Joint Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

Posted October 17, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Joint Review: The Hook Up by Kristen CallihanReviewer: Holly and Rowena
The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On #1
Also in this series: The Friend Zone, The Game Plan, The Hot Shot

Publication Date: September 8th 2014
Genres: Fiction, New Adult
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

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.

Warning: This is a review filled mostly with Rowena and I gushing about the hero of this book. Read on at your own risk.

Holly:  Let me start by saying I love Drew Baylor. He absolutely,  100% made this book for me. Usually I have to have a connection to the heroine, too, no matter how small. But I don’t think I’d have cared if Anna was a stone-cold bitch. I still would have loved this book just because of Drew. Not that I’m saying Anna was one, but you get what I mean.

Rowena: I agree. I would have loved Drew if Anna was freaking Cruella DuVille but it’s a good thing that I came to like her character. If anyone drove me up the wall in this book, it was Anna. I understood where she was coming from but holy crap, that constant back and forth and doubt drove me bonkers. I wanted her to make a decision long before she did. Was she going to trust Drew or not?

Holly: I got frustrated with Anna, too, but not as much as you did. I understood where she was coming from, especially after she went home to see her mother.  Between her being overweight and a socially awkward dork in high school, and the way her mom latched on to men and gave up everything for them, I would have been surprised if she hadn’t been turned off relationships.

Rowena: Meh, I understood it but it didn’t stop me from being annoyed that Anna kept those doubts long into their relationship. She held back for too long to suit me.

Holly: But we had the added benefit of seeing things from Drew’s point-of-view. Anna didn’t. Even Drew admits he wasn’t upfront about his intentions right now away. Plus, she admits how he makes her feel.

Drew doesn’t make me feel like myself. He makes me feel better than myself. As if there is a little broken part of me, rattling and loose, and whenever he’s near it falls into place and tightens.

Rowena: That’s true, but it drove me bat shit crazy when things were going great and then after a talk with her bestie, Iris, the doubts are right back in our lives.

I wanted to scream at her, “You’re really going to listen to her? SHE’S DATING THAT DOUCHEBAG HENRY!!!”

Holly: Let’s talk about Iris for a second. Why in the world was that girl with Henry? I will never understand why girls stay with d-bags. When she walked in on him with another girl, I cheered. Then I had to bang my head against the wall when they got back together. Had she paid even a small amount of attention to how he acted with Anna, she would have realized his cheating on her wasn’t a one-off.

Rowena: I thought that we’d get Iris’ story somewhere in the series but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. I guess she’s really going to end up with douchebag Henry….sucks for her.

Holly: I wondered if Iris would end up with one of the players from the team. Maybe Callihan will surprise us?

Rowena: This is a trilogy, right? Or is it an open-ended series? The blurbs that I read so far were for other players on the team, no Iris in sight on any of those blurbs. Not even a book for Iris’s twin, George. I liked him.

Holly: I’m not sure if she plans to go past the three books. I wouldn’t mind a book for George and Iris. Maybe novellas?

Rowena: I do want to see what George gets into when he moves to New York but I’d be okay with not getting a book (novella or not) for Iris…I was surprised she didn’t get one but I’m not mad about it. She stayed with Henry. Pukey.

Let’s talk about Drew’s point-of-view for a minute…LOL. I about swooned when he said,

“I’m not going to say that 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.”


Right from the very beginning, I loved Drew. I thought he was a great guy and it was refreshing to find a normal guy with normal guy worries in a NA.  Usually, it’s all gloom and doom in the NA books that I read. It was a nice change, getting to know someone like Drew. I adored him. Of course, it helped that he was super hot…haha and the star quarterback.

Holly: I loved Drew from page one.  Like you, that quote sealed it for me. I loved how he was this super star quarterback who never had trouble with the ladies, but with Anna he was all tongue-tied and bone headed. It was refreshing that he wasn’t closed off to love and relationships. I really just wanted to wrap him up and put him in my pocket.

I think it was good we got to see both of them having struggles, while the other propped them up. I don’t know if I would have believed in the sustainability of their relationship if it had ended with Anna waking up and agreeing to be with Drew. She needed to see his vulnerability to realize she was needed by him as well, and to prove her staying power. She didn’t run when things got tough.

Anna was definitely saved for me in the second half of the book. When she committed, that was it. She was all in. If she hadn’t, there’s no way I could have overlooked how reticent she was in the beginning.I loved how fierce she was, too. When they got into that giant fight and Drew was being such a jerk, my heart melted for Anna. Her reaction was just right. I ended up adoring her.

Rowena: Oh, I forgot about the fight but you’re right. I loved that she stayed and fought it out with him. I loved that she didn’t let her fears from before resurface and push them apart. I loved that she was willing to fight for them, even when he wasn’t. She won me over by duking it out with his coach but you’re right, she was freaking awesome after that fight. She handled that whole thing far better than I ever could.

What about those love scenes though? Daaaaaammmmmmnnnn Drew.

Holly: Oh yeah, the love scenes were smoking hot.  Their first one had me all kinds of warm. And their makeup sex was off the charts, too.

Rowena: I’m pretty anxious for Gray’s book now. Did you read that excerpt in the back of The Hook Up? Awww, it sounds so cute.

Holly: I did read Gray’s excerpt. I can’t wait for his book. Man, I spent the majority of this book just wanting to cuddle him.

Rowena: What would you grade this one? It was a 4.5 for me. If I didn’t stay mad at Anna for a good chunk of the book, this would have been a 5 star read for me.

Holly: I think I’m going to give it a 4.5 also. There were some minor frustrations with Anna and the middle dragged a bit, but Drew. Sigh. Drew.

Rowena’s Grade: 4.5
Holly’s Grade: 4.5 


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5 responses to “Joint Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

  1. JenM

    I keep seeing great reviews for this book. I’d pretty much given up on NA as there was way too much angst and over-the-top backstories but Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years books got me right back into it again.

    I also just read another series that I thought was very similar in feel to the Ivy Years. It’s the Bowler University series by Megan Erickson. There are two books, Make It Count and Make It Right. They happen to be on sale right now for $1.99 (which is the main reason they initially caught my eye), and I would definitely recommend them.

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