I have enjoyed Farrah Rochon’s Boyfriend Project series a lot and The Hookup Plan has been one of my most anticipated reads this year. In the first book, The Boyfriend Project, Rochon created three women who meet and become friends when they all find themselves dating the same guy. The three – Samiah, Taylor, and London – make a pact to be friends and hold each other accountable as they strive to work on different areas of their lives. Dr. London Kelly, a pediatric surgical resident, needs to work on reducing stress. Her friends point out that sex is an excellent source of relaxation.
The months of June and July ended up being incredibly stressful for me and as much as I wanted to read London’s book, reading about a woman who is under enormous pressure and taking care of everyone but herself was tough. Once I slept through my first day of vacation, I picked up a The Hookup Plan and flew through it. I love London. She is fierce and soft and trying so hard to be the best version of herself that she can. She desperately needs more balance in her life, to take better care of herself. Along comes her high school nemesis, Drew. He had a huge crush on her in high school, but she saw him only as competition for the highest grades. Despite her protest that she doesn’t like him, they hook up, and one night turns into the weekend, and then even more nights. Drew’s company is in town doing a financial audit on the publicly funded hospital where London is finishing her residency. (BTW, the only publicly funded hospital in Austin is the Austin State Hospital, which is a psychiatric hospital. Gotta love Texas.)
London is such a great character to spend time with. She is a determined advocate for her patients and co-workers. People look up to her and to her for leadership. What she discovers in the book is that she is worth the care that she gives others. In learning to take care of herself, in learning to really let go of her daddy issues, she becomes more open and vulnerable with not just Drew, but also her much younger siblings and other important people in her life.
After some early miss-steps which made me give Drew the side-eye, he turns into a lovely character who appreciates London for who she is, while pushing her to make room for him in her life. Of the three books, this is the strongest romance. One of the things I love about Farrah Rochon, is that her characters never exist in a vacuum. London and drew have relationships separate from the one they have with each other. The time they spend apart with friends, family and co-workers fleshes them both out nicely.
My only caveat for this book is that it may be triggering for people who have food issues. London has high blood pressure, and she knows her diet contributes to the problem. She spends chunks of time in the book eating things that can raise her blood pressure and then feeling bad about it. Having gone through my own bout of having to give up foods I love, it felt relatable, but it’s hard to write about food issues without triggering unhealthy social messages about food and weight. (Food is morally neutral!) The food issues are part of London’s arc in needing to take better care of herself.
The Hookup Plan is a lovely and satisfying sex first, feelings and friendship later romance. It’s not really an enemies to lovers, because Drew refuses to be London’s enemy. I just really enjoyed it and I’m glad I finally got the time and brain space to read it.
CW: dismissive parent, death of a parent off-page, past domestic violence, misogyny, micro-aggressions, family history of alcoholism, family history of heart disease, children with cancer and other serious illnesses, anxiety, familial guilt.
I received this as an advance reader copy via NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.