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The Hookup

Series: Moonlight and Motor Oil, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Summary

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 as she can get 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 though his fingers.

But that's before Johnny realizes Izzy 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 Izzy 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.

©2017 Kristen Ashley (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Throughly enjoyable

I loved this book from start to finish, Stella Bloom narration is super she really does portray the characters well .Izzy and Jonny’s story is heartfelt both with their histories the way Kirsten writes has you totally absorbed , I look forward to more in the series ,

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

All too familiar but still enjoyable

This book has left me with mixed feelings.

I appreciate this book is called The Hookup and the premise is in the title but for me, a book which starts with a sex scene is something that I generally loathe. I need to get to know my characters before getting to know them intimately if you know what I mean. Despite my initial reservations though, I did find myself connecting with the main characters relatively quickly. Both Johnny and Izzy have troubled pasts but find themselves coming together, literally and figuratively, unexpectedly having met in a bar.

Izzy is new in town, having escaped her ex, and now enjoying a rural lifestyle, she is trying to find her feet within her new existence. With a domestic menagerie living under the same roof as her, Izzy works hard to enjoy what she has created for herself and that's a sweet, country home.

Johnny runs the local garages and having been burned in love before, isn't looking for anything more than a one night stand, that is until he meets Izzy and despite only spending a few short hours getting to know each other before ending up in bed, it's clear that he has no intention of letting her go without a fight. Izzy doesn't know how to deal with Johnny's plans for her and Izzy's head is spinning but she is more than happy just to enjoy whatever time she has with him before he tires of her.

The story and their relationship progress with each getting to know the other and trying to combine their lifestyles and work commitments. Johnny is a dream though and being a horse owner myself, I would love someone to come into my life and to be more than happy to take care of my beasties without being asked!

The side characters are also as equally enjoyable but especially Izzy's sister, who comes to stay with her, and also Johnny's brother, Toby. Thankfully, Adeline brings her baby son with her and he adds some fun times and drama to the story.

For me, this story was spoilt by its sweet nature and all too frequent sex scenes. There was a serious lack of drama in the storyline, apart from towards the end of the book. The story was slow to develop and at times, dare I say it, slightly boring. I feel this is always the downside of insta-love stories because there is no slow building relationship, something that this author is well-known for.

The other downside to this book, for me, was the inclusion of a male narrator. KA always uses females and I am a particular fan of Stella Bloom but her magical performance was overshadowed by an overly enthusiastic Lance Greenfield who over-played his part of the narration, on this occasion.

I do still love this author's writing though and whilst this is probably my least favourite story of hers to date, I will read/listen on with the series which overall left me with a warm feeling and endless hope for more of what we come to expect from KA in future books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not one of my favourites

I'm a fan of Kristen Ashley and Stella Bloom is one of my favourite narrators so I was looking forward to this. Though aspects of it are enjoyable, I found it a little slow and staid compared to most KA books I've read. The male reader is also kind of annoying - he reads everything like it's the trailer for an action movie which makes it hard to engagte. Kristen Ashley books usually involve fairly graphic love scenes, but these ones were GRAPHIC and a little too much for me, it grossed me out a little and I'm usualy not too phased by such things. I have also tried the next in this series and it's pretty much worse so I shall have to wait for Ms A to come up with a new series!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Old fashion relationship ideals

Struggled to finish it. Really possessive man with very old fashioned veiws. I personally didn't enjoy

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not KA best

I’m not sure about this one... I’m a big fan of KA and this story started off great but kind of tapered off and I lost quite a bit of interest in it. Her main characters are always the same and normally it never bothers me (like the rock chick series) but Johnny just didn’t do it for me!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing with too many unfinished plotlines

The unbearably nice h in this book has a farmyard of cute animals, and birds who perch on her shoulder. She merrily breezes through the days effortlessly holding down an executive position (with two hour commute) while tending to her land, horses, dogs, birds, along with gardening, making her own vodka, being a master of upcycling and a brilliant cook. She is, of course, stunningly beautifully, extremely sexy, but at aged 31 unaware of her perfection, and so sugary sweet that she got embarrassed when she enjoyed great sex. She was always “cute” or “adorable” even after sharing 8(!) bottles of wine with 2 girlfriends, and even, apparently, when she fell asleep while minding an unrestrained baby in a public park, and didn’t wake when the baby was removed.

The short tempered H, meanwhile, gets upset whenever the h fails to read his mind, or dares to do something “manly” (like moving a chair!). He spent three years moping after his ex (nothing about that scenario made sense), and the reader is constantly reminded how much he had loved his ex, and how “destroyed” he was when she left him. He expects the h to fall into line with his needs, (especially, unlike his ex, always putting him before family) and she willingly obliges by being a complete doormat who resists only until he kisses her, and then swoons into his arms, and appeases him by doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

This book has a lot of over-the-top graphic sex. Waaaay too much. They also talk about sex. A lot. The endearments and nicknames were awful, and the fabulous KA alpha male has gone all new-age and is now comfortable nappy changing and childminding, but feels his manhood is threatened by feminine décor or sitting on “fancy” chairs.

The reader was teased with potential plot strands (ex girlfriend back in town; stalker ex boyfriend; the absent father; the sister’s ex) but nothing developed any further until a random kidnapping plot is plucked out of thin air and was over almost before it began, and which, strangely, was all about the sister. In fact there was so much of the sister’s drama in this book I cannot help feeling that the upcoming story about her has already been done.

The epilogue had a lovely emotional scene, but unfortunately it was between the H and his ex-girlfriend - who was actually very likable. Then we had more about the sister’s romance. And the H and h had more sex because that’s really all their relationship was. Sex. All the time.

I had high hopes after the excellent “Complicated” that Kirsten Ashley had got her mojo back after the awful “Honey” series but….nope. This was a cookie cutter book, with every romance cliché thrown into the mix, stirred around and then left uncooked. Maybe she has a ghost writer?

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Awful

I listened to almost an hour of this and then returned it, which I have never had to do before. It was honestly absolute drivel. Nothing happened to move the plot in any direction and there was some very laboured character development, nothing seemed to come naturally. Really would not recommend.

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Disappointing, disengaging and went on for far too long!

Getting to the end of this book was a real chore! Lance Greenfield’s narration just didn’t seem to work for me, his tone was that of a suspense book, with every sentence feeling like he was narrating some kind of very important scene where he felt the need to emphasise far too much. Johnny was not my cup of tea, and interestingly I found myself liking the supporting characters more than the main two. I will not be recommending this book to any of my friends and am just glad I made it to the end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

Another amazing story from Kristen Ashley. This is the first in her new Moonlight and Motor Oil series and I loved it! Both main characters Izzy and Johnny are lovely and I thought the narration was first rate. Excellent and highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

Lovely gushing romance made me laugh and cry but totally enjoyable hope we get a follow up about Toby and addie

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  • 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹
  • 23-12-17

A WHIRLWIND OF WICKEDLY WONDERFUL FEELS

For twelve hours and twenty two minutes I was in Heaven, happily lost in Kristen Ashley’s heartwarming new love story of two characters who’d known heartache, who’d known loss and who’d known drama in their lives. But slowly these sweet beautiful caring characters found each other, found their soulmates, found love and found their HEA. Along the way there were walls to crumble, hurdles to get over, battles to fight, family members and friends to meet, romantic words and scenes to share, passions to ignite and threats from the past to overcome. And this hero and heroine did it in true KA style.. with feeling, with strong emotions, with hot sex, with compassion passion and possession, with torture and tenderness.. and with deep undiluted love.

I was mezmerized, sucked in and blown away by Izzy and Johnny’s unfolding love story, by their quirks, their personalities, their backstories, their family values and their emotions.. and I just wasn’t ready to leave the small town of Matlock Kentucky - even after the sweet sweet Epilogue. This is a well loved author who seriously knows her stuff, who knows how to pace a story, how to inject tension and drama at just the right time, how to pull at your heartstrings, how to write about a possessive alpha male and how to write a beautiful love story. Also, Stella Bloom and Lance Greenfield are two talented narrators who give five star performances, who bring characters and their stories to life, who inflect project and inject the emotions needed to stir, to soothe and to sate the many flavors of each scene.. and who made it a joy to listen to this audiobook.

Worth a credit? Well, as I bask in the afterglow of an entertaining enjoyable and loved listen about a damaged hero, a random hookup, the return of someone’s lost love (with all its complications) and a heartmeltingly beautiful hot love story.. there’s absolutely only one answer to give.. and that folks is a big fat YES that’s oozing with droolworthy sighworthy happiness.

52 of 56 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • lauren
  • 26-12-17

Sorry Kristen

I have found very few Kristen Ashley books I do not like, this is at the top of that list! Needs more story to it. I love her love scenes but this one needs more story line leading up to it. Just a hard to listen book in my opinion! Won’t let it get in the way of my love for her books. They can’t all be perfect!!

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stacey is Sassy
  • 20-12-17

***4.5 stars***

The story was great the narration was a little disappointing.

I decided to listen to The Hookup as well as read. This worked really well for me. Morning reading, listen while in transit to and from work and then a mix of reading and listening when I got home. SUCCESS!! It was actually a really enjoyable way to experience this story.

You know how sometimes you’re reading a book and you are stumped how to pronounce a name or a foreign term? Well, the narrators do the hard yards for you. I thought that was pretty cool.

Anyways… I really enjoyed The Hookup. The storyline was interesting, the main characters were my favourite type of Alpha meets Quirky, and it was HOT!! Seriously, these guys do not take long to show us that they are very, VERY well suited to each other.

I loved that Johnny was pretty straight with Izzy. He had baggage and didn’t hide it. Johnny knew that his heart was damaged but pretty quickly realised that Izzy may be the person to fix it. He made it clear he was interested, kept the communication open and always tried to be considerate of her feelings.

I’m a sucker for a blokey bloke that likes to look after his woman. I have no problems with a hero who steps up to help with chores whether they are mowing the lawn or washing the dishes. When he states that *He’s her man, and she better get used to having him do...* BE STILL MY HEART!! I dream of my hubby saying something like that to me.

Now, Izzy, she’s the kind of quirky that I like. She’s independent, strong and determined while also an animal lover, protective of her family and loves a good bargain. Izzy’s had some bad things happen in her life but she always picks herself up and moves on. She’s a self-confessed prude who steps out of her shell for the first time with Johnny because she just couldn’t help herself. He brings out the sexy in her…and she likes it.

The Hookup was a very easy story to settle into. Most of the drama is around the couple with them fighting it together, which is the way I like it. I can't wait to meet them again hopefully soon.

I’ll be honest, Stella Bloom did a fantastic job narrating and I probably would have enjoyed it more if she did it by herself. I’ve listened to Lance Greenfield narrate before and enjoyed it but this time his voice was a little overdone. I also struggled when he did two males having a conversation as he didn’t change his voice which made it hard to tell when characters changed and who was speaking. It was mostly OK, just not the best I’ve ever heard.

Kristen Ashley is still my favouritist author in the whole entire world and I loved stepping into Matlock, Kentucky with the characters she created. I was desperate to start and unfortunately read it too fast which means I was sad when it was over too quick. The trials and tribulations of a Kristen Ashley Addict.

I can't wait for more of the Moonlight and Motor Oil series.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-01-18

OMG Worst male narration EVER

The story dragged in a lot of spots with not enough conflict. I found it hard to believe that this stunning woman who was supposedly so amazing had made it to her 30's without ever "falling in love" and having a serious boyfriend.

The story is waaaay tropey. Brooding, millionaire, alpha male MC. Quirky female MC who doesn't "know how beautiful she is". Some of the forced things she did to make Izzy quirky made my eyes roll. Cooking breakfast while wearing muck boots with a canary on her shoulder? Why? To trek horse poop and bird droppings through the kitchen? Stop trying so hard.

By far the worst part was the male narration. It literally sounded like it was narrated by Batman. When I realized this was who he sounded like, I couldn't stop laughing. It was terrible.

41 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Kelley
  • 21-12-17

The Hookup

This was a so-so read. I heard the audible version and the reader was not ok for me. The book needed some serious editing for length.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kt
  • 23-12-17

Worst male narration I've heard.

The story was great - classic Kristin Ashley with a sweet hero who's not too dark. The male narration absolutely destroyed the book for me. The ridiculous urgency used for every single breathy word he uttered was unbearable. I gritted my teeth and rolled my eyes through it only because I don't have time to pick up the paperback and because it's the first in a new series. If the same narrator reads book two I will skip it for sure. I recommend not listening to this one - read it instead.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachola
  • 26-12-17

Wrong genre for male narrator

The last half of this book was very hard to listen to. The story was pretty good but didn't live up to every other KA book I've purchased.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Love2Listen
  • 22-07-18

I loooooooved it!!!!

This book came to me at the exact moment I needed it, and that is rare. I guess that's why I loved it so much.
Izzy is a great character. Strong but fragile at the same time. Quorky and funny. Sweet and honest.
And Jonnhy? What I guy! At first I wanted to hate him, him still hung on his ex, but then he manned up and faced his mistakes and turned out to be one of the sweetest, hottest, most protective and understanding alphas I've read.
The story is simple but endeering and it moved me deep in some parts while in others I couldnt stop laughing.
Definitely a new favorite one. Especially on audio!
On that: Lance Greenfield does a great job, as usual, all sexy and manly and intense, so, love him!
But the female narrator? OMG! Does anybody else get the feeling that Stella Bloom and Susannah Jones are the same amazing narrator? Or is it just me? Either way, this woman is soooo good, she does an unbelievable job with the main female character and at the same time makes me believe there is a guy there doing the male parts. WOW!!! I ADORE HER WORK!!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Janeen Butcher
  • 03-01-18

Usually I love KA books, but this one not so much

I really struggled with this book. The narration at times felt forced and felt like the male narrator was yelling at me. I don't know if it was the writing he was trying to imbue or if that was his tone of voice, but he made me put the book down several times. Not to mention, if you're listening to this somewhere - you need earphones because it went between breathless whispering to shouting in an instant and the f-word was rampant. This book to me was a redo of Complicated and I couldn't believe it was the same narrator. Had I listened to this first, I'd never pick another book up to listen and I know that sounds harsh, but when you're listening in bed and all of a sudden someone screams in your ear - and not in a good way!! It's alarming!! Needless to say if you've read one of the authors other books like Complicated, then you have no need to read this one because nothing really ever happens. I miss the days of Rock Chick.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann
  • 20-12-17

Enjoyable But Not Quite Up To Par

First, let me just say that I liked the book, and I would read more of this series.

That being said, it wasn't what I expected. The synopsis implies certain things, and it took forever for those things to happen. When they did, they didn't happen as implied. I'd call the synopsis part bait-and-switch, part misdirection, and part lie. Frankly, I expect better than that from KA. Also, there were characters and pets referenced but they hardly factored into the story. I think KA liked the idea of Izzy having all these animals but she didn't want to write about them or, perhaps, sometimes forgot they existed. Same goes for Johnny's best friend. Why mention him if we aren't going to meet him at least once? I don't know. It wasn't as tight a story as she typically writes, but I think this book was written quickly and it shows in the details.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful