East Coast Elite Meets West Coast Boho
The Love Plot Book Cover The Love Plot
Samantha Young
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
August 29, 2023
ebook, paperback, audiobook

There’s a magnetic attraction when a happy-go-lucky gig worker agrees to a fake relationship with a rich, uptight New Yorker in this steamy romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young.

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....

“What it is about bad boys that turns intelligent people into hormone-driven fools?”

If you haven’t read a Samatha Young romance yet then I have just one question for you: how is that possible in 2023? The Love Plot is Samatha Young’s latest release and will immediately charm you from the very first page. This grumpy sunshine, fake dating, romantic comedy is a perfect blend of swoony romance and hilarious fun.

Let’s start off with the fact that Samantha Young has given us the human embodiment of literal sunshine in our female main character, Star Shine Meadows. Not only is she straight out of a Disney movie, but Star is also a character actor for parties and gatherings, as well as a professional line sitter. She’s carved out her own life and family in New York in a way that’s pretty respectable for a woman who was raised as a bohemian tumbleweed.

I was not East Coast society chic. I was Star Shine Meadows and I enjoyed dressing like I was a half-fae princess.

Rafe Whitman is the epitome of East Coast Elite. Even his name a level of cool that I’ll never achieve with my Midwestern roots. He’s ultra-professional. He’s partner in his own veterinary business. He and his business partner could have one of those hotties of the month calendars with puppies and kitties where none of his clientele would bat an eye because it would obviously be for charity and all photos would be taken by a photographer that socialites could name drop at mixers. Unfortunately for Rafe, being single with a good job obviously means that he needs a wife, so his family has taken it upon themselves to play matchmaker.

Which, obviously, circles us back to Star. Rafe meets Star at his niece’s birthday party. She’s slaying it with her rendition of Merida (complete with accent and bright red wig), and Rafe’s sourpuss attitude encounters Star’s happy go-lucky lifestyle. As fate would have it, days later, Star runs into Rafe again. Instead of another battle of wits, Rafe propositions her for a 6 month job of pretending to be his girlfriend.

He met my gaze. “Oh, it’s definitely working out better than I’d hoped.”

Friends, this is your classic case of the fake relationship definitely feels too good to be fake kind of a situation and it is every bit as delicious as all of that insinuates. Star and Rafe decide to make their fake into the real thing, but Star’s luster begins to dull thanks to that East Coast Blue Blood pressure. The Love Plot is a case of West Coast Bohemia ideals meets East Coast Elite snobbery. The only question is who will survive the mingling of these very different lifestyles?

I’m going to leave you all here for now, but let’s just say that Rafe is a book boyfriend that would give any swarthy romance hero a run for his money. Even I was ready to insert myself into his life by the end of The Love Plot. Star’s emotional journey hit all the right notes for me, and I adored her transformation. I honestly love how every plot hole was wrapped up, and this HEA is fantastic. Samantha Young is a go-to author for a reason.