Nicole, a mother of two small children flees a toxic marriage only to have her abusive husband die in a car accident. She has not been able to tell anyone except her closest of friends and family of his abuse or her intentions to abandon the marriage. Once he is dead it does not seem right to talk about it. Now living in her small seaside hometown, Nicole is thriving. One problem - she is afraid that she has been pummeled and mummified to the point of permanent disinterest in men, that is, until she rediscovers Jack, her old friend, ex-flatmate and bachelor when she returns to the city to attend a wedding of a mutual friend. Nicole is irresistibly drawn to Jack. He had always ticked all of Nicole's boxes, except one – sexual chemistry. Despite his initial interest in Nicole ten years earlier, her disinterest caused Jack to fall quickly into the role of good male friend. Nicole's friend, Paula, and bride at the wedding, had, ten years ago, introduced Jack to her friends after putting dibs on him. It was made clear that anyone taking an interest in Jack would be in breach of the sisterhood code of good conduct in all matters romantic. Jack dutifully became everyone's best male friend and back up guy. All of Nicole's female friends saw Jack in the same light – an attractive handbag for that special occasion that you had no partner for, a fill in escort, the guy you could call in a pinch. They called him Back up Jack. Nicole suspected that while Jack took it all in his stride he was a little baffled and hurt by the girls' lack of romantic interest in him. Ten years, ten kilos, two kids and a rapidly deteriorating reproductive system later, Nicole wonders if Jack's initial interest can be reignited.
A publicly embarrassing comment made at the wedding suggests that Jack has wanted her all along but it further complicates the transition from friends to lovers. Both Nicole and Jack are left guessing the motives of the other, neither is brave enough to openly discuss it and a series of misunderstandings and mishaps, some coincidental and some engineered by Paula, who seems to still have a territorial interest in Jack, leave Nicole confused by Jack mixed signals. Another weekend social event in the city has Nicole and Jack spending more time together and a goodbye hug develops into a passionate clinch which is interrupted by Jack. He leaves saying that he is surprised and needs time to think about things. The next day he gives Nicole the talk. "I have fantasized about you for years but it is only lust, I value our friendship and I don't want to risk ruining it."
Months go by while Nicole pursues her career ambitions all the while telling herself none of it could be achieved if she had a man to take up her precious time however she can't shake the feeling that Jack wasn't telling the truth about his feelings for her. She squashes the feeling by reminding herself that she now carries too much baggage and too many limitations to be seen as worthy relationship material for the very eligible Jack. Then in a last ditch effort, Nicole arranges a 'friendly' meeting with Jack .The visit results in a passionate sexual encounter which has Nicole’s hopes soaring only to be dashed again when Jack withdraws. He says that it should never have happened and that he suspects Nicole wants more from him than he is prepared to give under the circumstances. What Nicole does not realize yet is that Jack does not know about Nicole’s abusive husband or her plans to leave him and Jack thinks that he is simply a safety net for Nicole; the consolations prize, second best, Nicole’s Back up Jack for life. Nicole’s desire to maintain the friendship with Jack has them spending more time together and over time they gain a greater understanding of each other. Finally, Nicole confesses how she feels and Jack confesses what was really holding him back and to having been in love with Nicole all along.