Desert Isle Keeper
I love Helena Hunting’s romantic comedies because they’re always remarkably fun, sexy and truly memorable. I’m still chuckling over Hooking Up long after reading it, and it is definitely going onto my keeper shelf.
Amalie Whitfield is carrying a bit of guilt over the wilder exploits committed during her youth, a time in which she cheekily refers to herself as ‘Anarchy Amie’, and she’s spent the last few years trying to tame her impulsive nature and mold herself into the type of person she believes she should be. She’s just married the type of man she thinks she should have married, one who will provide her with a life worthy of a Stepford Wife, but he shows his true self when he gets caught cheating on her during their wedding reception and doing so in a very public and humiliating way. She’s hurt and pissed and gets rip-roaring drunk, and when she suddenly crosses paths with her husband’s devastatingly attractive cousin, Lexington Mills, she bluntly propositions him.
Although Lex is fiercely attracted to Amalie, he knows her advances are coming from a place of pain fueled by alcohol, and he reluctantly turns her down, which further deflates her already bruised ego. She leaves her disaster of a wedding to lick her wounds, and her best friend convinces her to escape the post wedding scandal and go on her honeymoon in Bora Bora by herself. Amalie vows to use this opportunity to reclaim some of her feistiness and indulge in lots of hot sex, especially when she discovers Lexington is on the island as well.
Of course, she’s hesitant because she’s a bit wounded by his previous denial, and he’s loath to get involved with her, considering she’s still technically married to his cousin – with whom he has a shoddy relationship. But this reborn Amalie is persuasive and Lex has a weakness for her; and what Amalie doesn’t know is that he’s wanted her since long before she got together with his cousin. They indulge in a steamy affair that rocks both their worlds.
Lex quickly becomes emotionally invested in Amalie and she begins to realize something powerful is brewing between them, but her heart is still tender. She’s also questioning herself, her motivations and her decision to her marry her soon-to-be-ex-husband, wondering if she was more in love with the idea of him than she was with him. When they leave the island, she’s still struggling emotionally and nothing is settled between her and Lex.
Lex is definitely at or near the top of my 2017 book-boyfriend list. He’s utterly charming and downright irresistible as he considers everything Amalie is going through and treats her with patience and caring. Their connection is powerful and solid, their sexual chemistry is electric, and Helena Hunting does a remarkable job of delivering smoking hot, fan-worthy love scenes while also developing a believable and steadfast relationship. It’s sweet, sexy and utterly captivating.
But what makes this romantic comedy truly stand out above the rest is the abundance of ingenious humor infused into every aspect of the story, and it will cause belly-aching fits of laughter. I felt punch drunk after finishing Hooking Up, and it’s a prescription-worthy serotonin-raising experience. I’ve been replaying specific scenes, antics and dialogue in my head since finishing it, and I continue to laugh over some of these ridiculously wonderful moments. This combination of heady romance, scorching heat and unbridled comedy is what makes Hooking Up an assured feel-good experience, and the reader will walk away feeling lighthearted and emotionally satisfied.