Jan 31

The Hookup by Kristen Ashley Review



When the new girl in town, Eliza “Izzy” Forrester decides to hit the local drinking hole, she’s not ready to meet the town’s good, solid guy. She’s definitely not prepared to engage in her very first hookup with him.

Then Izzy wakes up the next morning in Johnny Gamble’s bed and good girl Izzy finds she likes being bad for Johnny.

Even so, Izzy feels Johnny holding her at arm’s length. But Johnny makes it clear he wants more and Izzy already knows she wants as much of hot-in-bed, sweet-out-of-it Johnny Gamble.

Floating on air thinking this is going somewhere, Izzy quickly learns why Johnny holds distant.

He’s in love with someone else. Someone who left him and did it leaving him broken. Whoever was up next would be runner up, second best. Knowing the stakes, Izzy will take what she can get from the gentleman that’s Johnny Gamble. And even knowing his heart might never mend, Johnny can’t seem to stay away from Izzy.

Until out of nowhere, his lost love comes back to town. He’s not going back, but Johnny still knows the right thing to do is let Izzy go.

And Izzy knew the stakes, so she makes it easy and slips through his fingers.

But that’s before Johnny realizes Eliza moved to town to escape danger that’s been swirling around her.

And that’s why Johnny decides to wade in.

That and the fact Eliza Forrester makes breakfast with a canary singing on her shoulder and fills out tight dresses in a way Johnny Gamble cannot get out of his head.



I’ve never made a secret of Kristen Ashley fandom. This author has had a profound effect on me as a reader. Her books had such a tremendous impact on me and are the ones that began a voracious, insatiable love of romantic fiction. That love, and the need I felt to satiate it, started me on a journey that, several years ago, I had no idea was even possible. Yet here I am, and I can trace it all back to that day in 2012 when I picked up my first Kristen Ashley book.

So, fast forward five years, and I’ve read the vast majority of her books, and many of those books, I’ve read more than once. At any given time, you can look at the first page of my Kindle, and there will be a KA book on that page in process of being read. It seems that most days I find myself reading at least a few of her words. I may only be able to sneak in a favorite scene, maybe just a chapter or two, or if I’ve got the time, I’ll allow myself to get lost in the story and reread the whole book. So, I consider myself a devout fan, I hesitate to use the word authority, but well, five plus years of reading and rereading these books over and over again has given me a solid understanding of her writing style, her characters and her stories.

I preorded The Hookup, but I’d been saving this book for a time that I could luxuriate in it, take my time with it and enjoy it. Read it purely for the pleasure of a new KA book and of reading. That time came for me this weekend. From the first page, I was hooked. Drawn right into this new KA world of Matlock, Kentucky, I was riveted in place and forcing myself to slow down and enjoy the story, not devour it like the starved fan that I was. It was a struggle, but I did it, and I’m so glad that I did. This book was…. everything I went into it hoping it would be.

If you’ve read KA’s previous works, specifically her Colorado Mountain, The Burg, Dream Man and Chaos series, you know she’s got a vibe. There is something special about the way she pours all that alpha-male goodness onto the page and mixes it with just the right heroine into a story that is pure magic. So, it thrills me, it thrills me, to say that this series has kicked off with a book just like that. Swooning in my seat, firmly rooted in place, I took in the awesomeness that was this book with a happy, racing heart.

Johnny Gamble was a perfect KA hero. Loyal, sweet, sexy, decisive and as alpha as they come, this man was all man, and the kind of man who when he loves, does it hard. Eliza Forrester, Izzy to her friends, may not have had the easiest life, but her optimistic spirit gave her the natural ability to make the best of any situation. These two sizzled from the start, and their chemistry leapt from the page. Even though the attraction was strong and there from the beginning, this was no whirlwind romance, and I absolutely love, love, loved every minute of the build-up of their relationship. A dash of suspense, an in-your-business small town and a cast of side characters I loved, The Hookup was the full package of KA stories with a compelling love story, an interesting plot, characters I was invested in and a setting I can’t wait to visit again.

The Hookup was a fantastic start to a series that felt familiar and comforting, while still managing to pull off being new and exciting. I cannot wait for more, and I hope that KA will give it to us soon in the form of Toby and Addie’s book. The Hookup by Kristen Ashley gets five smooches from me!

~ Danielle Palumbo