The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil #1) by Kristen Ashley

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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.

Pet’s $0.02

I was looking forward to a new KA book that promised a hero similar to Tack Allen. I kind of got the Tack and Motorcycle Man reference but in all honesty if you’re looking for a copy of that book, this is not it, just reread Motorcycle Man.

Izzy takes the innocent heroine trope to an extreme here. It’s almost Snow White like in the way she has her horses, dogs, cats and birds. But, other than liking animals and being easy going to the point that she did not like to make waves with anyone… at all, she just didn’t leave me with a strong sense of her personality. I wanted her to stand up for what she wanted. And if that was Johnny, then she needed to fight for him, not just meekly let him dictate what the terms of their non-relationship were going to be.

Johnny was okay. But, he was hung up way more on his ex Shandra than he should have been. Maybe not jump back into a relationship with her, but she still impacted how he lived his life and what he allowed himself to offer Izzy. The woman showed him where he stood with her and he needed to move on. For how he acted when Shandra was brought up, I really expected more drama from the return of the ex and got very little. There was just not enough alpha in Johnny for me to sink my teeth into.

There were so many angles that KA could have gone to hook you with this story. Izzy’s abusive ex, Sasha not letting go, or the sister’s cheating husband. What did happen was resolved so quickly and with so little drama it didn’t even seem like it was much of a threat. Or, give us more of the secondary characters like Margot and Charles or Toby and Addie. I actually liked reading their parts of the story more than Izzy and Johnny’s.

The Hookup is definitely written in the KA style, but it just didn’t suck me in like her Colorado Mountain or ‘Burg series’ did. I do want to call out that there were way fewer repeated phrases in this book, which was refreshing. Anyone familiar with KA books knows that the heroine usually repeats specific phrases a lot. I didn’t notice Izzy doing it as much here. And, I won’t say no to reading the next in the series, because I want to know more about Addie, but I’m hoping Toby and Addie give me more to root for when we finally get their story.