After a rocky start where I thought for sure that The Hook Up was going to be a DNF, I ended up loving the story and I am so glad that I stuck with it...moreAfter a rocky start where I thought for sure that The Hook Up was going to be a DNF, I ended up loving the story and I am so glad that I stuck with it!
Anna Jones and Drew Baylor meet their senior year in college. Total opposites, it had to be fate that sat the football star and high school outcast next to each other. Drew knows nothing about Anna's hellish years as a teenager but when he see's her, a lightening bolt of awareness shoots through his body. And Anna's reaction to him is not much different. But Anna want's nothing to do with anyone who has a constant spotlight on them. Drew isn't one to give up easily though on something he wants, and he wants Anna. By his side, in his bed, and with him always. Even if that means he has to play along with her sex-only, hook-up rules...for now. When he decides to change the rules though, will Drew be able to hook Anna for good or will he loose at the most important game he has ever played? The game of love.
The Hook Up is a wonderful, sexy, and tension filled new adult romance that is the perfect kick-off to fall and football season! The story is completely character driven, which is my kind of romance. Drew made a swoon-worthy, multidimensional hero that I couldn't help but fall in love with and the chemistry between him and Anna was sizzling. So what made me almost set this book down in the beginning? Right off the bat there was an insta-love connection between the hero and heroine that I could not get on board with. After time and midway through the story I finally started to feel a deeper connection between Drew and Anna besides just a physical attraction but at the beginning it was not believable for me. Anna's attitude at the start of the story also rubbed me the wrong way. She instantly disliked Drew and judged him because of his success in football and her inner dialogue disparaging him because of her own insecurities became repetitive. Eventually though, her character began to develop into something other then a snide harpy and I was able to empathize with her. Both Drew and Anna have become products of their past; Drew has a fear of being left and Anna has a fear of being ridiculed. And they each much learn to let that past go if they ever hope to have a future with each other.
All in all, The Hook Up was well written and an enjoyable read. This was my first time reading a book from Kristen Callihan, though she has been on my radar, and I'll definitely be picking up more of her stories. The story also flowed at a good pace with vivid world building. It was easy to picture the college campus and football fields. Drew's teammates provided some great comic relief and I look forward to seeing more of them in future books. I hope that Anna's friend George gets his own story in the future as well though I disliked his sister and Anna's best friend, Iris. She was self-centered and demeaning, and there was nothing about her that I liked. I can't wait to read Gray's story next, Drew's sexy best friend. It sounds like it is going to be full of angsty goodness! (less)
In Her Wake is an incredibly soulful story, leading us on a touching and tragic journey through the events that started it all. Don't mistake it for a...moreIn Her Wake is an incredibly soulful story, leading us on a touching and tragic journey through the events that started it all. Don't mistake it for a retelling of Trent and Casey's book, Ten Tiny Breaths, because it is a story all it's own. It was wonderfully written, well paced, and I empathized with the characters throughout.
Cole Reynolds had it all. A great family. A promising future. Awesome friends and a loving girlfriend. Until one drunken decision at a college party destroyed it all. Now his friends are gone, his family is shattered, and he can't even imagine a future because his present is filled with such turmoil. Lost in guilt he almost looses the one thing he has left, his own life. But in doing so he also gains some clarity. He needs to reach out the to one person who could understand what he is living with and the one person he needs forgiveness from the most. The only other survivor of the tragic accident that was his fault...
I don't recommend you reading In Her Wake until after you've read Ten Tiny Breaths, you'll get so much more out of the story. Ten Tiny Breaths was Casey's story, heartbreaking in it's own right but it couldn't encompass the struggle that Trent/Cole faced on his own and the events that brought him next-door to Casey and Livie. I'm really happy that K.A. Tucker decided to write this because it helped me understand Trent's motives better and cement in my mind just how perfect he is for Casey. Trent had understandable fallen into a downward spiral that led to nowhere but darkness but was able to climb out of it and into the light for Casey, to make her world better. He took an incident that could have been, and almost was, soul-shattering and life-destroying, and was able to turn it into something beautiful. In Her Wake contained a lot of powerful messages, and even being a few years (give or take lol) past my college years, it didn't affect me any less. A wonderful addition to the Ten Tiny Breaths series and Trent and Casey's story!(less)