Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
Release Date: September 7, 2014
Genre: New Adult/College

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. 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. All’s fair in love and football…Game on.

Loved it! This book wasn't the typical "college football star man-whore meets girl who changes him" story. There was so much more to it than that, which I've grown to expect from the two Kristen Callihan books I've read so far.  They look innocent, cute, and hot, which is good... I'm not knocking it... but when you actually sit down and read them, you find a level of depth you didn't expect, when you were only out for a cute, fun and sexy read.

Drew was sexy, yes, but he had a heart.  He was actually tired of his own hype at about the time when he met Anna.  So the timing was perfect for this meeting to occur, and for him to have some real feelings for someone after spending so much of his early college football career being the guy who could and did get any girl he wanted.  I loved this character very much because he wasn't overly cocky like I've read in some books.  He wasn't arrogant, conceited and just a slut.  The time and careful attention he pays to try to woo Anna away from this "no love, just a hook up" rule won me over completely.  Plus, I have to throw in that I love the interactions he has with his teammates.  They were like a close brotherhood.

Anna was a very complex character.  I can definitely understand why she is the way she is, wanting to keep this only as a hookup.  Things have happened to her.  Trusts were broken, and so was she in a way.  She's closed off, has built big walls around herself to keep emotions in and people from puling them out of her.  At the same time, she's fiery, strong, and independent.  She knows exactly what wants out of life, and is working single-mindedly toward that goal in an unwavering way that made me love her passion and determination.  There were just so many layers to this girl.

Then there was a big showdown that I can't tell you about, but it wrung emotion out of me that I was definitely not expecting from this book.  I loved it completely.  With everything we'd come to know about Anna from the beginning of the book, and everything we had seen from her up to the last 50 pages or so, when the big even happens, it was gratifying to watch her reaction, and how things change for her.

Kristen Callihan knows how to write some really wonderful, complex characters.  I loved the characters so much in this story, and not just Drew and Anna, but the secondary characters as well.  Everything in this story was just so well put together, developed and portrayed, and told in a fast-reading and emotional way.  I truly loved it and can't wait for another installment to come out in this series.
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