Release Day Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 8th 2014
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

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.

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

I am so totally fangirling right now!! I honestly had NO IDEA how much I would end up loving The Hook Up! After I finished reading, I just kept going WOW. Wow wow wow! The Hook Up is an adorably refreshing read–on the surface, it’s a story of popular boy meets not-so-popular girl, but there’s SO MUCH MORE to it than that. These characters felt real–they had depth and warmth and heart, and I fell completely in love with them and their story.

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.

Drew Baylor is the star quarterback at his college–to his fellow students, he’s like a god. And Anna Jones is less than impressed with his fame, and even less impressed after a bad first impression. Anna is the total opposite of Drew–she hates attention, she wasn’t popular in high school, and she likes to keep to herself. So Anna and Drew? They clash in every way… except one. The instant they meet, it’s lust-at-first-sight. They have never felt such all-encompassing need for someone as much as they have for each other.

Anna tries to stay away from Drew, tries to ignore their attraction, but Drew is persistent. He’s not used to giving up, and he knows that Anna feels the same way as Drew. And finally, one night, they give in to each other and have the most explosive night of their lives.

Neither of us says another word. Blood rushes hot and thick through my veins, as the backs of his fingers skim slowly, oh so slowly, up my arm. His pulse thrums, quick and visible just beneath the gold skin of his throat. I want to lick that spot, put my mouth there and suck. I want him. I want him so badly I’m going up in flames.

This is my first time reading a book by Kristen Callihan, but after reading The Hook Up, I can honestly say that I am a HUGE fan of her writing. It was the writing that hooked me in and didn’t let me go. The dialogue between Drew and Anna was as witty as it could be sweet. These two characters were easily portrayed as multi-dimensional–I am just so impressed with the writing.

After their one night together, Anna and Drew are hooked onto each other. Drew wants to see where this can go, but Anna vehemently doesn’t. Then they both come to agree on having a sex-only relationship. But as much as Anna wants to keep her heart out of the picture, it’s hard not to fall for Drew. Drew, who is unsuspecting in the best of ways. He’s hot and sensual in the bedroom, but outside of it, Drew is sweet and caring and determined to make her see that what they have together could lead to the best thing that could ever happen to them. He was a character that warmed my heart and I fell as head-over-heels in love with him as Anna did.

Life has more color, more flavor, and heat in the few hours I’m with Anna, than I’ve experienced in all the years I’ve partied. Because that fun always felt like I was searching, pushing for some ineffable satisfaction that constantly eluded me. With Anna, I feel like I’ve landed right where I want to be.

Anna is a complicated girl. She has a tough exterior she puts on that she believes in, but underneath is a vulnerable, self-conscious person. Her insecurities were well-written enough that they felt real, which made Anna real. She’s also funny and intelligent. I really liked her character, insecurities and all.

Drew, though, is what made me fall in love with this book. He has a tragic past, but he wasn’t broody or mysterious about it. He’s honest, funny, loyal, and all-around just the perfect package (plus he has a wicked hot bod from all that football practice). I know jack about football, so I was glad that there was the right amount of football in this book that it wasn’t shoved in my face but I could still understand Drew’s love for it. And I utterly looooved how he fell in love with Anna. He doesn’t hold back from her, even though she holds back from him, which endeared me all the more to him. He’s sweet and dorky and the best book boyfriend I could ask for.

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

These two make the most adorable couple ever. I was cheering for them from the start. And holy moly, the attraction between them is spot-on. None of the sex felt gratuitous, but all of it had me fanning myself. Drew and Anna’s relationship was incredibly well-written, with so many different facets to it that I never got tired of reading about them. They do have inner demons to face, and there are bumps in their relationship, but I had no doubt that these two could face anything together.

“I like you just the way you are, Drew Baylor.”
Poleaxed. Again. My throat closes too tight to find my voice. I swallow convulsively.
“I like you just the way you are too, Anna Jones.” I’m crazy for you. I fucking adore you.

The thing about The Hook Up is that even though it has cliches, it didn’t feel like one. I adored Drew and Anna, I loved their personal growth and the changing dynamics of their relationship, and I was so impressed with the writing–I just loved everything about this book. And thankfully (at least for me), The Hook Up is a long, fat book. But the pages zipped by for me–I devoured this book so fast it didn’t even seem like a long book. I never wanted Anna and Drew’s story to end.

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

I loved this book so much! It was heartwarming, beautiful, and real, and I recommend it to everyone!

(And can I just say, I’m so, soooooo excited for Drew’s best friend, Gray’s, story. I’m dying to read it! I have a feeling I might love it even more than The Hook Up, if that’s even possible…)

5 hearts

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: Game On series

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan

#1 ~ The Hook Up: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Friend Zone: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Game Plan: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


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