Series: Game On #1
Published by Self-Published on 9/7/14
Genres: New Adult, Romance
The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all... No falling in love
Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?
Too bad he's committed to making her break every rule...
Football has been good to Drew. It's given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there's one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.
That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it's up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she's truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.
There are a host of different reasons why I don’t read new adult. My largest complaints are that the storylines are formulaic or predictable, the ratio of sex:emotion is way off balance or the character’s behaviors and motives are not reflective of their intended age. They’re cheesy. They’re cliché. Blah blah blah. Whatever the case may be, they are not the type of reads I seek out because I’ve always felt disappointed by them. However, I love it when I’m wrong, because Kristen Callihan and The Hook Up have given this jaded reader hope that there are great NA books out there.
Now The Hook Up doesn’t have the most gripping or original storyline, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in chemistry. The connection between Drew and Anna is on point and could not be sharper. From their first encounter to the last pages, their attraction is this seemingly larger than life beast that leaps off the pages at you. Their sexually explosive hook ups transcend their intended purpose and morph into a tentative friendship that has no choice but to escalate to love. And what’s more is that Kristen takes her time with it. I’m not talking about sex, because these two fuck like rabbits, twice, before you reach chapter 7. But what Kristen achieves by pacing herself is rich character development which has the added bonus of propelling the plot forward and before you know it you’re saying, “what the fuck is happening to me, I hate NA!“ The dialogue was fun and fresh, and the supporting characters felt as necessary to the story as the protagonists.
Great chemistry and character development aside, Kristen Callihan is one hell of a writer. Okay, so maybe I thought that some of the vocabulary was out of place for a college football romance, whatever. But, I couldn’t get enough of the writing. It’s thoughtful and sincere and held my attention cover to cover.
I’m hesitant to say this because I did enjoy this book so much, but I started feeling prickly towards the end. Not only was the storyline predictable but there was a little too much of it. There was a point at which I felt that it could have been wrapped up and readers would have been satisfied and happy. But, then came the unnecessary “every single character must face all of their insecurities/fears head on and the story will go on and on until they are all flushed out and resolved”. I kept looking at my % thinking “Shit, what else is coming? There’s so much time left. Don’t fuck it up.” It didn’t ruin the book for me, as I see necessity of it as I reflect on it now, but at the time I was getting bored and antsy, ready for the story to end. Listen, there’s a possibility that I would have bitched hadn’t the story continued and I’d be sitting here demanding a novella. If I ever re-read, which is a strong possibility, I’ll come back to this and let you know if I was just in a mood the first time around.
Soooo, having said all of that, I can confidently recommend this book to anyone. Romance readers and new adult junkies will love it for the excellent chemistry and fantastic writing. Plus, the sex is fucking hot. Two words: olive oil.