Author Interview & Book Review — The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

Author Interview & Book Review — The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
Author Interview & Book Review — The Hook Up by Kristen CallihanThe Hook Up Series: Game On #1
Publication date: September 8, 2014
415 pages
Format: eARC

The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.

All’s fair in love and football…Game on.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided. This small income goes back into my blog, so I can continue to create fun content for you. I appreciate my readers and make it my goal to be upfront and honest. Thank you for supporting my blog!


The Hook Up was such a wonderful surprise.  Prior to getting this for review, I hadn’t heard of it, which is a crying shame.  I don’t think I’ve read a more addictive, sexy no-strings-attached romance since On Dublin Street.  And you all know how I feel about On Dublin Street.

I know what you’re probably thinking.  After reading the synopsis, you’re probably all, “Been there, done that.”  But trust me, Kristin Callahan takes this seemingly common storyline, adds her own little literary seasonings, and serves up a whole new feast. This dual point-of-view new adult romance was refreshing, addictive, and had one of the most magnetic couples I’ve read this year!

“I want to kiss you so badly, I’d forgo sex for a chance at your mouth. I love your mouth, Anna.”

Anna and Drew meet during their first day of History of Philosophy 401.  I use the term “meet” loosely because Anna Jones already knew Drew “Battle” Baylor, star quarterback of the college football team and every girl’s dream man.  Practically everyone on campus knows Drew and nearly everyone is under his charming spelling.  These two don’t have the sort of “meet cute” where she drops her papers and looks up, instantly entranced by his pearly whites while the Hallelujah chorus reverberates in her head.  No, she can’t stand him, and they most definitely have a “meet hate,” especially after he calls her “Big Red.” That sends her into mad frenzy of rage and reluctant…attraction.  She liked verbally sparring with Drew.

And Drew liked messing with Anna.  He loved the way he made her feel.

My mother once told me that the most important moment in my life wouldn’t be when I won the National Championship or even the Super Bowl. It would be when I fell in love.

Drew loves playing football but it doesn’t take long for him to realize that he likes being with Anna just as much, if not more.  Callihan made Drew’s character very intelligent and witty. He wasn’t just some dumb jock, nor was he shallow. He was thoughtful without being too sappy.  There was a real purity to the way he dealt with his feelings for Anna. It was a pure delight to see how he handled falling in love.

So why can’t I get Jones out of my head? All I can see these days are her eyes glaring at me, not giving a shit about the glossy veneer of my fame—hating it, in fact. And it turns me on.

The development of Anna and Drew’s relationship was the star of this book.  When a book couple’s relationship can make me giddy while reading it, I absolutely LOVE it!  This book was the ultimate watching them fall in love with one another new adult.  Sure, there was sex.  A lot of it.  But not once did I feel like the amount of sex overshadowed the plot or the characters.  I just wanted Anna and Drew to quit the game and just be with one another.  It’s not that simple though.

I’m twenty-three years old, my carefully built life has just been smashed to pieces, yet I know with complete clarity that I never want to be parted from Anna Jones.

I loved Anna’s character!  She is very headstrong and independent, yet underneath her outward appearance are what a lot of girls have—insecurities.  She tries with all her might to put on the tough exterior, especially with Drew. But at the end of the day, she has her self-doubts.  I loved Anna’s wit and sass. She was a spit-fire without it being over-the-top or annoying.

Shit. He’s slowing carving his name into my heart. And it hurts.

I don’t know what it is lately with me and book endings, but I didn’t love the last twenty percent or so of the book. It lacked the same spark as the rest of the book did.  This didn’t keep me from loving Drew and Anna. I still do.  I loved how Callihan paved the way for the next book, which focuses on Gray, Drew’s funny teammate.  I am so excited for The Friend Zone coming in 2015!

*I received an advance copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan




Q:  Kristen, thank you SO MUCH for stopping by Reading Books Like a Boss. The Hook Up was so refreshing and wonderful! I loved it. What can you tell readers about The Hook Up?

A:  Thank you! I’m so glad you did. And thank you so much for having me!

I’m fairly terrible about summarizing my stories, but basically, it’s about a confident star quarterback who falls fast and hard for a reclusive yet sharp-witted girl who only wants to use him for sex. Or is it? Because it’s also about two seemingly different people realizing that they perfect for each other, not just in the bedroom but in life as well.

Q:  Your Darkest London series is a historical romance series with a paranormal twist. What made you decide to switch to New Adult?

A:  I love writing my Darkest London books, they’re dark and twisty with high stakes and heavy sexual tension. But I’d been writing the books back to back for two years straight and my brain kind of came to a halt. Some of my author friends suggested writing something completely different from the norm to kick-start my creative juices.

Drew & Anna happened while I was reading an article about Channing Tatum. Yeah, weird, I know. But physically he reminds me of some of the jerks I knew in high school, yet he came off as really sweet and devoted to his family. And I thought, well, that goes to show you not to judge on looks alone…And a storyline was born. 😉

But honestly? When I write, I never think in terms of genre but about the story and the characters. Drew and Anna popped into my head and they took me along for the ride.

Q:  I LOVED the fact that you made Drew, the college quarterback, so intelligent and witty. Were there certain things that he did that surprised you when writing?

A:  I think there can be this perception that football players are brutish jocks. But the more you learn about the game the more you understand that each position calls for a certain type of mentality and personality.

Quarterbacks (the best ones anyways) are smart. They have to memorize massive playbooks, think outside the box, it’s kind of like a chess match in some ways. Therefore Drew had to be intelligent. But did I realize just how much of a closest nerd he was? No. lol. And I didn’t realize how fiercely he’d love and protect those close to him. It makes sense, though. He was raised by awesome parents and he lost them. So he doesn’t take anything for granted.

Q:  One of my favorite scenes in the book was the first kiss…holy wowza! There was this beautiful intensity between the two characters that was so palpable! Did you have a favorite scene to write?

A:  🙂 Thank you. That was a tricky scene to write because it had a lot of buildup and was a pivotal moment for Anna and Drew. As for my personal favorite scene to write? When Drew’s team gets on him about Anna on the bus. They were just these goofball guys, talking shit, yet obviously a total unit. And they made me laugh. lol

Q:  One of the things I enjoyed most about book was the crazy amount of angst there was between Drew and Anna. Were you going insane writing it as I was reading it?

A:  The funny thing is, I didn’t want to write an angst-filled NA. What I mean is, I didn’t want to write about severely broken people, but about fairly adjusted people. I wanted them to be real, like the people I knew in college. If that makes any sense. But, the angst was there anyway because Drew and Anna each fill up the empty space in the other that they didn’t realize they had. That kind of change is always going to be hugely emotional. And they definitely took me along for the ride!

Q:  In the book, the Drew and Anna start a no-strings-attached sexual relationship, which is a theme we’ve read many times in books. Yet, you made this book so refreshing, unique, and absolutely fun. How did you create such a new spin on this type of storyline?

A:  I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I like using clichés. I like to take a cliché and then flip it on its head. So then the reader thinks, oh, I know how this goes, and then, when it doesn’t, it’s a surprise. In other words, the situations might be cliché but the way the characters react are not. (Hopefully.)

I think the biggest flip in THU is that Drew emphatically knows what he wants and how he’s going to get it. He is not your typical hook up. 😉

Q:  Who has been your favorite character to write so far and why?

A:  In The Hook Up? Drew. Or maybe Anna? I don’t know. I just really “got” both of them, and will always have a huge soft spot for them both.

Q:  I just saw that The Friend Zone (The Hook Up #2) was on Goodreads! *clicky fingers* I was giddy with excitement to add that to my TBR. What can you tell us about Gray and Ivy’s book (I loved that we got that little sneak peek at the end of The Hook Up)?

A:  I can tell you that it won’t be anything like The Hook Up. Meaning that I don’t like replaying the same story over again (that kind of bores me as a writer). It will have the same elements: heat and emotion and finding yourself, but whereas THU is a “this is just sex” to love story, TFZ is a friends to lovers journey, so I wouldn’t expect them to be having sex immediately.

Q:  I recently read the first five books of the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning and am all SuperFangirlOMGMoreBarronsNow!!  I am way too excited for Burned coming in January. Is there a certain upcoming book that you’re looking forward to, like fangirl-level looking forward to?

Barrons! Yeah, I made the mistake of starting the Fever series during a deadline crunch. I say mistake because I was so hooked, I had to read my way through the entire series within a couple of days. Could. Not. Stop.

Am I looking forward to any books? SO many. I’m addicted to reading. But the fangirl aspect has dropped off since being published. I still adore authors’ books but now that I know a lot of them on a personal level, I’ve kind of separated them from the books. I mean, I don’t want to think about that it’s my friend, or the person I had dinner with that one time, who wrote this hot love scene I’m reading.

Lightning Round

Sweet or Salty?


Unicorns or Dragons?


Favorite book?

Don’t have one. My love knows no bounds.

Favorite word?

Fuck. I mean I say it often enough.

Favorite TV Show?

I almost never have time for TV these days (plays tiny violin)

Guilty Pleasure?

Reading and salted-caramel cupcakes.

What are you afraid of?

Tidal waves. Seriously. I get the heebes thinking about them.

About the Author

Kristen Callihan Author Picture Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather do. She is a three-time RITA nominee, and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

Facebook Twitter WebsiteGoodreads

Subscribe to the RBLB Newsletter!