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.