Sunday 28 September 2014

The Hook Up (Game On #1) by Kristen Callihan

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 Stars
I’m not going to say it was love at first sight. No, it was more like oh, hell-yes-please, I’ll have that. With a helping of right-the-f**k-now on the side.

I must admit, I have been in a bad place this week; it has to go down in history as one of the worst weeks ever!! My reading mojo took a battering too and I just couldn’t get motivated to read and that is unheard of. So, I picked up The Hook Up, it has been sitting pretty looking at me since release day and my reading diary just hadn’t given me the time to get there yet and my hands have itched to read this. I have stayed away from reviews and Goodreads because I didn’t want this one to be spoiled. So I dove in!

This book can be summed up in two words DREW BAYLOR; I fell hook, line and sinker. Drew is the star quarter back for his college football team, also co-captain. With this title come responsibilities and a reputation. It is easy to lump all jocks in the “meat head, player” category but Drew was different, so so different. He gave off that air of “jock” but deep down he was just Drew Baylor and all he wanted was for someone to see him, just Drew, not Battleaxe or Drew Baylor the football player, just little old Drew. I loved Drew Baylor!!

“I think you’re beautiful,” he says softly. “Beauty fades,” I choke out. “Not when it comes from inside.”

Anna Jones, I could have seriously head butted her at times but I could understand her insecurities, I have been there, done that, got the T-shirt and not wore it well at all. She is studious, curvy and a red-head, but her curves are in all the right places, she is all woman. However, we all know how school can be and how cruel girls are and Anna did not escape high school unscathed. She has a serious complex, as far as she is concerned, she is not pretty and she is too fat. No boy has ever shown an interest in her romantically and her expectations are not that high anyway as her mum is hardly the poster girl for having happy, loving relationships, so Anna has sworn off men.

Anna and Drew meet in class, it becomes immediately obvious that Drew is interested but Anna is wary, just waiting for some prankster to come out and say “really!! You seriously think he would be interested in you!!” But the truth be told, Drew has it bad, having never had to work to get the girl, Drew is baffled, but he listens to sound advice he received years ago and goes after what he wants and what he wants is Anna Jones. She doesn’t make it easy either, which in the book world is unusual, she plays hard to get and the friendship that develops between these two makes for fantastic reading. Intelligent conversation along with the banter makes for a funny, interesting read.

“MY MOTHER ONCE told me that the most important moment in my life wouldn’t be when I won the National Championship or even the Super Bowl. It would be when I fell in love. Life, she insisted, is how you live it and who you live it with, not what you do to make a living.”

I loved the banter between these two; they batted off each other and complimented each other beautifully. They brought out the best in each other; they literally shone in each other’s company. As much as Anna annoyed me a times, I really felt for her, I wanted her to realise just how beautiful she was inside and out and was glad that Drew made it his mission to make her see what he sees. Drew was another complex character, seemingly having it all, but nothing could have been further from the truth. He never opened up to anyone…until Anna Jones. He bared himself, warts and all to Anna, he wanted her to see just how much she meant to him and it was this endearing side that made you love him all the more.

“I’ve just experienced the hottest, most erotic, life-changing sex of my life, and I don’t think I’m going to get a repeat. Tonight was obviously an ill-advised hook up for her. And I’m so screwed because it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

The dual POV’s really aided this read, I felt conflicted reading Anna’s POV’s, I wanted to hug her and smother her, I wanted to give her a kick up the back side too but most of all I just wanted her to believe in herself. She was by no means timid and shy, she had inner-strength and was a ballsy character when she wanted to be, but those insecurities were always festering under the surface and occasionally they would erupt, sometimes with devastating consequences.

“You’ve destroyed me, Anna Jones.” I know exactly what he means, because he’s destroyed me too.

Drew’s POV’s were enlightening, through these we saw his soft side, we also really got to understand just how strong and deep his feelings were and when he hurt I hurt. I must admit, I did shed tears, whether it was because I have been an emotional mess this week I don’t know, but this book got to me in places.

“You shine so brightly, Drew. And it’s beautiful to me, but I didn’t know how to live under your light.” He frowns, his expression growing fierce. But his words are low, strong. “What people see? That is only gloss. But, Anna, you light me up. Drew. Not the player. You didn’t know how to live under my light? I don’t have a light anymore unless you’re there.”

In summary, this was a fantastic read, I totally loved it, loved the characters and I love Gray too! I can’t wait for his book. I read it in one sitting and could not put it down. Perfectly written with a balanced blend of emotion, angst and humour and as you can tell I highlighted the hell out of it. I cannot wait to read more from this author.

“My world lives in your palm, Anna.”

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