Tuesday, December 19, 2017

ARC Review: The Hookup by Kristen Ashley

Series:     Moonlight & Motor Oil #1
Pub. Date:Dec. 19, 2017
Length:358 pgs

I don't know whether to sigh or swoon. This book was all the best things... sweet, sappy, a little sad, and definitely steamy. I can't tell you how excited I am about a new series from the Queen, Kristen Ashley. The Moonlight and Motor Oil series promises to be just as captivating as The Burg and Colorado Mountain has been, with lots of endearing characters and small town charm. 

Eliza "Izzy" Forrester moved to Matlock, Kentucky to get away from an ex-boyfriend turned possessive and stalkerish. She was a really great heroine - sweet as apple pie with a huge heart hung out on her sleeve for everyone to see. Izzy had a hard life growing up, but if asked, she will tell you that the Forrester girls were a happy little family... even with government cheese and cheap plastic sandles. I loved how Izzy took that life though and learned to make the best of it, which has manifested in adulthood with her bargain finds and shabby chic decorating skills. I had a great emotional connection to Izzy, so I was totally feeling all the insecurity and turmoil during the early stages of her relationship with our hero.

She shouldn't have looked for the dreamers.
She should have found a man who knows all the different types of motor oil.

Johnny Gamble is one cool operator and all-around great guy, but also one of our typical Kristen Ashley alpha males. I love that he was a man's man but also treated Izzy with kid gloves. Johnny thinking that his heart was permanently broken did a number on me. I hated that he was holding Izzy at arm's length, but I couldn't be mad at him for it. I got caught up in his turmoil just as I did with Izzy, particularly when thinking about all that he lost when Shandra left. I get a little misty just thinking about the dog and horse... sniff sniff. I was so proud of Johnny for leaving the past in the past and not letting history repeat itself. 

So the relationship between Johnny and Izzy started off sweet but rocky, and it had its poignant moments. However, there was no playing games or manufactured drama. These two were adults and recognized the importance of communication.It allowed them to build a relationship with a rock solid foundation that will stand the test of time. I love these types of love stories.

This first installment in Matlock introduced us to some great secondary characters. Margot and Dave were a hoot, reminiscent of Tyra's Aunt Bette and Uncle Marsh in Motorcycle Man. There was also Izzy's bestie, who reminded me of Jules' gal pal, May, in Rock Chick Renegade.  One of my favorite characters of the story was not really there, however. I really wish that Izzy's mom was still alive as she sounded absolutely wonderful and like a woman who deserved a dose of the happiness that Matlock had to offer. 

I am definitely looking forward to future installments in this series. I can't wait to see where Kristen takes us. While I pre-ordered a copy of this book for myself, this review is of an advanced copy of  that I received from the author via InkslingerPR.

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About the Author

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn't taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen's Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning. Nothing's changed. Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she's blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

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