Early Review: Hooked by Brenda Rothert

hookedHooked by Brenda Rothert
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Dec 6, 2016
ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley

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.

D.G.’s Rating: 2.5 stars = C

The best thing about Hooked is the cover.

The premise was great but it just fizzled. The pacing was off, the characterization was weak, love scenes were meh and both conflicts were undeveloped and solved WAY to easily. There wasn’t anything exciting about this book with the exception of Jake, who was as hot as they come. But a hot hero does not a romance make.

Miranda works two jobs because she’s trying to put herself to college. One of those jobs is working as a maid in a swanky hotel where Jake, famous NHL player, is staying while his apartment is being remodeled. Once he sees Miranda, he immediately buys some condoms because he knows that she’ll be in his bed sooner rather than later.

They start dating soon enough but it takes months for those condoms to get some use and not because of her. The same guy who saw her and immediately thought “condoms” decides to wait for sex for a really cockamamie reason. I wouldn’t have objected if the reason made sense but it KILLED the tension between them. They pretty much become committed by the middle of the book, so there’s really no excitement left. The issue of the “girlfriend” came up at the end and was solved so easily, that you wonder why Jake made such an issue of it.

I really liked both characters, but felt the author didn’t delve deep enough. Miranda works very hard and is wary of men because of as past relationship. We don’t know why she started college until she was in her mid-20s and what was her life before she moved to Chicago. Jake for his part, hasn’t talked to his family in 4 years and although I wanted to understand him, his reason was very selfish. I know grief is different for each person but in a situation like this, I would have expected a grown man to think of his parents first.

The issue with his parents was also solved very quickly, without recriminations or guilt. I was hoping his father would punch him in the face at least but no luck.

Overall, not terrible but there are lots of better books out there.

Thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept and Netgalley for providing a review copy of this book.

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