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Book Review: The Hookup Plan by Farrah Rochon

Book Review: The Hookup Plan by Farrah Rochon

With two books in the Boyfriend Project series already written, released, and loved by readers, anticipation for the third book in Farrah Rochon’s romance trilogy was at an all-time high ahead of its release this month. Thankfully, The Hookup Plan more than confirmed Rochon’s romance author credentials, delivering a kind-hearted and sexy rivals-to-lovers story and a plot-driven romance that’s packed with solid character growth, realistic stakes and so many warm feelings that you’ll be left with a huge smile on your face by the final page.

With Samiah and Taylor’s love stories being told in The Boyfriend Project and The Dating Playbook respectively, The Hookup Plan turns the focus to paediatric surgeon London, who comes face to face with her (gorgeous, rich) former arch nemesis Drew Sullivan at their 15-year high school reunion and decides that her friends may be right when they suggested that she needs to find some balance and de-stress by engaging in a casual, no strings attached hookup.

The idea is simple: one night of fun with someone she doesn’t work with and who she never expects to see ever again – but that plan is quickly complicated when she walks into work on Monday morning to see that Drew has been hired to conduct a financial audit of her hospital to determine whether or not it’s able to stay open. As professional and personal lives begin to collide, London and Drew strike a deal to continue hooking up while he’s in town purely as a stress reliever, with absolutely no feelings involved.

The more time they spend together, however, the more Drew sets out to show London just how much he actually cares – about her, about the hospital and about turning this fling into an actual relationship. With the deadline to make big decisions about her future fast approaching, London is left having to consider where her priorities lie – and falling in love with her rival-turned-hookup buddy is definitely not a part of her plan.

London stared him down, refusing to so much as blink as she considered his terms. The tension between them pulsed like a heartbeat, the steady thump escalating with each second that passed. She blinked first.”

One of the great joys of reading a romance novel is that you know how it’s going to end – which means that the narrative journey itself becomes all the more important. With The Hookup Plan, Rochon made sure this narrative was a romance lovers’ dream. From the rivals-to-lovers premise and all the snarky comments and electric chemistry that entails, Rochon also made sure to weave in a touch of second chance romance with the nostalgic meeting in high school element, along with a slow burn towards friends to lovers and a hearty dose of the ‘he falls first’ trope too.

It may seem like overkill, but it works here, where the main characters do things in reverse and fall into bed together first, meaning that the groundwork to a relationship needs to built in afterwards. Every step of London and Drew’s relationship development is both beautifully done and feels earned, building up a strong foundation for the couple to explore their new dynamic in its every iteration.

While the romance itself is a joyful and compelling arc, The Hookup Plan supports this narrative thread with strong subplots and even stronger secondary characters, becoming a story that’s just as much about London’s career, health and family as it is her relationship with Drew. From the start, however, it’s clear that this is more London’s story, despite the dual narrative structure allowing space for both characters to thrive. Both London and Drew have their own struggles to face away from their burgeoning new romance, but it’s mostly London who is given the time to explore and address her challenges, while Drew’s own story threads are largely brushed over. It means that The Hookup Plan struggles to bring all of its threads together into one satisfying story and ends up feeling rushed, convenient and at odds with the gradual relationship development we see play out through the rest of the book.

Nonetheless, this is an easy, enjoyable read with a lot of heart. If you’re looking for a slower-paced novel centred on a couple with a lot of chemistry, that’s low on angst and drama but filled with a lot of weighty emotional and familial elements, then The Hookup Plan is absolutely the book you should be picking up this summer – and it delivers a satisfying conclusion to the Boyfriend Project series as a whole too.

★★★★

The Hookup Plan was published by Headline Eternal on 2 August 2022

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