Fans of the theme of friends to lovers will find much to enjoy about this tale of two people who've known each other for years but who form a deeper connection after a charity auction gives them a weekend of intimate opportunities. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Just a Little Hookup by Carly Phillips & Erika Wilde, along with getting my impressions of it, then add this first installment in the Dare Crossover series to your bookshelf!
Being a bachelor has its perks. It also has its downside. Just ask Derek Bettencourt.Standing on stage and being auctioned off in the name of charity is awkward AF...until his business partner’s younger sister wins him for the weekend. He’s all hers to do with as she pleases and he can’t say he’s unhappy with the prospect. Especially since she saved him from an ex-fiancée determined to get her claws into him again.
Jessica Cavanaugh never intended to bid on the man she’s had a lifetime crush on. But her spur-of-the-moment decision gives her a chance to exact a bit of playful payback, for old time’s sake. And Derek is all too happy to indulge Jessica's whims.
What starts as a fun, flirty, game, with Derek acting as her personal handyman, quickly turns into a steamy and forbidden weekend. Lines are crossed that they never intended and emotions unravel their playful facades.
Afterward, he can’t get the gorgeous, full-figured woman out of his head and he’s determined to make her his.
But how can they concentrate on a future when someone is threatened by their relationship and will do anything to come between them?
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
From the moment I started reading this book there was a definite sense of familiarity with a storyline that's been done before. But in the hands of these two talented authors it was also a storyline that was cleverly crafted, featuring a likable main couple with witty banter and a sizzling connection. Issues regarding body image were also depicted in a way that was both positive and empowering...and for that I applaud this writing duo.
Jessica Cavanaugh has always had a crush on her brother's best friend (and current business partner), Derek, but for many reasons the two never moved out of the friend-zone. Jessica's not the kind of heroine who needs a man to be complete though and at the start of the story she's a newbie designer catering to plus-sized women and starting to make a name for herself. She has no intention of bidding on a man at the charity auction she's attending, but discovering that Derek's nasty ex is going to bid on him has Jessica rescuing him from her nefarious plan. His weekend of servitude might start off with him doing house repairs but it soon takes a more intimate turn as they grow closer together through shared truths. Jessica's a likable and strong-willed woman, one who's confident in who she is after years of feeling insecure. When it comes to Derek she knows what she wants and is no longer willing to hold back. She's a good friend to others too, supportive and talented in making women look and feel their best and she's someone you could easily see yourself being friends with.
Derek Bettencourt is a delicious hero, one who's proven himself to be caring and protective in a previous story featuring his younger sister. Six months ago he dumped his unpleasant ex but she's not done with him yet which fuels this story and has me rooting for her to get her comeuppance by the final page. Derek and Jessica are delightful together with a sweet and sizzling connection and knowing each other for so many years adds a level of comfort to their interactions. He respects Jessica, admires her talent and her defense of his sister, all while watching her make her own decisions while standing beside her in support. With her business facing sabotage, and her reputation on the line though, he'll have to support her more than ever in a romantic tale nicely balanced with moments of suspense.
On a whole this is a feel-good story, a sweet and sexy connection that slowly becomes something more. With a romance that crackles and a connection that pulls at your heartstrings Jessica and Derek are a delight to watch. I cheered their unwavering support for each other while feeling every emotional up and down they experienced throughout the book. This is a quick read overall and one I was ready to start over the moment I reached The End!
My rating for this is a B+
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller, Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. The author of 50 romance novels, she has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a full time writer. Carly’s book, The Bachelor, was chosen by Kelly Ripa as a romance club pick and was the first romance on a nationally televised bookclub. Carly loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter and receive TWO FREE books at www.carlyphillips.com.
Erika Wilde (aka Janelle Denison) is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 contemporary romances for multiple print publishers.
So, why the new pen name?
As Janelle Denison I’ve always written sexy books, but lately my writing has taken on more erotic elements that I wanted to keep separate for readers because not everyone likes their reading material on the spicier, kinkier side of romance. However, please be assured that even as Erika Wilde, you will still get an emotionally layered story with characters you’ll care about and fall in love with. That is always my goal, whether I’m writing straight contemporary romances, or more erotically charged stories.
Currently, I’m working on The Marriage Diaries and making sure that Dean and Jillian enjoy exploring the more erotic side to their marriage. The series will be on-going, with no foreseeable ending as of right now, for as long as readers want to be voyeurs to Dean and Jillian’s sizzling new relationship.
I’m also planning a spin-off series in the future, featuring the hot military men that work security for Dean at Noble and Associates. Sign up to receive my newsletter for updates and news!
Want to interact with me personally? You can do so at my Erika Wilde Author Fan Page on Facebook.
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