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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Release & Review - Hooked by Brenda Rothert

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Hooked
Author: Brenda Rothert
Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: December 6th, 2016
Publisher: Loveswept

From the author of the On the Line and Fire on Ice hockey romance series comes a sultry novel featuring a brooding NHL player who’s hell on skates—and the no-nonsense woman who forces him to clean up his act.

Miranda: Even though I’m broke, putting myself through college, and working two jobs, I’m trying to make the best of it. Meanwhile, Jake Birch, hockey’s hottest bad boy, lives in a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago—and still complains about every little thing in his penthouse. But after I tell him off, instead of getting me fired, Jake requests me as his personal housekeeper. Then he starts flirting with me. Only I’m not flirting back . . . at least, I’m trying not to. Did I mention that he’s hockey’s hottest bad boy?
Jake: I’ve met the best woman at the worst possible time. Miranda is the fire to my ice—a sexy, charmingly candid spark who breaks down my walls and reminds me what it’s like to feel again. But I’m being forced to date my team owner’s daughter to keep my job, so I can’t be caught with Miranda. Still, we’re getting closer—until Miranda finds out about my “girlfriend.” And that’s not the only secret I’ve been keeping. But Miranda’s the one I want . . . even if she doesn’t believe me.

Buy Links: Amazon 

3 “Cinderella’s Hockey Skates” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Loveswept!

I almost felt like I was reading a sexy retelling of Cinderella with a sport twist.

In Hooked, we have a likable main character meeting a not-so-likable love interest. I found Miranda to be extremely relatable, but though I like alpha males, I had some trouble connecting with Jake.

Look, Miranda is one easy to like woman, because she’s working twice as hard as anyone around. She’s often criticized by her pain-in-the-ass boss, but she keeps it together and gets the job done. She spends late nights studying so she can someday graduate, even though it’ll take her forever to do so because she can only go to school part time. She’s there for her sister, even when she barely has time for herself. She’s my kind of people, you know? There’s nothing fancy about her. She’s just another girl trying to get through life and make a living.

The main thing here for me is that while some authors have tried and failed to make their main character relatable by using the “poor girl” arc, Brenda Rothert did a good job building Miranda in a way that was believable. I liked Miranda. It’s as simple as that.

But Jake? Well, let’s just say Jake is the kind of hero that takes warming up to. He’s an asshole at first. He’s sleeping around, having an attitude, thinking he’s the king of the world just because he’s a famous hockey player. Sure he’s hot and all—but when are hockey players not hot? I mean… I don’t watch hockey games (most people in my country don’t give a damn about it), but I have this illusion that all hockey players are hot. Don’t ask me why… I just do.

Or maybe because...

Anyway… So Jake is an arrogant ass in the beginning, and not exactly in the kind of way that I find passable because of my alpha male obsession. But that situation doesn’t last forever. When Jake moves into a hotel because his apartment is getting renovated, he meets a woman who intrigues him: Miranda. That’s when Jake starts opening up and showing Miranda (and us) that deep down he’s a nice guy with a troubled side. It gets easier, then, to understand how down-to-Earth Miranda falls for him.

One of the best things about the romance is how it doesn’t feel rushed. Jake and Miranda go from strangers to flirting to “let’s go out” to “let’s date” to more. They’re not rushing to get things done—not even sexually, which I always appreciate. Yay for lasting sexual tension!

While I liked all of those things, I had a few other problems with the story that kept me from loving it as much as I would’ve liked.

The whole drama with completely-insane Hailey was a little over the top. It was also pretty obvious where things were heading from the moment Miranda mentioned her trust issues. It just felt too cliché… And that predictability was present in much of the story, you know? There was just something familiar about the whole thing. While Miranda was a good main character and she felt real, I guess I missed a different or exciting element that would set this apart from other contemporary romances with sport stars as the love interest.     

Overall, this was a good romance story with a relatable main character and good sexual tension.  I just wish it had had that extra something to make it stand out.

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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