Author: Quinn Anderson
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 31, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 347
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Zack never intended to become a phone sex operator, but with half a college degree and a smart mouth, his options were limited. It helps that he has a knack for thinking on his feet and a willingness to roll with whatever his clients throw at him. Sure, he gets his fair share of creeps and unconventional requests, but it pays the bills, and he’s in no danger of breaking his one rule: never fall for a client.
Until a man named “John” starts calling, and Zack finds himself interested in more than a paycheck. It’s not just that John has money, or that his rumbling baritone drives Zack wild. He’s everything Zack isn’t: educated, poised, and in total control of his life.
A twist of fate brings them face-to-face, and now that they’ve seen each other—and spent an unforgettable night together—they can’t go back to the way things were. A sex worker and a trust fund brat . . . It’s like Romeo and Juliet, but with less stabbing and slightly fewer dick jokes. Hopefully they can pull off a more successful ending.
Zack lives in a dilapidated apartment in Koreatown with his dog Ziggy and works as a phone sex operator (PSO) for Murmur in Pasadena. Zack is good at what he does but hasn’t been exactly raking in the big bucks until he takes a call from “John” and they start burning up the lines with some of the hottest talk-dirty-to-me phone sex scenes you’ll ever read. The calls get longer, more frequent (and even hotter …) until one night Zack accidently meets John in a bar, and he turns out to be everything Zack had fantasized about and MORE.
So far, so good… but at this point (about 33%) the pace of the book slows considerably and the chemistry that sizzles between Zack and John on the phone seems … this might sound strange … less “real” in person. The story is told entirely from Zack’s POV which works when John is just a voice on the phone, but once we meet him in the flesh, and never get his POV, John remains flat and uninteresting. The rest of the book is a series of conflicts that might have been resolved with a short honest conversation, and the resolution at 95% feels too cobbled together.
The blurb for “Hotline” really caught my interest – after all, what’s not to love about a smexy romance with a hunky phone sex worker and a trust fund hottie? I ended up loving the premise but thought the book didn’t live up to its potential.