I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Hookup Hoax by Heather Thurmeier
Published by Entangled on 5/26/15
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Barnes & Noble
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...
This book combined one of my favorite romance tropes (the fake relationship) and my absolute least favorite romance trope (we can’t date because you’re friends with my sibling). For some reason I’ve read several of those in the last few weeks and they’re wearing on me. For crying out loud. You’re adults. Date who you want to, and tell your sibling to get the fuck over it.
Anyway. Saywer Sterling’s grandparents have decided they’re going to leave the family cabin to whoever could pass it down to future generations. Sterling and his cousin Tyler are the only candidates, and Tyler’s already married and has a baby on the way. Sterling really wants that cabin. He spent a lot of time there as a kid and doesn’t want it to go to Tyler, who doesn’t love it the same way he does. Olivia Morgan has just returned from and extended period of traveling around the world. She’s going to stay on her brother’s couch until she can find a job and an apartment, but Sterling tells her she can stay in his spare room if she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend for three months to help him convince his grandparents to give him the cabin. He’ll also give her a job as a administrative assistant and when the charade is over, he’ll give her a great recommendation to help her find a new job. Olivia obviously says yes, because living in a great apartment with an actual bed sounds a lot more appealing than sleeping on her brother’s couch.
Sterling and Olivia quickly develop actual feelings for each other, and as far as I can tell, the biggest reason they fight their attraction is that her brother Aidan told both of them that he wouldn’t allow it. Which is ridiculous. His reasoning is that Olivia’s ex hurt her, and Sterling is a player, so they can’t date. Get over it. Olivia’s an adult. Sterling’s never been anything but honest with her about his disdain for long-term relationships. If Olivia wants to be with him anyway, it’s none of your business. Stay out of it.
I’m digressing again. I did actually like this book, despite Aidan. And Olivia didn’t have a problem telling him what he could do with her opinions of her relationship with Sterling. I liked Olivia and Sterling together; he was really supportive of her and made sure to follow through on his promise to help her get a job. Right away he was introducing her to people who could help her with that, though he eventually realized she’d be a great addition to his own company, obviously. She had a lot of good ideas, and he took her seriously and listened to what she had to say. She, in turn, tried to encourage him to take better care of himself and maybe walk away from his office once in a while. Sterling’s parents died young, and he just assumes he’s destined for the same fate, but he wants the company he built to be his legacy. Who he’s going to pass it to wasn’t very clear to me, since “There was no way he’d risk having a wife or family while knowing he could die at any moment, leaving behind a wake of sadness and loneliness.” A bit melodramatic, but losing his parents the way he did would obviously leave some scars.
Overall this was a fairly standard romance. It was an entertaining take on the fake relationship concept. I enjoyed it, and I’d read more of Heather Thurmeier’s work.