Title: Hook, Line, & Sinker
Series: Hard Hats, Book 2
Author: Piper Vaughn
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: November 19, 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
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.
Reviewed by: Crissy
Why I Read This Book: Who doesn’t love a good enemies to lovers story? More to the point, I am a sucker for a good story that begins with two guys who already hate, or at least strongly dislike, each other for whatever reason and end up falling for one another. The connection usually proves to be explosive and I prefer a front row seat.
In A Nutshell: Buy this book… and a fan because damn it’s hot.
What I Liked: Hmm… Everything. This book is absolutely perfect. As I sit here picking my brain to give you pieces of what I liked most, I find it almost difficult to narrow down my list. But since I’ve already mentioned it once I’ll go with the enemies to lovers trope presented with the relationship between Blake and Cas. It creates an immediate tension that follows them throughout this entire story, creating situations of intensity and insecurities and jealousies and perfection. Explosive is a mild description of the heat between them.
What I Also Liked: Their chemistry sets this book aflame from the moment the lights go out… and then come on. It’s rough and growly and sexy as hell. Geez. I don’t even know if I can describe fully for you the perfection of the domination that happens with them in bed. Outside of the bedroom Blake and Cas are so evenly matched personality-wise, but in the bedroom (or tent or on the couch or entryway) the power exchange adds so much to not only the relationship but also to Blake and Cas as characters. It gives them depth and dimension. And good Christ it’s hot. I wasn’t kidding about the fan. These guys have a connection from the minute they are on page together, even when they both still believe they are enemies.
And how I love Blake’s mother. Karina Kowalski is a meddling mastermind of epic proportions. And we don’t get to really meet Dee, Castor’s grandmother, on page except for a phone call, but I’m pretty sure she and Karina are two peas in a pod. Karina is quite the pot stirrer. The way the two women get Blake and Cas together is cute, but the hilarity comes in watching Karina keeping Blake on his toes when it comes to figuring out/realizing/voicing his feelings for Cas. She’s the real star of this show.
And I love the story. It’s a relationship that should be simple, really, but is anything but. I enjoyed the ups and downs for Blake and Cas. And yes, the downs hurt some—one in particular had me tearing up just a bit. That’s just it—their story, as sweet and funny and sexy as it is, is still intensely captivating. The depth of emotion is right on the level without tipping the scale into too angsty or melodramatic. It was perfectly balanced for me.
In My Opinion: This is a winner. Vaughn has hit it out of the park. This story is a wonderful combination of romance, heat, and story, but more than the sex the enemies to lovers aspect is what makes this one so perfect. Buy it. Read it. Love it.
Blake’s hand tightened. “Jesus.” He kissed Cas hard and ended it with a sharp bite to Cas’s jaw. “How about I make you do it again? Right now.”