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

The Hook Up

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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.

New Adult/Contemporary Romance with a HEA – Recommended for readers 17 and older.

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“Love, when it came for me, did not creep. No, it walked up to me, bold as you please, you know, just in case I wasn’t paying attention. It did, however, slap me upside my head.”

Gosh, this book was exactly what I needed. If you’re looking for a book that combines, a sweet NA romance, funny laugh-out-loud situations and dialogue, crazy hot, toe curling, fan yourself sex and lovable and sweet characters, stop looking because you’ve found your next read with The Hook Up.

“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.”

It’s the first book I read by Kristen Callihan, but I sure am looking forward to her next book. With The Hook Up, she took a plot that isn’t really original but made a story out of it that had me glued to the book and sucked me into its universe.

“I want her. The whole prickly-mouthed, sweetly curved, irresistible package.”

I truly loved the characters in this book. Anna was a very interesting character that I could relate to in some aspects. Her family history and past relationship made her stir clear from any serious relationship as a rule. And the fact that guys like Drew never noticed her when she was younger or made fun of her doesn’t help. She just wants to finish college and start living her life but doesn’t really know how to do that and what she wants to become, and she doesn’t really want to add to the confusion by getting involved with anyone. So when she meets Drew who is the star QB of their university who is nothing like her usual type notices her and they both can’t help but be attracted to each other, her knee jerk response is too get as far as she can from Drew. He is everything she is not and all the attention he gathers from everyone really makes her uncomfortable. So throughout most of the book, she tries to keep him at arms length by calling what they have a hook up in order to protect her heart and herself. But before she knows it, Drew comes crashing through all her defenses and the more time she spends with Drew, the more she realizes he’s nothing like what she though he was and she wan’t help but fall for him, and well, we do too.

“He’s slowly carving his name into my heart. And it hurts.”

Now Drew, bless his heart, doesn’t relent. I loved that he was so ready to admit to himself that what he felt for Anna was more than a case of lust at first sight. His character is nothing like we this he is going to be. His QB status and the fact that he is really hot lead Anna to think he’s a playboy jock, sluting his way through college, but he is nothing like that. He is charming and sweet and actually loses his cool the moment he tries to talk to her. I instantly loved him, even though he’s not perfect and does screw up here and there. I like that, in this story, he got to be the one to know what he really wanted when it came to Anna and that he indulged her because she wouldn’t admit that what she felt for him was more than just great sex.

“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-fuck-now on the side.”

And let me tell you about that part! Good God was it HAWT!!! The first two time they finally gave in and had sex were both scorching hot. I kid you not, I had to splash some water on my face and neck after those scenes. And as they hook up on a more regular basis, the sex gets better. And what I liked was that even though the sex in this book is really really remarkable, it’s not just good sex for the sake of it. From the start, when Drew and Anna touch, sparks fly but feelings do too and it only intensifies as the story goes. This book isn’t just smutty, it is smutty with deep emotions involved.

“Dizziness swamps me. There is no up or down, just Drew. I want to sink into him, drown in his touch.”

The chemistry they have is incredible and for some reason, even though Drew isn’t Anna’s type and everything should oppose them, they can’t deny the attraction between each other and something just clicks inside and outside the bedroom. And I loved how they connected to each other. The chemistry they had was sizzling and it happened every time they got together.

“His mouth crashes into mine on the next breath. And my body goes supernova. His tongues slides deep, his lips bruise, and it feels so good that I moan behind it all. It’s always like this. I can’t get enough of him.”

Kristen really did an amazing job building their relationship and a sexual and emotional tension between Anna and Drew. Like I said, they hook up pretty much from the start of the book and where most stories like this one tend to let the sexual tension wane, in The Hook Up, not only does the sexual tension remain, here it keeps on building. And yet, it never was too much. That’s how good Kristen’s writing is.

“Knowing what you want and having it are two different things.” His eyes lock onto mine with a punch that I feel deep in my belly. “I’d rather have what I want than just know.”

Of course, there is more to this book than a sweet romance and happy fucking. Drew and Anna work slowly and not without struggle toward a relationship. Some of the things they go through was very emotional and it tugged at my heart strings, but the angst and drama never felt forced or put there just for the sake of it. This book never once felt fake. I was sucked into the story and Drew and Anna’s relationship from the start and couldn’t put the book down.

I can’t recommend enough you read this book. It was light and deeply emotional at the same time, had just the right amount of steam and romance, and this little je ne sais quoi that made it stand out from other books. I can’t wait for Gray’s book The Friend Zone, and I’ll be looking forward for other books by Kristen Callihan.

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