The Love Plot

Berkley. Aug. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593438633. pap. $17. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Star Shine Meadows has one life goal: be happy. Right now, being happy means working two jobs that bring joy to others and afford her the time to read books and hang out with her friends. When she meets Rafe Whitman while performing as a Disney princess at his niece’s birthday party, his brooding demeanor immediately makes her want to ruffle his feathers. But when she runs into him again during a line-sitting gig, she’s shocked when he asks if she’ll consider helping him get his family off his back by posing as his girlfriend for an exorbitant amount of money. Star agrees to the ruse and begins attending events and dinners with the Whitman family. Spending more time with Rafe reveals a caring and thoughtful person underneath his gruff and extremely attractive exterior, and soon the fake feelings start turning extremely real. But turning a fake relationship into a real one and being embraced by the well-off Whitman family might mean giving up who she is.
VERDICT When Young (A Cosmic Kind of Love) puts together a joyful gig worker and a grumpy veterinarian for a fake-relationship scheme, it creates a steamy, tension-filled read.
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