a hard time separating out her emotions, she makes Chase promise to be the one to rip off the proverbial Band-Aid when the time comes. Josie was probably even more underdeveloped than Chase. Aside from a recent romance with a guy who just used her for sex and then ghosted her, which didn't really play much of a role in her relationship with Chase, what I've outlined here is about all we get to know of Josie. Interspersed throughout the story are recipes from Josie's cookbook that give some small insights into what she's feeling for Chase in the moment, but it's not really enough to make me feel like I got to know her well. What I did see, I liked, though. She's a pretty confident woman who isn't afraid to express herself both in bed and out, except for when it comes to her feelings for Chase. In her zeal to maintain their friendship at all costs, she very nearly lets him get away entirely.
Many of their friends and family members who have their own books in the series play supporting roles in the story. Chase's brother, Max, is probably the most prominent one, giving Chase brotherly advice. He becomes the hero of the next book, Joy Ride. Josie's brother and Chase best friend, Wyatt (Well Hung), shows up, also providing advice and camaraderie. Josie's other brother, Nick (Mister O), and his lady love, Harper, appear on a group date, along with Wyatt's wife, Natalie, Spencer and Charlotte (Big Rock), and Simon and Abby (The Sexy One), who cross-over from the One Love series. We also hear a little about, but don't actually see, Max and Chase's sister, Mia, who becomes the heroine of the sixth book, Hard Wood.
Overall, I enjoyed Full Package. It was a reasonably entertaining read that had some really funny lines that made me chuckle. I liked Chase and Josie for as well as I got to know them and think they were a well-matched couple. I just wish that their characterizations would have dug a little deeper. The story itself was a little too simplistic as well, leaving me feeling like the stakes weren't quite high enough. The main conflict is simply that Chase and Josie don't want to lose their friendship, and as a result, they don't convey their feelings for one another, leaving Chase misconstruing the meaning behind Josie's words. It wasn't really the dreaded "big misunderstanding," more a failure to communicate, but still not my favorite way to stir up trouble between a romance couple. It very nearly kept them apart, and if both of them hadn't realized just how much they missed each other and decided it was worth risking their friendship after all, they might have been doomed to broken hearts. All's well that ends well, though, and the last chapter where they finally reveal their true feelings was a very sweet moment. I also can't deny that Chase and Josie really knew how to generate a lot of steam. Their love scenes were super-hot and very fun. So all in all, Full Package was a respectable entry into the series that had a lot of good points. I liked it, but just wasn't quite blown away by it like I was with a couple of the earlier books in the series.
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