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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: The Hookup Hoax by Heather Thurmeier

How do you feel about fake relationship romances? I happen to love them when they're filled with passion and angst!

Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Entangled - Lovestruck
Release Date: May 26, 2015

Sawyer Sterling needs a girlfriend. With the family cabin up for grabs, he's desperate to prove that he could be the guy to “pass it on.” Of course, Sawyer also has a tendency to treat relationships like a contagious stomach flu that should be avoided at all costs. Now he needs a girlfriend-for-hire. Someone he can trust. Someone he could never, ever fall for...

Someone like his best friend's sister.

Sawyer's offer is exactly what Olivia Morgan needs. After traveling around the world for the last five years, the promise of a job and free accommodations is heaven. And sure, maybe Sawyer's a super-hot, charming guy with dimples made for kissing, but he’s not willing to be the guy—or relationship—she needs.

All it takes is one hot hook-up before this little hoax gets blown all to hell...

Sawyer Sterling’s grandparents want to move back to the city and leave the family cabin to someone who will pass it down through future generations and Sawyer is certain that someone is him. Unfortunately his irresponsible playboy lifestyle isn’t going to help his case. His answer is to hire his best friend’s little sister to pose as his girlfriend for awhile.

With the promise of a job and a place to stay, Olivia Morgan accepts Sawyer’s outrageous proposal. Initial attraction aside, it should be a piece of cake to pretend she’s in love with him. The hoax starts off without a hitch, Sawyer’s grandparents are buying into the “new” him but it’s only a matter of time before Sawyer and Olivia’s lovers act turns into the real thing and instead of making their deception more believable it begins to have the opposite effect.

The Hookup Hoax started off strong. It had the requisite playboy hero and the lovely, unsuspecting heroine. There was the hero’s “no fail” plan of pretending to have a steady girlfriend, and there were the inevitable fireworks that happened between the two. I was enjoying the heck out of Sawyer and Olivia’s dancing back and forth over the line of make believe and reality.

Sawyer obviously bit off more than he could chew which I loved because man this guy was cocky almost to the extreme! He needed to be brought down low and fast. I didn’t care too much for him at first but when he was around his grandparents and in that cabin he wanted so badly, author Heather Thurmeier was quick to show a different side of him. That’s the side I loved. Sawyer’s vulnerable, sentimental side. It was like he was a whole different person in that cabin than in the city. He could still be terribly immature and very selfish for a grown man. But he did begin to change the more time he spent with Olivia. The talks they had were meaningful and Sawyer gradually started to rethink his life’s plan. I loved the man he became at the end.

In Olivia I saw some similarities to Sawyer. For five years she had been traveling the world, never putting down roots and suddenly she finds herself needing to stabilize her life so that she can prove herself to those around her and get what she wants. I admired her guts to go forward in a plan that was so obviously doomed to fail. She said what she meant and did her best to continue with the plan of going their separate ways once the cabin was Sawyer’s even when she was so desperately in love with him. She was a smart, rational woman with a good head on her shoulders so naturally I was going to root for her. She didn’t whine or try and manipulate Sawyer in any way, she was just herself. Kind, generous and giving. I loved that she was a total sweetheart but with a backbone of steel.

Like I said, The Hookup Hoax had a lot going for it in the beginning and I loved the way it was playing out. Until about the last quarter of the book. Then it started to go downhill for me. It’s just my personal preference but there are certain tropes that I don’t care for because I feel that it doesn’t allow the characters to really choose each other. To choose to be together because they want to, not because circumstances are forcing them to. So yeah, that trope does not convince me of two characters’ happy ending.

My dislike for the way it played out in the last quarter aside, this is a pretty neat book. I liked the author’s style, pace and the level of heat she put between Sawyer and Olivia. It was a good combination of humor, heat and angst that puts me in a good mood. Now I’m wondering about Olivia’s brother, Aiden. He seems to have the same hesitations as Sawyer. Could there be a special woman out there for him too?

Final Verdict: Even with the last part of the book being a bit of a let down, I still enjoyed The Hookup Hoax.

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