Hook, Line, & Sinker by Piper Vaughn
Hard Hats #2
LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
As teenagers Blake Kowalski and Cas McCormick where the worst of enemies. Constantly fighting, trying to one up each other, and determined to piss each other off. But many years later, Blake finds himself staying at his mom’s house recovering from a broken leg right when Cas is moving back home across the street. Positive that Cas will still be the annoying jerk he used to be, Blake is determined to ignore and avoid him. But when his mom tricks him into visiting Cas’s for a renovation assessment on the house, Blake realizes that Cas has grown up in more ways than one. Cas suffered through his teenage years with the biggest crush on Blake but now that he sees him as an adult he realizes he might have a second chance. As they start to spend more time together, Blake and Cas put the past behind them and realize they can have something truly special together.
I loved the first book, Wood, Screws, & Nails, but there was something truly special about Hook, Line, & Sinker. Based on the description I was expecting a lot more of an enemies to lovers relationship, which honestly is one of my least favorite tropes. However, both Cas and Blake realize that many, many years have passed and that neither one of them is the same person they were as teenagers. Other than an initial gruff meeting these two get along great and I loved that they went so quickly into a friendship and let bygones be bygones. Of course this all gets started with the help of Blake’s mom, Karina, and I absolutely loved her! She seems like an amazing mom and I love how much she would meddle but then try and keep the most innocent face whenever Blake would try to question her about it; she was just hilarious.
“God, Cas was gorgeous — beautiful like some wild, rare thing too unattainable to hold. Except, somehow, Blake had him. And Blake was fucking crazy about him.”
Probably the biggest reason behind why I loved this book so much is the relationship between Cas and Blake who I think are just perfect together. I was pleasantly surprised by Blake who was way more of a soft heart and a romantic then I was expecting. During a camping trip things move quickly into sex for these two when they realize how compatible in the bedroom (or tent) they are, but both of these men are quick to admit they want something more and I really appreciated that in the story. Of course things get derailed when Cas’s work sends him out of state for what should only be 2 months but ends up getting dragged out. Watching them struggle to make things work while being separated had me wishing to hug them both and make everything all better. Everything is not perfect and they have their ups and downs, especially when Blake’s insecurities start to kick in. But at their core both of these men are incredibly caring and loving and it was a joy to watch them find each other.
5 out of 5 stars
When they were teens, Castor McCormick was the bane of Blake Kowalski’s existence. Their mutual animosity led to summers filled with rivalry. Now, nearly two decades later, Cas is moving back into the neighborhood to live in his grandmother’s old house. Blake tells himself he isn’t interested in seeing how snarky little Cas grew up, but when his mother dupes him into visiting his former nemesis, he finds out “pretty” can evolve into “sexy as hell” on the right man.
Cas didn’t think he wanted to see Blake again. No one has ever pushed his buttons like the arrogant boy he remembers from their youth. Turns out, the adult version of Blake still gets him hot under the collar—and everywhere else. With Blake on leave from work to nurse an injured leg and Cas taking time to move and unpack, they form a tentative friendship that turns into a sexual affair neither man can deny. But when Cas’s job sends him out of state to deal with a difficult client, their new relationship will be tested, and if they fail, Blake’s broken leg might not be the only thing to end up scarred.
Published by Dreamspinner Press on November 19, 2014
Hard Hats reviews
Click on a cover to see the review