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.
➳After reading Shacking Up, it was no news that Amelie would be getting her own story. At first, it indeed was a mystery who would become her one true love. It was also known from the start that it would not have been Armstrong out of all people since his actions definitely provided an insight to the true person he is and how much of a hatred I have towards him. After reading Eye Candy the reveal of Lexington being added to the picture became a heart throbbing “YES” from me. Lexington, not only being the younger brother of Bancroft, but also being somewhat in relation with Amie, shows aspects to being a gentlemen that no one else has portrayed with a mixture of authority, and an ooze of sex that makes you crave for more;
“He’s such an interesting paradox. The intense sexuality he oozes seems to be balanced with this fun side I’m getting to know better. I like that he doesn’t take himself too seriously…”
➳Helena is known for her comedic scenes, and this love story is no exception. Her quirky attributes are demonstrated here and there. From Lexington having blue bacon stripped socks, to Amie bringing a carry-on bag filled with sex toys of every kind, Helena Hunting never misses to bring a smile to my face and a laugh that provides such a tender happiness whenever I read any of her books.
➳To make this review spoiler free, I will provide with enough information so the story is understandable. From what we have gotten of the previous books that follow up with this story, Amelie is in transit to getting married to Armstrong. Actions take a turn of events and Armstrong becomes the ultimate character in which I had shown the most hatred for. He is an excellent example of men out there who have no dignity towards women and just simply are arrogant a**holes. As Amie tries to move on from such a horrific event of her life, her actions of anger take her to a position in which Lexington has to endure. Though Lex is not against it, he knows the smart thing to do is to let her down and comfort her in a way that connects them in an emotional level. Yes, the attraction towards each other is there, and yes, the forbidden thoughts of having each other in a more carnal way is also present. However, Lex and Amie soon come to a realization that being out in the public in regards to their “relationship” is a bad idea due to the position Amie is in with Armstrong. But their care and compassion towards each other will never go away;
“I’m not supposed to have her beyond this even if I want her. And I do. I can still taste her. I can still smell her. I can still feel her even though she’s gone. Again…”
➳This gif basically describes them as “couple goals”…
➳Though Amelie and Lexington learn to object their obstacles once back home, they also learn how much their presence has become something ideal and necessary towards each other’s lives. Helena has provided— yet again— another love story that will have you salivating for more and much more. She is not only the master at keeping great balance of fun and seriousness in a story, but she also provides an insight to her mindset and her idealistic world that I can forever and eternally adore. Though I will say, a certain character was mentioned towards three-fourths of the story that I am really interested in. Do I suspect another story for the mysterious brother that has gone away to boarding school since he was little? If so, then I sure as hell am in!
➳Overall, this was a love story that compels you to read more of Helena’s books. Her writing is impeccable in a way that you really cannot identify a single mistake, but instead get a sense of adoration towards her characters and her fictional worlds. I highly recommend this book for anyone who believes in second chances and in forbidden— but really sexy— love affairs that have you craving for more. This book is indeed a standalone, but it is also highly advised that Shacking Up be read first, and then Eye Candy be read after reading Shacking Up, that way you have a better understanding towards where Amie and Lex come from and also know more about Ruby and Bancroft— the couple from Shacking Up.
“Did you honestly think that coming here and telling me you let Brittany, of all people, blow you during our wedding reception for my benefit was going to win me back? How delusional are you?”
“Amalie, you know how this works. I love you. You’re my wife. I hold you to a higher standard. Everyone needs a mistress or two. They’re what deep throating is for, and maybe anal.”
My mouth opens and closes a few times. I can’t even process what he’s telling me. “A mistress or two?”
“What about the sanctity of marriage?” I’m starting to feel ill as this new, horrifying reality sets in.
Armstrong shakes his head and purses his lips as he struggles to find the right words. “It’s really just a guideline.”
I sink into the chair, my knees weak. I thought I’d moved past all the anger and sadness into some level of acceptance, but I’ve just been slingshotted back to ground zero. My head is swimming, it feels like I’m drunk, even though I haven’t even had my morning mimosa yet. “Were you ever faithful to me? At all?”
“I’ve never had sex with anyone but you since we’ve been together.” He adds, “I’ve never kissed anyone, either.”
“I don’t understand what that means.”
“It’s just a blow job, Amalie. That’s all. Nothing more.”
“Nothing more?” I echo. “You let someone who is not me blow you at our wedding. That’s not nothing, Armstrong, that’s cheating.”
“I think you’re working under an antiquated view of what constitutes infidelity. A blow job doesn’t qualify as cheating.”
My shock seems to be boundless. “In what world?”
He rests his palm against his chest. “Amalie, you have my heart. That’s the only thing that matters here. We can work this out. It’s an excellent partnership.”
I can’t listen to any more of this. If I do, there’s a good chance I’ll end up committing murder. I don’t know what Bora Bora’s prison system is like but I’d prefer not to find out. I point to the door. “Get the fuck out.”
“Amalie, you need to be reasonable.” He’s standing right in front of me. His crotch level with my face.
“Or what?” I wonder how many times Brittany has gotten on her knees for him. I wonder if she’s the only one. It seems unlikely based on what he’s just said.
“I’m being nice right now, Amalie. You’ve had a week to adjust your expectations. And people are talking. I don’t think you really want to push my buttons any more than you already have, do you?” His eyes are dark and angry as his fingers wrap tightly around my bicep, squeezing.
“Get your hands off me!” I try to shake free of him, but his grip tightens.
My reaction is instinctual, my years of self-defense kicking in. I cock my fist and punch him square in the nuts, bringing him to his knees.
His mouth drops open in shock as he cups himself and falls to his side on the floor, curled up in the fetal position. “Why?” he gasps.
My chair tips back as I push up to stand. “Because you’re a pussy, and a cheater, and you tried to threaten me with force.” I grab my phone with shaking hands and pull up my contact list, stepping over Armstrong as I scroll to the one and only person who can help me right now.
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED and SHACKING UP, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.