Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

Review: The Hook Up by Kristen CallihanThe Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On #1
September 7, 2014
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 354
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon US

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.

The Hook Up has been on my TBR for a long time now. I was gifted the ebook as part of a Christmas book exchange and on my kindle it sat, waiting for me to dig in.  Then a little squirrel whispered a rumor to me and I bumped it up on my TBR. 

This is not going to be an easy review for me to write. Honestly, the review won’t be the hard part. Addressing the rumor will be. But I believe in honesty with our reviews and I never want to be the kind of reader that just reads with blinders on.  At this point, you’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about. So, we’ll get to the rumor first – then I’ll discuss my thoughts on The Hook Up.

I’m a big fan of Elle Kennedy and when I heard that the Off Campus series had some similarities to The Hook Up, I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to ignore it all.  However, I just couldn’t. I’m curious (nosy) by nature. Having just re-read the first two Off Campus books, I decided to start The Hook Up. Call it fact checking. 

After the first handful of chapters, I was feeling more like this was going to be more of a case of recycled general ideas.  Star athlete falls for bookish smart ass. It’s not really an original idea, and recycled ideas have happened over and over in literature and movies.  I can overlook those, mostly.  However, the small details I have a harder time with.  Here are some examples.

  • Girl hates parties.
  • Boy has a best friend who cooks
  • Boy finds girls cell number from study roster
  • Twitter smear campaign
  • Anna in one, Hannah in another

Those aren’t huge things. Yet, it was still enough to make me pause. Maybe if I hadn’t been looking for them from the start, I wouldn’t have noticed. But I was, and I did. As I said, these aren’t huge things, it’s not like the plot is really the same and the words aren’t the same. It still leaves me perplexed. 

Take from all that whatever you will. I’m not here to tell people what to read or not to read, I’m just here to let you know what my own personal reading experience was like. Truthfully, I’m still not sure how I even feel about it all.

Anywho… Let’s talk about The Hook Up!!

I have to admit that I almost DNF’d it on page two, because of this.

That’s when I see him. The second our gazes connect, hot tingles zap through me, making my breath catch and my nipples harden.

I am not a believer in Hardened Nipples At First Sight. Unless I’m nearly naked standing in a snow drift, my nipples need to be on – at least – a first name basis. But, that’s just me. 

I continued on. Really, only because of comparison sake.  I’m glad I did though.

Anna and Drew have an instant attraction and though she really fights it, she can’t resist him.  Leading to an agreement of ‘no relationship, just hook ups’.  But Drew is attracted to her bite and to the fact that she doesn’t care who he is. He’s willing to wait her out. He has crazy patience with her and I LOVED that about him.  He really sees through her antics well. 

For a good portion of the book it’s this same push/pull relationship.  Anna keeping up walls, Drew slowly trying to break them down.  All the while, fucking like bunnies. I don’t say this often, it’s kind of strange thing to say about a book character, but I really enjoyed how Drew fucked. LOL!  He’s very deep with his fucking. Take THAT however you will, as well. 😉

Anna was a bit harder for me to warm up to. She’s got some insecurities, but I never fully got behind those. I also really did not like how she knew in her own mind what her feelings were but absolutely would not act on them.  Around the 75% mark, she absolutely turned it around for me though.  The Anna that showed up for the last quarter was fierce and I frickin’ adored her.  So often in romances, a big conflict comes along and one half of the relationship bails. Anna’s character earlier in the book, was that type of character. I expected her to bail. What she really did though, had me fist pumping the air (metaphorically) even though my heart was breaking a little over her situation. 

All in all, The Hook Up is a good new adult sports romance.  I could have done with a little less of the cheesy lines, like the example above, and it could have used another run through with an editor. But it’s far from a bad read and I’ll definitely be reaching for more of Callihan’s titles in the future.


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