by Helena Hunting
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Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.
Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.
They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.
Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.
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I adored Amelia in Shacking Up and was thrilled when I heard she was getting her own book. I never liked her fiancé, Armstrong, and I knew here was so much more to her story than the awful life she was destined to have with him.
Amelia, also known as Amie, had sworn of bad boys when Armstrong walked into her life. Her past boyfriends caused nothing but trouble and she thought Armstrong was exactly the kind of “good guy” she needed. In the end though, she found out he was all kinds of wrong. At their wedding, she hears first-hand what an asshole her new husband is, and angry, embarrassed, and heartbroken, she flees.
I can’t believe my forever lasted less than twelve hours. I can’t believe the man I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life loving couldn’t be faithful to me for even one day.
We got to see an entertaining glimpse of Amie and Lex together in Getting Down: A Shacking Up novella and we could feel a spark between them even though Amie was with Armstrong, Lex’s cousin. When all hell breaks loose at Amie’s wedding, she is all about giving Armstrong a dose of his own medicine by hoping into bed with the first available guy which happens to be Lex. Unfortunately for her plan, Lex isn’t about to take advantage of her.
After her nightmare nuptials, Amie goes on her honeymoon solo and finds herself on the same flight as Lex. They end up spending time together and while Lex said no once before, now on Bora Bora, they are headed for a big yes!
“Let Anarchy Amie out of the cage for a few weeks. Get reacquainted with your wild side.”
Hooking Up was just what I wanted for Amie’s story. Sweet, swoony, sexy, and hilarious, this unique rom com was entertaining from the first page to the last and had a nice forbidden aspect thrown into the mix. I loved the setup of the story and thought it flowed easily and realistically. Amie and Lex are well-developed characters with depth and great personalities. I loved Amie since the first time I met her. She is beautiful, feisty, and used to show off her crazy side, dating bad boys and getting into trouble. However, her Anarchy Amie days came to an end the moment she started dating Armstrong. He tamed her behavior and turned her into someone she isn’t.
When everything exploded, I felt her anger and hurt, her confusion and sadness. My heart broke for her because of the pain, humiliation, and heartache she experienced. She was strong, brave, and handled all the despicable things Armstrong put her through wonderfully. I am so glad she saw the light even if it crushed her at the time. I loved watching her true self come out when she is no longer tethered to Armstrong. She has no filter especially when she gets a little alcohol in her system and everything that comes out of her mouth is hilariously entertaining. I could see how easy she is to be around and how fun she really was.
While Armstrong was the biggest asshole known to man, Lex is the complete opposite. He isn’t perfect but he is such a good guy. Totally swoon worthy, kind as can be, and a total gentleman, he treats Amie with nothing but care.
“Don’t do that.”
“Do what?” I try to compartmentalize the emotions I don’t seem to have control over.
“Let him make you feel anything less than perfect. He has no idea what he’s given up. That he had you at all is a travesty. He doesn’t deserve any part of you, least of all your heart.”
He brings out the best in Amie and I loved how she lets go when she is around him. He is encouraging, supportive, and puts her first, and I loved when he goes after what he wants.
“I assure you, there’s nothing nice about the things I want to do to you, the ways I want to have you.”
Amie and Lex are so good together. They aren’t prepared for the feelings that develop and I loved watching them fall for each other. The progression of their relationship was well-paced and though it all happens fast, I believed the strength of their connection.
It’s not a very coordinated kiss. It’s messy and teeth-clashing. It’s want and need. It’s possession. Hers and mine.
They have all the sweet, mushy stuff that makes your heart flutter as well as the electric chemistry that sets the pages on fire. When they bring out the naughty, sexy side of their relationship, it is hot!! Steam isn’t all that Amie and Lex share though, they are also hilarious together. After the initial shock of what went down, the moment Amie and Lex are in the same room, the funnies begin. The awkward, embarrassing moments were entertaining and the airport scene had me laughing-out-loud. I couldn’t keep from cracking up every time the tickle trunk was mentioned. Amie and Lex just work. They are honest and open, and though they have some challenges to work through, their actions didn’t bother me at all. I understood why everything happened the way it did and I was very happy with the two of them together.
Each of the secondary characters played a wonderful role in this book. I loved seeing Ruby and Bane again showing their unconditional love and support for Amie and Lex during the difficult times. The villain of the story was also well developed. Can I just reiterate how much a hated Armstrong? I seriously hated him! The things that came out of him mouth were appalling. There is a long standing rivalry between Lex and Armstrong and the tension that surrounds them is tangible. I loved that we finally learn why they don’t get along and it makes me understand the hostility they share. Everything that comes to light just proves how much better of a guy Lex is compared to Armstrong. His heart was in the right place all along and I loved watching him get the girl.
The heartwarming epilogue was true to Lex and Amie’s characters, and I loved how the story play out. Overall, it was a fantastic romantic comedy and would love to see more of this amazing bunch of characters. I loved it!
*ARC generously provided by the author and St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
The Shacking Up World
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the PUCKED series, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.