Review: Hookup State of Mind by Becca Morgan and Amelia J. Rose (2021)

Heat Factor: I would call this one moderately hot (but satisfying!)

Character Chemistry: I loved these two together–kind of salty and sweet, earnest and slightly sarcastic.

Plot: Cleo is an actress slash nanny who is FINALLY getting her shot at a mini series. At the location, she gets a hankering for a hookup and ends up meeting Dean, who is a really genuine and sweet guy she can’t seem to get enough of. BUT THEN they discover that Cleo is actually Dean’s little brother’s nanny, and that throws a big old wrench in things…

Overall: This was enjoyable and funny, although it did pass up on playing out some tension I would have very much liked to see.

Cleo is a nanny and actress who finally lands a mini series filming on location in Niagara Falls. Dean is working in his family’s hotel line and pushing to change the way hotels approach sustainability. When they both get that itch in Niagara, they turn to the new old reliable way to meet people–Tinder.

The big conflict here is that Cleo ends up being the nanny for Dean’s little brother–and Dean’s family was ripped apart when Dean’s father had an affair with the previous nanny. When the connection is uncovered, Cleo and Dean end up arguing heatedly about their differing lifestyles.

To be honest, the big climax was so minor that I was surprised when the book ended. None of their worries came to fruition, they resolved their issues in a responsible and mature way. While they both seemed like decent, good people, I liked that Cleo was a little saltier–more sarcastic and teasing, and exhibiting small flares of temper. Nothing that made her at all unlikeable, but it helped when everyone was so gosh-darn well-behaved. We can’t have that in a romance novel, now can we? We have to have a LITTLE mess.

This is what cemented a positive review for me–the book was instantly readable, with well-written dialogue and some heated sexual tension. While Dean was bordering on flat in some ways, his interactions with Cleo sparked his humor and wit. I was fascinated by the breakdown of acting life–this book depicts the worry, the preparation, the hard work, and of course the natural aptitude required in acting. It was actually really interesting. Plus, this book is a perfect example of how explicit consent in a book doesn’t have to detract from the heat factor in sex scenes.

I would have liked to see Dean’s mother fleshed out and brought more into the story. I was all prepared for a showdown that never happened, and honestly the build up to something that never ended up happening was a bit of a frustrating plot hole (like, they lied about the nature of their relationship…and then NOTHING??), but I maintain that the development of the relationship was enjoyable enough to bridge that gap.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book (and learned so much about online dating and “hookup culture”–bonus!).

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Get it now: Free on the podcatcher of your choice

Hookup State of Mind is currently only available in weekly installments as a podcast. If you’d rather wait and read it, pre-order it from Amazon here.

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