Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hook, Line, & Sinker by Piper Vaughn - Review

Author: Piper Vaughn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 181 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Description ~
When they were teens, Castor McCormick was the bane of Blake Kowalski’s existence. Their mutual animosity led to summers filled with rivalry. Now, nearly two decades later, Cas is moving back into the neighborhood to live in his grandmother’s old house. Blake tells himself he isn’t interested in seeing how snarky little Cas grew up, but when his mother dupes him into visiting his former nemesis, he finds out “pretty” can evolve into “sexy as hell” on the right man.

Cas didn’t think he wanted to see Blake again. No one has ever pushed his buttons like the arrogant boy he remembers from their youth. Turns out, the adult version of Blake still gets him hot under the collar—and everywhere else. With Blake on leave from work to nurse an injured leg and Cas taking time to move and unpack, they form a tentative friendship that turns into a sexual affair neither man can deny. But when Cas’s job sends him out of state to deal with a difficult client, their new relationship will be tested, and if they fail, Blake’s broken leg might not be the only thing to end up scarred.

My Review ~

Hook, Line, and Sinker is the second book in the Hard Hats series but can be read as a standalone; although you’d miss bits and pieces of Blake, and also sexy Aaron, and Malachi if you skip Wood, Screw, and Nails.

What do you do when your mom’s pushing you toward your childhood arch-nemesis? Well, if you are Blake, who happens to be stuck at his mom’s, recovering, you give in? This is what lands him next door to ‘help’ Castor McCormick after he moves into his grandmother’s home. Blake and Cas had a love/hate relationship growing up. They were rivals who loved to get under the other’s skin. What neither of them knew was that their rivalry hid a growing attraction that both weren’t willing or ready to admit. So they buried it by ‘hating’ each other. They grew and each moved on with their lives, until life brings them full circle back to their grandparents’ homes.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Cas and Blake, so much so that I didn’t like one main character over the other. The frenemies to lovers to couple stories are one of my favorite types of romance. It’s always intriguing to see how the author will work around the characters’ hatred/loathing/disdain for each other in order to move into a relationship. Sometimes that change is explosive, and sometimes it’s smooth and easy. Blake and Cas straddled the line between the two, quite well I might add. Their first time having sex was so explosive I was waiting for my Kindle to burn my fingers. Holy hot dirty talking, Blake is beyond sexy, and Cas, with those sweet expressive eyes and that tousled hair… I had to tell myself a few times, they’re just characters, not real.

Piper Vaughn has always had the ability to make me fall in love with her characters; no matter what book, what setting, or back-story they have, her skills slay me dead. Every. Single. Time. This book was absolutely no different. The further I got into the story, the more I was cheering Blake and Cas on, the more I wanted to see them overcome their issues and make it for the long run. Then, of course, we have a few secondary characters that slipped in, and I wanted more of them, too. Riley and Gavin kind of snuck in, and I’m hoping to see them get a story, either together or separately, in the near future.

All in all Hook, Line, & Sinker is one of those well written comfort reads that I’ll pull out again and again because the characters are so perfect for the story. I’d highly recommend this book to those who love a dirty talking, sexy, willing to admit he’s wrong alpha. Also, for those who love a good, solid frenemies to lovers story.

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