Friday, September 1, 2023

Book Review: The Love Plot

By Allyson Bales

Star Shine Meadows is all about freedom, thanks to the hippie parents who raised her. Juggling her jobs as a professional costume character actor and a line sitter, she believes in no expectations, no stressful ambitions, and no-strings-attached relationships. So when she meets a birthday girl’s grumpy uncle while working a princess party, she can’t help but needle him. She’ll never see him again, and honestly, he's pretty hot.

Rafe Whitman may be a veterinarian with a great bedside manner, but that doesn’t mean his patience extends to anyone with opposable thumbs. His family will not stop nagging him about finding “the one,” so when he runs into obnoxiously cheery Star again, he makes her an offer: He’ll pay her more than she would make doing her odd jobs if she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at family gatherings. She can stop sitting in line waiting for someone else’s new phone, and he’ll get his family off his back.

When the tension between them heats to a breaking point, Star’s desire for "no strings" is tested against Rafe’s staunch stability. They say opposites attract, after all.... (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

The Love Plot is so entertaining and oh so swoony!!!!!

The Love Plot follows Star Shine Meadows, a bohemian free spirit that cares more about being happy than any traditional job or lifestyle can provide.  She meets Rafe Whitman, a veterinarian who is tired of all the meddling his family is doing in trying to find him a wife, and he hires Star to be his fake girlfriend.  Opposites attract, sparks fly, and welcome to your new favorite summer romance!

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of this story and fell in love with Star and Rafe.  Their grumpy/sunshine vibe with all the banter was so fun!  I also love a good fake dating, close proximity, shared bed, steamy story!

I loved the character development in this story.  Star is a professional line sitter and Disney princess character actor.  She is quirky and wears her heart on her sleeve and I loved that.  She is a lady you want to be your friend because she’ll jump in the ocean to save your dog or send you a care package after a rough day.  She’s deathly afraid of commitment and I love the way Rafe handles that!

At first, Rafe is harsh, brooding, and cranky and really rubs you wrong but over time he became one of my favorite book boyfriends!  He has a softness to him that is guarded from most but when you are in his heart, you are there to stay.  I love how he loves people for who they are and doesn’t really care at all what his family thinks.  He’s protective and loyal.

Both Star and Rafe have their own struggles but the way they communicate and break down one anothers walls was so tender and romantic.  I love good communication in a love story!

Rafe’s family really wanted Star to be more practical, more in tune with reliability like working a nine to five job and dressing more professional.  It really had me thinking about how much you should have to change yourself for someone you love?  I think so many people are searching for love and it gets exhausting!  Slowly people start to settle or think they have to change things about themselves to find their perfect match.  I love how this is examined in this story and I think there need to be more men like Rafe out there!

Smanatha Young’s writing is phenomenal!  She has such an incredible backlist and I can’t wait to dive back into it!  I read On Dublin Street many years ago and loved it! 

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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