Book Review: Hotline (Murmur Inc #1) by Quinn Anderson

Rating: 3 Stars

Published October 29th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Summary: 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.
(from Goodreads)

Review: This book is HOT. I just had to start off by saying that. Like, on a scale from the steam your humidifier in your bedroom puts out when you’ve got a cold and your classes fogging up when you step out of the Minnesota winter and into a sauna, this is definitely fog-your-glasses-over territory. I’m pretty sure I was blushing furiously through about half of this book, to the point where my husband peered at me suspiciously and asked what I was reading. And I read a LOT of romance, much of which is pretty steamy! But I suppose when one of the main characters is a phone sex operator and the other is his client, it’s bound to get pretty, er, steamy. (OK me, stop saying “steamy” now.)

I actually stumbled across this book because I saw the third book in the series, Cam Boy, on NetGalley (and was declined for a review copy, boo!) I was so intrigued by the description of the third book that I went and bought this one, the first in the series. Can I just say, I love this cover? It’s not super special, but I just LIKE it. I also appreciate how they carry out the heart for an O in the titles for the covers of the next two books as well, Action and Cam Boy.

I really liked this book, even though I wanted to smack Zack upside the head a few times. I felt like John didn’t have a whole lot of personality, but perhaps that’s because the focus of the book follows Zack. I enjoy romances the most when they get inside the heads and hearts of BOTH leads, rather than just giving you insight into one of them, and I feel that more from John’s point of view would have given this the extra oomph it needed to be a five star read. As it was, it was still really enjoyable, and I appreciated the zany cast of characters, especially Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez and Zack’s doggy Ziggy.

While this is a series, each book is a stand alone that is loosely intertwined/related, much like many romance “series.” You can absolutely read just this one and not be forced to wait on tenterhooks for the rest of the series. I’m also tagging this in my “online romance” shelf, because it has elements of that trope due to the nature of their telephone relationship…

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