Sawyer Sterling needs a girlfriend. With the family cabin up for grabs, he's desperate to prove that he could be the guy to "pass it on." Of course, Sawyer also has a tendency to treat relationships like a contagious stomach flu that should be avoided at all costs. Now he needs a girlfriend-for-hire. Someone he can trust. Someone he could never, ever fall for...
Someone like his best friend's sister.
Sawyer's offer is exactly what Olivia Morgan needs. After traveling around the world for the last five years, the promise of a job and free accommodations is heaven. And sure, maybe Sawyer's a super-hot, charming guy with dimples made for kissing, but he's not willing to be the guy-or relationship-she needs.
All it takes is one hot hook-up before this little hoax gets blown all to hell...
Each book in the Hoax Series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 The Wedding Hoax
Book #2 The Hookup Hoax
Book #3 The Hometown Hoax
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Hookup Hoax
By Heather Thurmeier, Alethea Spiridon Hopson
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Heather Thurmeier
All rights reserved.
Sawyer Sterling sipped his ice-cold cola and wished it wasn't too early to add a splash of rum to the glass. As CEO of Sterling Enterprises, a marketing company in New York City, he had to be clearheaded and focused at all times if he wanted his business to be successful. And he did, but it was getting more and more challenging every year.
At the moment he couldn't focus on anything. Not the fact they were currently short-staffed because of an unexpected medical leave, or the fact that this quarter was the worst he'd seen in his years as CEO. And he definitely couldn't focus on the meeting with a prospective client he had to plan for—a client with a deal big enough to turn the numbers around for the whole year.
Today his focus was shot to hell because he couldn't stop thinking about the news he'd gotten last night, at Sunday dinner with his family.
"What's wrong with you?" Aidan asked. "That waitress with the sweet ass walked by our table again, and again you failed to notice. Something happen at the office this morning? Or did that girl in the silver dress ride you so hard on Friday night that you're still recovering?"
It wasn't unusual for him to go home with a girl on his arm, though he didn't make it a weekly event. But every now and then, one would catch his eye, sexual chemistry would spark, and panties would fly off, as if by magic.
When the job got hard, his dick seemed to stiffen up, too, and there was only one cure for that. Well, two really. But a solo tug in the shower was the equivalent of rubbing your temples to cure a migraine, when what you really needed was a couple of extra-strength painkillers.
"Work is the same." His grandfather's company had been successful once upon a time. His father had taken over when Gramps was getting ready to retire, and he'd made it even bigger in the field. Then his parents died, and Sterling Enterprises had been left in the hands of an interim CEO until Sawyer's eighteenth birthday. When he'd finally taken over, he'd been left with nothing more than memories of his father's legacy, the shell of what had once been a thriving business, and the overwhelming fear that he'd never measure up, no matter how hard he tried. Nothing new there. "It's the family situation that's suddenly gotten out of control."
His best friend's brow creased. "You haven't gotten some girl knocked up, have you?"
"God no." Sawyer shuddered at the thought. He was always safe. He didn't do serious relationships, and a baby definitely made a situation serious. "It's nothing like that."
Aidan relaxed back into his seat. "So what is it then?"
Sawyer looked at his drink and trailed his fingers through the condensation on the outside of the glass. It reminded him of the water droplets rolling off Rosemary's shoulders as she climbed out of the lake last summer. At least he thought that was her name. Could have been Rosaline. Roseanne? Regardless, watching water running down her tight body had been a pretty damned fantastic way to spend a day with one of the locals. "You know my grandparents' place?"
Aidan nodded, as expected. His friend couldn't forget the place where Sawyer had lived for so long, anymore than he could. "What about it?"
"They've decided to move back into the city, where they'll have more access to everything."
"That's great. Why do you look like that's a death sentence?"
"They think the place should go to someone who will keep it in the family, pass it down through the generations like they're doing. There's only me and my cousin Tyler. I can't help but feel like they're forcing my hand. I mean, how can I compete with the guy who has a pregnant wife?"
Growing up, his grandparents' cabin in the Catskills was the one place he really connected with his dad ... the one place where his father wasn't too busy with work to spend time with him. Later, after his parents died, the cabin had gone from summer vacation spot to permanent residence in the blink of an eye, when he'd moved in with his grandparents full-time. The cabin had become home. Now they were passing it down. The thought that it could go to someone other than himself, especially his obnoxious cousin, made his stomach twist into a tight knot.
The one place he loved and hated most in the world—the source of his best family memories, and the site of the boating accident that took his parents' lives.
"Your grandparents can't really expect you to settle down just because they want to leave the cabin to someone with a family, can they?"
"You do remember my grandparents, right? Overbearing. Protective. Meddling." They were also sweet, loving, and kind, but it was hard to remember that at the moment. Not to mention, they were the ones who'd stood by him, taken him in, given him a place to live after his parents died.
Aidan laughed. "How can I forget? Gran called me last week to grill me on why I haven't been out to see them in months. As if I haven't spent enough Sunday dinners at their place since middle school. And if I don't show my face before their big birthday party, I'm not to show my face at all. Disowned." He laughed again. "It's like she's forgotten my last name is Morgan, not Sterling. You can't disown something you didn't own in the first place."
"You can't be friends with me this long and not be considered part of the family. The sooner you realize you've officially been adopted by Gran, the better off you'll be."
Aidan's cell vibrated with a new text message. He typed a response as the waitress delivered his pizza, and a burger for Sawyer. "Can I order a clubhouse sandwich with fries and a side of gravy as well?" he asked her.
The waitress nodded and walked away. Aidan was right. She did have a fabulous ass.
"Pizza isn't enough? Did you pick up a tape worm or something?" Sawyer asked, eyeing his friend and his abnormally huge appetite.
"No. It's for Olivia. She's crashing on my couch. I told her she could join us for a quick bite since I don't have any food in the house. I hope you don't mind. I'm sure she'll just eat and leave."
Memories of childhood flooded his thoughts. He couldn't count the number of hours he'd spent running around outside on warm summer nights with Aidan and Olivia. It hadn't mattered that that she was Aidan's little sister by two years. She'd kept up with them—playing ball, riding bikes, and skinning her knees while climbing trees right along with them. Someone could've mistaken her for just another boy if it hadn't been for her long, braided pigtails. The three of them had been almost inseparable until ...
He shook his head, not wanting to think about his parents' accident again. It had happened. It was in the past. So was Olivia and Aidan's parents' divorce, which had happened shortly afterward. Olivia had gone to live with her mom, and Aidan had stayed in New York with his dad. All three kids hit a rough patch in life at the same time —exactly why real relationships were bad news for everyone.
"I didn't know she was in town. I thought she was still backpacking. How long is she crashing with you before she heads home to California?"
Aidan shrugged. "Forever, at this point. She's decided to try the East Coast lifestyle for a while. I guess she can stay as long as she needs to, to get back on her feet."
"It's not easy starting from scratch in this city. It's good you're letting her crash with you." Sawyer grinned and picked up his burger. "I'm sure the girl you try to bring home next weekend won't mind finding your sister on the couch."
"Not much I can do about it," Aidan said. "So what about you? What are you going to do about your grandparents' place?"
Sawyer took a bite of his burger and chewed thoughtfully. "They never actually said I had to get married, thank God, but being able to pass it down in the future is definitely their biggest concern. Being single shouldn't make me deserve it less. Hell, it's been my home for years. I'll take good care of it."
Marriage and babies—long-term relationships in general—were not something he was interested in, now or ever. Not that he was against commitment for other people, just for himself. Marriages were great. Families were great—until he was the orphaned kid, left behind to be raised by his grandparents. Then the thought of marriage and family sucked. There was no way he'd risk having a wife or family while knowing he could die at any moment, leaving behind a wake of sadness and loneliness. It was easier not to get into the situation to begin with. Bachelorhood for life, and no collateral damage.
Sawyer pushed his plate aside, his appetite gone. "I can't let it go to Tyler. He doesn't even like it out there."
After a long silence, Aidan spoke. "If all they want is to see you in a relationship, why not let them?"
Sawyer shook his head. "I don't do relationships, you know that." He'd mistakenly thought he could handle one a few years ago, only to have it end in a messy break-up. Tammy had wanted to be put first, like any girlfriend would, but he'd been focused only on living up to his father's legacy, and making the business successful once again, not on nurturing a romance.
"You don't do real relationships," his friend said, "but what if you find someone to play your girlfriend for a little while? Someone you could show off to the family. They'd get what they want, and hopefully after their birthday party, you'll get what you want, too—the cabin. Pretend to break up a month later and no one will be the wiser."
He might not want a real girlfriend, but he could deal with a fake girlfriend if it meant the cabin would be his in three months.
He nodded. "Okay, but what kind of woman would sign up for this, knowing they'd be tossing away three months of their life for nothing?"
"There must be someone. Not every woman wants long-term."
Sawyer laughed. "Really? When was the last time you met a girl who didn't want forever?"
"Good point," Aiden admitted. "What about that girl Sasha you went out with last month?"
The girls he "dated" were usually eager to move from the hookup part to the girlfriend stage. With any of them, a fake relationship might become too real on their end. He wanted to keep his home, but he didn't want to hurt anyone along the way. He still felt a tiny twinge of remorse when he thought about how much he'd hurt Tammy. That was another mistake he didn't want to repeat in the future. "Nope. No ex-hookups."
"Okay. What about your receptionist?" Aidan asked as the waitress set down the clubhouse sandwich at the empty spot at the table.
"Definitely not." Sawyer sighed. "She came into work with an engagement ring on her finger a few weeks ago, and there's no one else at work I'd consider. Besides, it has to be someone my family will believe I would suddenly date."
Aidan waved toward the front door, past Sawyer's shoulder. "Olivia's here."
Sawyer's mouth dropped open. This wasn't the kid he knew from years ago. Gone was her boyishly rectangular frame and dirt-stained cheeks, replaced by flowing curves and tantalizingly tanned flesh. She wasn't a kid anymore.
Olivia was a woman.
A fucking sexy one, too.
As Olivia plunked herself at her brother's side, Sawyer couldn't pull his gaze away. While he still recognized hints of the kid she used to be, he liked the ways she'd changed. Her lips were fuller now and softly coated in color, exactly the kind of lips he loved to kiss. Long ago the thought of kissing her had been disgusting, but now ... he could almost imagine the warmth of her plump lips as his tongue flicked across them.
"Hi," she said with a quick, unsure smile, meeting his gaze for merely a second then turning her attention to her brother. "Thanks for ordering. I'm starving."
She grabbed a stacked triangle of sandwich and dipped it into the bowl of gravy before sinking her teeth into it. The sigh that escaped her mouth was one of pure pleasure, and her eyelids fluttered shut.
Sawyer swallowed hard. That sound ... it was enough to make his balls tighten.
Aidan cleared his throat and Sawyer met his friend's eyes. The expression staring back at him was angry and protective. "You're welcome. I'm happy to keep my little sis fed while she's staying with me."
There was no doubt in Sawyer's mind why he'd emphasized certain words. Message received. Little sis was off-limits. But that shouldn't mean he couldn't look.
"So," he said, hoping to sound cheerful and aloof, "are you having trouble finding an apartment? I can't imagine the couch is very comfortable."
"She can't move out until she has a paycheck, and she can't earn a paycheck if she can't find a job."
"No one will give you a job?" Sawyer asked. "That doesn't seem right."
Olivia shrugged. "Seems 'kiwi picker in New Zealand' doesn't earn much respect on a resume these days. I mean, I worked hard to earn my pay. It's not like I was sitting around on a beach for years working on my tan."
Her skin was a warm caramel, but the neckline of her shirt had slipped off her shoulder while she ate, revealing a tan line that proved just how milky white her skin normally was. Maybe she wasn't a professional beach bum, but she'd definitely seen her fair share of sunshine recently, more than they'd had here in New York City in the last few months. As his gaze followed the tan line where it disappeared beneath her shirt, he found himself wondering how sun-kissed the rest of her body was. Surf-loving New Zealanders liked bikinis, didn't they? When in Rome, as they say ...
Forcing his thoughts on to safer topics, he swallowed his last bite of burger before speaking again. "Didn't you do any other work while you backpacked around the world? Surely something you did must be good enough for a resume."
"Would you hire a kiwi picker, coffee server, or farm hand who hadn't been in the country for the last five years?"
Sawyer's thoughts filled with images of Olivia on the top of a ladder with her head stuck in a kiwi plant. He could imagine the kid he knew back in middle school doing something like that, but this put-together-without-being-high-maintenance woman in front of him? No way. She definitely looked more suited for an office job somewhere instead of out in a field getting dirty.
Crashing on a couch. In need of an apartment and a job.
Olivia was Aidan's little sister.
His smirk grew into a grin. She glanced up from her plate, flinching suddenly when she found him eyeing her. He knew he should look away, but couldn't. Olivia was safe. She was protected by the Bro Code. Little sisters of buddies were always off-limits, as Aidan had already made perfectly clear. There was no way Sawyer would be tempted to get involved with her in any way, when doing so would jeopardize his friendship.
"Why are you grinning like a guy who knows two weeks in advance which team would win the Super Bowl?" Aidan asked.
Sawyer leaned forward, his elbows resting on the table, giving all his attention to Olivia and ignoring his friend. "I'll hire you."
"You will?" she asked. "But you don't even know my qualifications."
"What was your major?"
"I graduated with a BA in Business."
"Perfect. We have an administrative assistant position that's available because Bethany had to take a medical leave."
"That's great," Olivia said, enthusiastically. "Not for Bethany, of course, but for me. I can fill in until she's well enough to return to work."
"Are you sure you want to do that? You don't need to feel obligated to hire her because of our friendship," Aidan said.
"Shut up," Olivia whispered, nudging her brother in the side. "I need a job."
"Yeah, but you'd have to work with him."
"What's wrong with that?" she asked, still whispering.
Sawyer cleared his throat as a subtle hint that while they could obviously see him, he could also hear them. When they turned his way, he wove his fingers together as if he was about to pray. Maybe he should, if it meant this new plan had a hope of working. "On one condition."
Aidan grimaced. "What's that exactly? And before you answer, remember she's my sister and I will hurt you." Sawyer didn't know why, exactly, but ever since Olivia had graduated college and gone off to travel, Aidan had been especially protective of her.
Excerpted from The Hookup Hoax by Heather Thurmeier, Alethea Spiridon Hopson. Copyright © 2015 Heather Thurmeier. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sawyer needs a girlfriend. He’s been focused on the family business and doesn’t do relationships. But his grandparents are ready to give up the lakefront cabin , it’s between Sawyer and his cousin who is already married Tyler. Olivia has traveled the world for five years with a failed engagement behind her. Her brother Aidan’s best friend is Sawyer. Sawyer proposes Olivia come to work for him and pretend to be his girlfriend. Also she can live with John to save for her own apartment. Olivia and Sawyer have known each other since they were kids. I liked this story but really didn’t like the repeating back and forth in Olivia’s as well as Sawyer’s mind how they can’t be together. Then their romance goes on the fast track. Otherwise the story was really good. But it kinda played out with boy needs a fake girlfriend. I did love the characters of Sawyer and Olivia and the ups and downs they went through. I recommend. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.
I really enjoyed The Hookup Hoax by Heather Thurmeier ~ the characters were complex and well-rounded, and the story flowed very nicely. Sawyer and Olivia were definitely the stars of the show but Olivia's over-protective definitely stole a few scenes, as did Sawyer's grandparents. It was so much fun to watch as both Olivia and Sawyer grew from being content with being alone to loving being with someone else. Olivia is charming and Sawyer is definitely sigh-worthy. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves friends-to-lovers or fake relationship books; it's a great read!
A fun romantic story that you can't put down. The character development is so great that you can't help but to root for them to fall in love, and the grandparents are the sweetest. This is the perfect book to curl up with on the couch in front of a fire drinking hot chocolate. I highly recommend it, you won't put it down.
My Thoughts: I will never, ever, ever, ever get tired of the fake relationship trope. Like, EVER. I'm drawn to it, like it's the dessert tray. And I'm always happy by the time I finish reading the story. The Hookup Hoax is definitely up there on my favorite fake relationship books! Sawyer wants the family cabin, but he needs to prove he's the right kind of person to give it to. Enter Olivia, his best friend's sister. Since she's been traveling and doing odd jobs, she doesn't really have much to add to her resume to get a job or apartment. Sawyer offers both to her, in exchange that she pretend to be his girlfriend. Seems easy enough, right? Not with the obvious sexual desire burning beneath the surface. And after one kiss--one that wasn't part of the deal--it's even more difficult to keep feelings hidden. When the person you're pretending to date is a person you're told you can't, it definitely causes friction. Will the two of them be able to come out unscathed? The Hookup Hoax has it all--stolen kisses, steamy moments, true romance. I loved the focus on family, and the love that the family has for one another. And that, despite the obstacles, Sawyer and Olivia have a connection they can't deny. I'll definitely be checking out more by Heather Thurmeier. My Rating: Very Good
Sawyer Sterling is determined to come out the victor. He will get the family cabin which has so many memories. All he needs is a fiancée to convince his grandparents that he will have a family to enjoy it with. When his best friend's little sister needs a job and a place to stay, he knows who will help him. Unfortunately their attraction is immediate and powerful. Will love get in the way? Sawyer is handsome and determined. He won't let his cousin win. He's single minded in his pursuit of the prize. His attitude bothered me. I understood his emotions, but I wanted more from Sawyer. Olivia is a free spirit. She has traveled the world and learned so much. Now she's back and staying with her brother, Aidan. She's intelligent and kind. Her desire for Sawyer is amazing. They have so much in common. She doesn't want to fool his family, but she promised. I liked both characters. They are good together and I felt their love. Their relationship has rough patches balanced with passion. I wanted them to realize what they feel and make the hoax real. I would like to see Aidan find his perfect woman. He definitely has a story to tell. Heather Thurmeier has created a romance that was both humorous and touching. The Hookup Hoax was enjoyable.
I truly enjoyed this story. Sawyer, who is rich and could have anyone for a girlfriend, wants to get his grandparents' cabin but the only way is by having a "family". Olivia is his best friend's sister and is restless and needs a place to live and a job about backpacking in Europe. This is a sweet yet hot story and it keeps you involved in the story.
3.5 Stars *I received a complimentary copy from the Publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* This was a sweet story about Sawyer. A guy who, after losing his parents as a child in an accident, is raised by his grandparents. Fearing that he could leave a wife and kid behind if something ever happened to him, he’s set on bachelorhood for life. But now, not only does he need to focus on work and landing the deal that will put his family’s company out of risk, his grandparents are getting ready to move and pass on the house he grew up in. He needs to show them that he should be the one to get it, and not his married cousin with a baby on the way. And thus the hoax is conceived. He needs a girlfriend STAT, so Gran and Grandpa can see him as someone who could keep the beautiful lake house in the family. He tried a relationship once and it ended in disaster, and any of his hookups wouldn’t get that what he needs is just pretend. The solution appears in the form of his childhood best friend’s little sister, who he hadn’t seen in over 10 years since her parents divorced and she went to live with her mother. She’s nothing like the little tomboy he remembers, but a very beautiful woman who’s spent the last 5 years backpacking around the world. Olivia is ready to plant some roots after being a nomad for so long. Unfortunately no one seems to want to hire someone with her ample but unconventional work experience, and crashing on her brother’s couch is certainly not her idea of permanence. When Sawyer offers her free housing and a temp job in his company as a reference for her curriculum and all she has to do is pretend to be his girlfriend, she jumps at the opportunity. Truly, with her former experience with a guy just like Sawyer, she would never, never, ever be fool enough to fall for him. Nor would Sawyer find that with the right woman, a relationship is just what he needed…no chance of that happening… at all. I really liked this story; there were no surprises, no unexpected twists, just sweet, steamy romance, a bit of lack of communication and a lot of stubbornness. This was a quick easy read, at times I felt it drag a little but nothing that overshadowed my enjoyment of the story. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for more from Ms. Thurmeier.
this is another great example of boy falling for best friends sister. sawyer needs a girlfriend and olivia needs a job. now i know what youre thinking and its not like that. this book was very heartfelt and i loved watching sawyer fall head over heels for olivia while trying to fight it. we all know how that works out but this book was great. i loved the grandparents and i can totally see me being that way when im that age. they are i hoot and i found myself laughing when i read their parts. this is a must read and was a great book to be the first read from this author for me. *arc graciously given by entangled publishing for an honest review*
I can't tell you how much I love the sibling's best friend stories. I've even written one of my own. Thurmeier throws us a unique twist far from the norm. Sawyer is a wealthy man and could probably buy anything he wanted, except his grandparent's cabin. After the death of his parents, Sawyer was raised in the beautiful home. His grandparents are moving and have decided they want Sawyer or his cousin, Tyler, to have the cabin. To win his childhood home, Sawyer needs a girlfriend to show his grandparents he is serious about keeping the cabin in the family to pass on to his kids someday. Olivia is back in the states after backpacking her heartbreak away in Europe for five years. She needs a job and a place to live other than her brother's couch. After dinner with her brother, Aiden, and Sawyer, she gets a job, a place to live, and the chance to play house with the hottest man she's ever seen. There is good amount of will they or won't they in this story that had me flipping the pages faster than an Indy racer on Memorial Day Weekend. The story wasn't all about getting to the next steamy scene, a real relationship percolated between the two as they dragged their collective baggage with them. An exciting twist toward the end had my jaw dropping in surprise. I loved that! It is so refreshing to read a story where I don't have the ending figured out beforehand. If you are looking for a story with substance, outstanding character development, and sizzling romance, The Hookup Hoax is for you. Thanks so much to Heather Thurmeier and Entangled Publishing for granting me with a copy of The Hookup Hoax in exchange for an honest review.
When all your dreams became reality -- ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review**** This was a pleasant story that was about a guy who just wanted to have a girl pretend to be his girlfriend so he can save the family company and also get the family cabin to himself since really no one else uses it like he does and his grandparents have said it will go to one of their two grandchildren – him or Tyler. SO Sawyer has to decide how to do these things to save him the headache and hassle….so he comes up with a pretend girlfriend- if he looks settled down, and family orientated, then the family will put the company in his hands and the grandparents will give him the cabin… Tyler is already married with a baby on the way—Sawyer wants that cabin, he is the one who spent all his time there as a kid and he knows he cares about the place and the company.. In the picture comes Olivia Morgan who happens to be his best friend’s sister. She is back in the US after traveling overseas for several years and she was going to stay on her brother’s couch until she could get a job and an apartment but Sawyer sees a way that he can help her and she can help him. He asks her to be his “girlfriend “ and in turn, will have her be his admin assistant for 3 months and after that, will get her set up and will make sure she will have a job when all that he asks of her is done. She finally agrees and there are sparks between the two. I really do like Sawyer and Olivia together. She challenges him and makes him see things differently and he sees people as people, not objects. Not to say they don’t argue and there is tension, for there is but there is something driving Sawyer, something that is making him driven and Olivia tries to make him see that he may not be cursed like his parents. Do they end up together? Well, I do not want to spoil the ending. I will say, I loved the writing –though at times the story was a bit slow and there needed to be a little more passion between the characters at certain points but overall, this was a good story. I really liked the MC and I hope to see more from this author in follow-up stories for the supporting characters found in this story. My rating: 4.0 stars ****
Before you get any further in reading, just try to imagine how it feels to be overrunned. Oh yes -that's exactly how I feel right now after finishing this book not even 20min ago. The story is good. At some points I would even say "very good". I loved the beginning which tries to prepare the reader for a story filled with lots of emotional scenes. And this is what you get as a reader. Not only Olivia, but also Sawyer are both too very individual protagonists who right from the beginning are attracted by each other without actually "being allowed to". I loved the way how this aspect got included until the very end, even if it was clear right from the beginning how this book is going to end. Up to around 80 % I had no problem with the expected ending which was exactly the one I prepared myself for. But I was reaaaaally sad how the ending was presented to the reader. I still am while writing this review because I loved the flow you get into with this book-until 80%. I don't know what happened, because from this point on, everything happened in such a rush. I just don't understand why as the whole book in my opinion definetly deserves not only a longer, but also a more detailed ending! I won't discribe this any further as I also want to , again, concentrate on the good things! I not only love the portagonists, moreover of course also especially the grandparents and all their special lines. The only thing I wished is to get to know more about their background stories which for sure has to exist as you can feel it as various points. > > > I have received this Book as an ARC from the Publisher < < < > > > In Exchange I promised an honest Review < < <
The best friend's sibling trope is always a treat for me to read and this one is no exception. Sawyer and Olivia know each other reasonably well, having been friends since childhood via Olivia's brother Aiden. When Sawyer needs a pretend girlfriend to convince his grandparents that he's suitable material for inheriting the family cabin and filling it with an extended family, Olivia is in the right place at the right time - looking for a job and a home while she figures out what direction to go next in her life. For Sawyer, Olivia is a safe bet - she won't misconstrue his intentions and complicate things by wanting an actual relationship. Except Sawyer finds that maybe his feelings about Olivia aren't so cut and dried after all. I really enjoyed this story! I found both characters to be very likeable. Sawyer is a workaholic playboy who is quite happy with his single life and the dating scene - he's not interested in a long term relationship. Olivia is a quirky, fun, friendly woman. She's been on the road for the last 5 years and the chance to settle down in one spot is very appealing for her, as is the job at Sawyer's company where she can put her skills to work. There is a definite sexual chemistry between them now that they've both grown up and it isn't long for that to manifest itself into some steamy scenes. I also liked how they interacted with their families, and despite Sawyer's deception in presenting Olivia as his girlfriend, it comes from a desperation to keep a hold of the memory of his parents and their relationship, all linked with the family cabin. There were some touching and tender moments in the story too as Sawyer and Olivia open up to each other and reveal past heartache. Overall, it was an entertaining and enjoyable read. 4 stars.
Solid 4 stars Sawyer is needing someone to fake a relationship with in order to get the deed to his grandparents' lake house, the very one he grew up in after his parents' deaths. The problem is they want it passed down and Sawyer has no intentions of a forever with anyone. He is worried his cousin Tyler, married with a child on the way, is gonna get the lake house. Olivia, Sawyer's best friend's sister is back after five years abroad and boy has she grown up. She also happens to be in need of a job and a place to stay. Sawyer offers her the perfect solution. Fake a relationship to help him, and he will help her. As she has already been hurt really badly before she is in no way looking to start a real relationship, so it seems like a win-win for both of them. Along the way things start to get a little too real for both of them and Olivia is worried she is falling for Sawyer. Without being aware, Sawyer had been falling for Olivia all along too. With changes at work and a surprise neither of them had expected, the chance for anything real seems less likely. This story was cute and I read through it pretty quickly. I liked that along the way Sawyer did show emotions and I enjoyed the relationship he and Olivia had with his grandparents. The ending was a little too easy and too much for me to give higher than the four star rating, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
3.5**** I enjoyed reading this story. Sawyer and Olivia knew each other when they were younger and Sawyer is Olivia's brother's best friend. However there was no secret longing on either part. I liked this aspect of the book. It made their coupling that much more enjoyable. They got to know the people they were now. Their flirty banter was very funny and cute. Their chemistry was instantaneous. I liked the way Olivia would support Sawyer in all things and seemed to blend in his life seamlessly. And it was very sweet the way his family took her in easily. I adored his grandparents. They still had it going on. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
Sawyer needs to show his grandparents that he should be the one that they give their cabin to in order to see their home continue on with the next generation of love and family living there. It is totally beside the point that Sawyer never, ever intends to marry or have kids. No, not happening. He is not about to build a family and then see it all disappear like it did for him when his parents died. No, far better to remain single and not take that risk. There is no way he will see his home, his refuge be given to his stuffy cousin Tyler. So what if Tyler is married and about to be a father. It’s his cabin and he will not lose it. Okay, so Sawyer is handsome, hot and tastey – who says a guy can’t be stupid silly too. Olivia is Sawyer’s best friend’s kid sister and the girl who climbed trees with them as kids. Who knew she would grow up to be so beautiful and sexy? She has been traveling around the world these last five years, after a breaking up with the man she thought she would marry and live the rest of her days at his side. Olivia is tired of the nomadic lifestyle and has come back to New York City to set down roots again. When at a lunch with her brother and Sawyer it is jokingly tossed on the table that Sawyer would her hire for two different jobs – it got her attention. (sleeping on the brother’s couch gets old fast) Sawyer would hire her to fill in for someone who was out on medical leave – and to play his pretend girlfriend with his grandparents so that they would see his intention to carry on the family traditions and leave their cabin… to him. All she had to do was move into his guest room, take the temp job and convince two sharp, intelligent people that he was in love with her and that she’s his perfect girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, I had so much fun reading The Hookup Hoax. Sawyer and Olivia were perfectly hot, awkward, flirty, embarrassed, sexy and loving with each other throughout their story. It’s not so easy to keep the pretend thing going when they are so attracted to each other. Even harder to convince everyone they come in contact with that their feelings for each other are real or pretend or… maybe truly real after all. Both Sawyer and Olivia have issues and baggage to deal with. If this were a true pretend relationship then none of that would matter. But somewhere in the let’s pretend game they were playing things started to get real. They have to decide if taking a risk on each other is the more important thing happening in their lives. What happens when the original stake is no longer as important as the real thing at stake? Can love overcome everything? Nope, not going to say any more. This was a fun read and you need to figure all of that out for yourself. Pick up The Hookup Hoax to find out for yourself. Definitely recommend this one. Sure, it’s a fun read but along the way you’ll care about these two unlikely lovers and hope that they get past their stuff and find that happy ever after they deserve. *I received an e-ARC of The Hookup Hoax from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
This was my first time reading Ms. Thurmeier's work and it will not be my last. I loved this story! The characters are interesting, very likable and easy to connect with. It is well written and a fresh take combining two very common tropes. I was hooked from the start and throughly enjoyed this flirty, easy read. ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Completely entertaining read! This is, as the title suggests, a pretend relationship story. While the premise is nothing new, the writing and characters make this feel fresh and fun. Sawyer and Olivia are fun strong characters and I definitely felt their connection. I really enjoyed this one and think you will too. I highly recommend it.
When faking it just isn't enough! Sterling Sawyers is a workaholic CEO who doesn’t have serious relationships but, with his grandparents deciding which grandson to pass on the family lakeside cabin to he needs to find a girlfriend quickly. She needs to be someone he can trust and someone he’ll not fall for. His best friend’s sister is ideal for his purposes – articulate, with a business degree and currently looking for a route back into the work place after five years back packing around the world. She’s looking for a HEA, so knows from the start that Sterling is not the guy for her, longterm but this job is just what she’s looking for. The problem for both is that they are attracted to each other and when they kiss the reaction is instantaneously volatile. Can they pretend to hook up whilst avoiding actually doing so? Will love find a way to change their minds? Can Sterling gain the cabin or will his hook up hoax hand it over to his cousin instead? Whilst this was a somewhat predictable story from the blurb it is still well written with well developed characters, realistic conflicts and great scenarios, making it a very enjoyable and an endearing read. The humour in it has you laughing out loud at times – well it did me, anyway! A great story to escape into, complete with its own HEA. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 chick flick style stars The consummate playboy, Sawyer Sterling finds himself in need of projecting the complete opposite. His grandparents cabin is to be passed on to another family member, and they’re keen to ensure that that continues. As well as Sawyer being the most unlikely candidate for true love and ever after happiness, his cousin may pip him at the post with his wife and 0.5 kid. The cabin holds many memories for Sawyer, not all good, but the whole ambiance grounds him. He needs to be a contender, and therefore needs a woman he can trust to help him pull this off. Olivia Morgan has been chasing around the world for the last five years in her daisy dukes, and now needs to come back to reality. Living out of her backpack and camping on her brother, Aidan’s sofa, she mulls over her necessity to find a job and get herself an apartment post haste. Sawyer and Olivia have known each other since they were kids, but nothing prepares them for the fake out they agree to embark on. A new author to me, I found this a cute read, which traced the fake relationship of Sawyer and Olivia very nicely. Both MC’s came with enough backstory to compliment, and the supporting characters were explored enough to do their job well too. I enjoyed the dalliance between these two, as they negotiated the easy and not so easy temptations of each other. ”One room. One Bed. And Sawyer. One room. One bed. And Olivia. Sh$t.” ARC provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review..
Heart melting, entertaining, endearing fun. The typical relationship of convenience story. I loved it anyway. Sawyer and Olivia were cute together. Although the plot was obvious, it was still an enjoyable read. Received The Hookup Hoax by Heather Thurmeier for an honest review. Fun that leaves you smiling.
An old tale with a new spin, it is light and entertaining read. I must read for romance lovers and those who like stories about fake-turned-real relationships. I enjoyed reading this light hearted romance. Sawyer is owner of a successful business but having difficulty keeping his company at the top. And now he learned that his grandparents plan to leave their cabin to a family member who will pass it on to next generations. He knows that it can't be him since he has never had a real relationship and never plans to marry. Now that must change or he will lose the cabin, which he has always wanted. Olivia is his best friend's sister. She is back in USA and who can be better than her to play his fake-girlfriend. But things doesn't go the way two of them planned. They fell for each other. Will they be able to overcome their fears and give each other a chance?
A fake relationship that grows into something more; a confirmed bachelor, falling in love with his best friends off-limits sister; and a family that makes you realise what's important. These are the things that attracted me to this book. The Hookup Hoax was an easy to read book, not meaning it had no substance, but rather that I found it easy to put myself in the story, see what the characters were seeing, feel what they were feeling and believe the connection that they had. Sawyer was a confirmed bachelor, never seeing himself married, let alone in a relationship that lasted past the one night stand. His reluctance to form a close connection outside the bedroom initially painted him as a superficial playboy, but it wasn't long before I saw beneath the front that he showed to the outside world. His loyalty to his friends and family, the significance in his life of his grandparents, the way he treasured the memories of his parents and their legacy. Even though the scam that Sawyer concocted made you question the morality of the deception, I understood why he acted so desperately. His heart was in the right place, however misguided his actions were. Underneath it all Sawyer had a conscience, he just needed the right woman to let go of the fear of falling in love, let go of the need to prove himself, and concentrate on what matters most. Olivia was Sawyers best friend Aiden's sister. Having just returned from wandering the world, getting over a painful breakup years ago, she is now ready to settle down and start a family. When Sawyer proposes his scheme to work for him while pretending to be a fake girlfriend for a few months, she takes it on the proviso that they keep the relationship purely platonic. She knows what a player Sawyer is and doesn't want to become another in his long unending list of conquests, but it is an opportunity to work and ease back in to city life. I liked Olivia and found myself wanting the best for her, not wanting her to be hurt by this arrangement. I loved the relationship she had with her brother, both having lived through the painful breakup of their parents marriage. She was loyal and caring, and I felt for her desire to have a close family like the one that Sawyer has with his grandparents. What Olivia and Sawyer don't count on is the attraction they feel for each other. The sparks fly and they find it harder and harder to not give in to their desires. I felt the chemistry between Olivia and Sawyer, their conversation was snarky yet comfortable, flirty and fun, and they just felt good together. I really liked how they didn't just fall into bed together the first chance they got. They really got to know each other first and how they tried to fight their growing attraction to each other was entertaining. I also enjoyed seeing how the bigger story developed, Sawyer's dawning realisation of what was really important, putting things in perspective, and how he went about rectifying his mistakes. He showed his vulnerability while manning up and taking the consequences. Sawyer's grandparents added so much to this story and I loved them, their no nonsense attitude, their sense of fun and adventure, the way they instilled family values in Sawyer. They were an adorable couple. Overall, The Hookup Hoax entertained me from page one till the end. The characters and storyline grabbed my attention and it had enough little twists to make it on its own. I like the authors writing style and will definitely be looking at other books penned by her.