Hook, Line, & Sinker (Hard Hats #2) by Piper Vaughn


Hard Hats: Book Two

From Dreamspinner:

When they were teens, Castor McCormick was the bane of Blake Kowalski’s existence. Their mutual animosity led to summers filled with rivalry. Now, nearly two decades later, Cas is moving back into the neighborhood to live in his grandmother’s old house. Blake tells himself he isn’t interested in seeing how snarky little Cas grew up, but when his mother dupes him into visiting his former nemesis, he finds out “pretty” can evolve into “sexy as hell” on the right man.

Cas didn’t think he wanted to see Blake again. No one has ever pushed his buttons like the arrogant boy he remembers from their youth. Turns out, the adult version of Blake still gets him hot under the collar—and everywhere else. With Blake on leave from work to nurse an injured leg and Cas taking time to move and unpack, they form a tentative friendship that turns into a sexual affair neither man can deny. But when Cas’s job sends him out of state to deal with a difficult client, their new relationship will be tested, and if they fail, Blake’s broken leg might not be the only thing to end up scarred. 

Marieke’s Review:

Blake has broken his leg in a stupid street hockey accident, leaving him sleeping in the couch at his mother’s. He’s frustrated and irritated by sitting inside doing nothing all day. But when his mother tells him Cas has moved into the house across the street, he doesn’t feel inclined to go over there and say hello. Cas used to be this bratty, annoying, smart-mouthed know-it-all, who he clashed with every summer. And he liked to forget that Cas had been way more attractive than Blake had wanted to admit at the time.

Cas doesn’t have to travel as much for his job anymore, so he’s able to move into his grandmother’s house. He’s thinking about remodeling, to update the outdated kitchen and bathroom. This gives his grandmother and Blake’s mother the perfect opportunity to interfere and meddle. They get Blake to go over to Cas’s place for a estimation of the work, but Cas has no idea he was coming.

Even knowing they’ve been frenemies all they teenage years, they get along great now. They go out camping and fishing, watch movies and eat pizza’s together. On the first camping/fishing trip, Blake sees Cas jerk off before going to sleep. One thing leads to another and a very––and I mean VERY––steamy hot, sex scene happens.

From there one, the story revolves a little bit too much about the sex, and not enough on the way a relationship grows. Both men develop feelings for the other, despite them trying not to. I would’ve loved to see a bit more of that, instead of reading it between the lines.

Don’t get me wrong here, the sex is amazing. The men are both very likable in their own way, and I love the fact that they used to be frenemies. It’s just that it gets a bit predictable and almost a bit boring at times. Blake could’ve thought about going to see Cas in Denver, where he’s working on an difficult account. When his mother finally suggests it, it’s almost too easy.

The trouble between them is kind of predictable too, but the way the author lets the fight develop, when Blake goes home, the silence and Blake’s fear… that part I loved. The ending is sweet, yet not completely fulfilling. It’s almost like an afterthought, so short. Cas’s way of finally communicating again, is very romantic though…

The first book in this series was more exciting, had more angst and emotions. But this was definitely not a bad book at all. I liked it a lot.


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