Slick’s Review – The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil, #1) by Kristen Ashley

The Hookup features an intriguing ensemble cast, an intense romance with a few twists and turns, a bit of conflict to make things interesting, and enough oh so sexy intimate moments to make your toes curl. ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures 

When the new girl in town, Eliza “Izzy” Forrester decides to hit the local drinking hole, she’s not ready to meet the town’s good, solid guy. She’s definitely not prepared to engage in her very first hookup with him.

Then Izzy wakes up the next morning in Johnny Gamble’s bed and good girl Izzy finds she likes being bad for Johnny.

Even so, Izzy feels Johnny holding her at arm’s length. But Johnny makes it clear he wants more and Izzy already knows she wants as much of hot-in-bed, sweet-out-of-it Johnny Gamble.

Floating on air thinking this is going somewhere, Izzy quickly learns why Johnny holds distant.

He’s in love with someone else. Someone who left him and did it leaving him broken. Whoever was up next would be runner up, second best. Knowing the stakes, Izzy will take what she can get from the gentleman that’s Johnny Gamble. And even knowing his heart might never mend, Johnny can’t seem to stay away from Izzy.

Until out of nowhere, his lost love comes back to town. He’s not going back, but Johnny still knows the right thing to do is let Izzy go.

And Izzy knew the stakes, so she makes it easy and slips though his fingers.

But that’s before Johnny realizes Eliza moved to town to escape danger that’s been swirling around her.

And that’s why Johnny decides to wade in.

That and the fact Eliza Forrester makes breakfast with a canary singing on her shoulder and fills out tight dresses in a way Johnny Gamble cannot get out of his head.

Author Kristen Ashley has given her readers an early Christmas present with the release of The Hookup, the first book in her Moonlight & Motor Oil series. Set in the small town of Matlock, Kentucky, The Hookup features an intriguing ensemble cast, an intense romance with a few twists and turns, a bit of conflict to make things interesting, and enough oh so sexy intimate moments to make your toes curl.

In typical Kristen Ashley style, she delivers up a quiet, intense, somewhat closed off hero with a heart of gold and not much to say until he really has something to say and then he lays it out all on the line. A bit wounded from a relationship gone bad and losing his dad, Johnny Gamble is a man of his word and despite thinking he’d never love again is enchanted by Eliza “Izzy” Forrester the minute he meets her. Eliza is quirky, sweet, humble, and has “good girl” written all over her, but when she’s with Johnny he brings out a side she never expected and one she finds she likes a lot. To say Izzy’s childhood has shaped her is putting it mildly and losing her mother to cancer and getting rid of a boyfriend who was a bit psycho has left her a bit off balance, but moving to the small town of Matlock from the city, Izzy is beginning to make a new life for herself and when she meets Johnny her life changes in ways she never expected.

I’m just going to be straight, I loved these two characters and the fact that they lived every different lives, had very different upbringings despite being raised in single parent households, and saw the world in different ways made their relationship intriguing. I think it was their differences that made them appreciate each other so much and made their relationship exciting. I loved that they had what Izzy assumed was a one night stand even though that was rare for both of them and Johnny setting her straight right away, it wasn’t just one night. There was something endearing about Izzy being unsure and nervous and Johnny being sure and steady especially once she hears about Johnny’s ex from her friend. It was interesting to me how easily these two unloaded on one another about their pasts even though it took Izzy a good while to share everything that had happened in her life, but the point is they communicated well and I think that is why they worked even when they went through some tough times.

The secondary characters added so much life, laughter, fun, and love to an already stellar story and I can’t wait to see more of them as this series progresses.

Overall I did love this story but at times it seemed to ramble without direction and it was somewhat repetitive in places, but both of those complaints were easy to overlook because the characters and their story just drew you in and didn’t let you go.

The Hookup was a strong start to what promises to be another well loved series for Kristen Ashley’s rabid fans and I know I am already looking forward to the next book in this series.

 Order your copy of THE HOOKUP today!


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“Izzy?” she answered.

“Hey, I’m home,” I told her.

“Okay, well…how are you?”

How was I?

Johnny’s behavior explained by the sad fact it was the anniversary of his father’s death, but still explained, and he was coming over for dinner the next night, not to mention, after not being affectionate (at all, unless you counted sitting me on the countertop, which I kind of did) after the last time we’d had sex, he made out with me at the door of my car for a good, long, happy while—I was great.

“I’m great,” I told her, opening Serengeti’s stall and moving in, lifting a hand to pat her jaw while she moved her nose to snuffle my neck and blow at my hair.

“Damn,” Deanna muttered.

My hand arrested on Serengeti and I focused on Deanna.

“What?” I asked.

“Damn,” she repeated.

“Damn what?” I asked.

“Well, just to say Johnny Gamble is Johnny Gamble.”

A specific area in my chest squeezed at the way she imparted that obvious but still confusing information.

“What’s that mean?” I asked.

“He’s Johnny Gamble of Gamble Garages. Did he tell you that?”

No he didn’t tell me that.

And suddenly I was embarrassed about something that I hadn’t liked all along.

But it was worse since Deanna knew more about a man I’d slept with than I did.

Serengeti was getting fidgety, so I used my hand on her to lead her out of her stall, and once in the corridor, she trotted out the open bay at the back, directly into her pasture.

I moved to Amaretto as I shared with Deanna, “No, he didn’t tell me that. I mean, we talked but we were also doing other things.” I let that lie. It did, weighty between us on the phone, before I went on, “I don’t know what that means.”

Even though it seemed like I did. Something seemed familiar about that.

“You haven’t lived here long enough,” she murmured while I opened Amaretto’s stall and moved in for some quick pats before I let him loose. Louder, Deanna said, “You know the gas station in town?”

Oh yes.

That was where I’d seen it.

“He owns that?”

“That and seven more of them across three counties. None in the city, just in the counties. Some of them are like mini-mart stores. All of them sell gas and do work on cars.”


That was impressive.

About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.



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2 thoughts on “Slick’s Review – The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil, #1) by Kristen Ashley

  1. I do love seeing characters that have different upbringings come together, because it adds some great dynamics in a relationship and I just love seeing that.

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