The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil 1) by Kristen Ashley
1st standalone in a series. Contemporary Romance.
Sigh…..Johnny Gamble. Possibly the most perfect hero ever. I know I say this after pretty much every Kristen Ashley read, but OMG, The Hookup is totally a new all-time favorite. Once again Kristen Ashley wrote a book that is more wonderful than I ever dreamed. It’s no secret that she is my favorite author, and if you read The Hookup, you will totally understand why. Luckily it’s a complete standalone, and a perfect way to introduce yourself to the amazingness that a Kristen Ashley book can be.
I was on a roll, literally loving every book I’ve read over the last month. Then I read The Hookup. And once again, it blew every other book out of the water! The woman is truly magic. This is why I often say Kristen Ashley needs her own rating scale, because even my least favorite of her books are better than most others. But The Hookup is at the top of even my KA scale. I can say this is in my top 5, maybe even my top 3 Kristen Ashley books (she has like 50), and I can’t wait to grab it and listen on audio the day it comes out.
“Izzy, baby, there’s a good possibility I’m gonna bite you. But just to say, trust me, you’ll wanna get outta my truck, because I can guarantee you’re gonna like it.”
Izzy is a good girl. In fact, she has always been kind of a prude. Certainly never one to have a one-night stand. But when she met Johnny Gamble, that ended. He was different. He was attentive in a way that she has never experienced, alpha to the core, thoughtful, and quite possibly the hottest guy she ever laid eyes on. And he made no secret of the fact that he wanted her. When she woke up in his bed the morning after her first hookup (and it was AMAZING), Izzy expected awkward, but Johnny was just as warm and welcoming the next morning.
“He wasn’t going to load me up in his truck and take me back to my car in town and be done with me, not looking back.
This was something else.
It was a beginning of something.”
But Izzy still felt him holding back. He was perfect in every way, but there was a portion of him that had walls, and they were thick and high. She soon discovered what it was.
“This guy is a guy ruined for all other women by a knockout of a redhead with long legs and big boobs who was almost as sweet as your sugar… A redhead who he’ll be hung up on forever, even when nature calls and forces him to settle down in order to procreate. The next one will be numero dos. Runner up. Second best.”
He and his ex, Shandra, were supposedly what storybooks were written about. They were the perfect couple, and so in love, they were like a legend in the small Kentucky town. Then, out of the blue, she was gone, and he was never the same.
“I wish I met you before she fucked me up.”
Izzy had had a rough life. And even though it hurt knowing that she would never be his “one”, what they did have was pretty damn awesome. They were so good for each other. At 31, Eliza never really had anyone take care of her. She was the caretaker to everyone including the entire zoo she kept at home (including a bird on her shoulder and horses). But Johnny was all alpha man, and frankly, all awesome man.
“We’re here again so I’ll give it to you. I’m that guy as well. You got an hour-long commute. I got a ten-minute commute. It takes you six times the amount of time to get ready for work as it does me. It isn’t that taking care of animals is man’s work, which, babe, just to say, I’m that guy too so for me it is. But for me as the man in the life of the woman you are, it’s about doing shit I do not mind doing so you can have an extra half hour of shuteye or just an easier morning. So when I wake up in this bed, Iz, I take care of the animals and breakfast. You take care of you.”
The couple had great communication. Johnny was open. And they were both clear that this was casual. Part of his heart was iced forever. But what they had was good. Really good. Until Shandra decided to come back after 3 years, and Johnny, being the good guy that he was, realized he had to let Izzy go until he could give her everything.
But maybe he already did.
“This was it.
This was all he was ever going to have.
Her body. Her pussy. Her hair. Her neck. Her breasts. Her scent. Her taste.
Her belly would swell with the babies he’d plant there.
Her skin would wrinkle.
Her hair would gray.
He would mourn her when she was gone and there wouldn’t be another for him.
Or he would leave this earth knowing she’d do the same.
That was it.
The rest of his life.
Kristen Ashley books are the reason for my “Alpha Males in Sexy Tales” tagline. That’s exactly what this is. A deliciously alpha good guy, a sexy relationship, and it also has all the things I love; a heroine I want to hang out with, a town I want to visit, side characters I want to share a meal with, the amazingly detailed descriptions that transport you right into the story, a little excitement and suspense, and every emotion from laughter to tears. I was hooked within 3 pages and gobbled this up like I hadn’t read a good book in years.
- Johnny is unapologetically alpha- protective, possessive and bossy, but he TOOK CARE of his woman and her family.
- I highlighted like 50 amazing quotes. Johnny just said such great things!
- I loved Izzy. She worked herself to the bone but was happy to do it, never said a word. She was just happy with whatever good was in her life. She was so positive and upbeat and funny.
- The side characters were amazing, and I do so hope we get something with her sister and his brother.
- It was nice and long, but I wish it was double as long because I never wanted it to end.
- A little suspense made a great book even better.
- The couple was just so…right. They had a great working relationship. They communicated so well.
- This was a little more erotic than most of her other books.
- Her descriptions of the locations are so detailed I can totally see the mill and her house in my head perfectly.
- One of my favorites to date.
- I can’t think of one.
The Down & Dirty:
“Go through it all again if it led me to you.”
Rating: 5++++ Stars, 4.5 heat
Purchase The Hookup by Kristen Ashley
“Okay, well…how are you?”
How was I?
Johnny’s behavior explained by the sad fact it was the anniversary of his father’s death, but still explained, and he was coming over for dinner the next night, not to mention, after not being affectionate (at all, unless you counted sitting me on the countertop, which I kind of did) after the last time we’d had sex, he made out with me at the door of my car for a good, long, happy while—I was great.
“I’m great,” I told her, opening Serengeti’s stall and moving in, lifting a hand to pat her jaw while she moved her nose to snuffle my neck and blow at my hair.
“Damn,” Deanna muttered.
My hand arrested on Serengeti and I focused on Deanna.
“What?” I asked.
“Damn,” she repeated.
“Damn what?” I asked.
“Well, just to say Johnny Gamble is Johnny Gamble.”
A specific area in my chest squeezed at the way she imparted that obvious but still confusing information.
“What’s that mean?” I asked.
“He’s Johnny Gamble of Gamble Garages. Did he tell you that?”
No he didn’t tell me that.
And suddenly I was embarrassed about something that I hadn’t liked all along.
But it was worse since Deanna knew more about a man I’d slept with than I did.
Serengeti was getting fidgety, so I used my hand on her to lead her out of her stall, and once in the corridor, she trotted out the open bay at the back, directly into her pasture.
I moved to Amaretto as I shared with Deanna, “No, he didn’t tell me that. I mean, we talked but we were also doing other things.” I let that lie. It did, weighty between us on the phone, before I went on, “I don’t know what that means.”
Even though it seemed like I did. Something seemed familiar about that.
“You haven’t lived here long enough,” she murmured while I opened Amaretto’s stall and moved in for some quick pats before I let him loose. Louder, Deanna said, “You know the gas station in town?”
That was where I’d seen it.
“He owns that?”
“That and seven more of them across three counties. None in the city, just in the counties. Some of them are like mini-mart stores. All of them sell gas and do work on cars.”
That was impressive.