The Hook Up

File this book under “Don’t judge the cover” and “misleading titles.” Because this book isn’t just about a hook-up and a hot jock with yummy abs. It’s so much more than that. Kristen Callihan has written an emotionally charged and touching story that will leave readers wanting more. I love a story about a cocky jock getting completely taken aback and becoming enamored by the shy girl who prefers to stay out of the spotlight. Let me be clear, this does not happen in real life, and it never will. But that’s why we read, right? To escape from reality? Well, this book is the perfect escape, and I loved every minute of it.

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

I don’t normally love the cocky jock, football/hockey/baseball star immediately. Normally, they’re initial behavior is off-putting, and it takes me awhile to warm up to them. Sure, I’m head over heels by the end of the book, but it’s usually a rocky start. That was not the case with Drew Baylor. I’ll excuse the fact that his last name is Baylor, and I’m a TCU fan, because Drew is just that amazing. While he’s a star, and the man on campus, he doesn’t let it get to his head. Sure, he’s not used to being shut down by women, but it hasn’t made him an asshole. Maybe just a little overconfident. Then again, have you ever met a popular college athlete that wasn’t over confident when it came to women? I don’t think so.  He also quickly realizes that Anna is a forever girl. It’s a bit different from other books like this; Anna is the one who puts the breaks on their fling turning into a real relationship. Drew doesn’t like it, he doesn’t like it one bit.

I liked Anna. She was smart, fiery, and fiercely independent. She was shy though. She had spent her high school years being bullied by her peers as the chubby girl, and those fears still lurked. Not only that, she let them hold her back from a real relationship with Drew. She’s afraid of the spotlight that shines on him; she doesn’t want to be thrust underneath it for fear all her flaws will be exposed and he won’t want her anymore. Some may get annoyed with her insecurity, but I get it. I can relate. If you’re a girl who is used to everyone taunting you for your looks, and boys never showing any interest, it’d be pretty hard to believe it if a Heisman-winning quarterback fell for you. It’d be even harder to undergo the public ridicule that follows the girlfriends of those men. What’s admirable is that when Drew needs her, she’s there for him, in some of his darkest times.

This isn’t a happy go-lucky story. There’s a lot of sadness and angst (let’s be real, we live for the angst in NA books), and it’s an incredibly touching story. I gotta admit, I teared up a bit. This book is definitely, without a doubt, a five star book, and I can’t wait to read more in the series (update: I’ve read the last one but not the second. Oops). I have high hopes, and a sneaking feeling that Kristen Callihan will join the growing list of auto-read authors that I’ve got going.

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