Book Review – Hired by Zoey Castile

Did I find this book to be even better than the first in the series?? Maybe!? Ughhh it’s SO GOOD!! When is Zoey Castile going to have a new romance series! I need it already! But okay, here we go.

In Hired, Aiden Rios has left Mayhem City thinking that he was going to open his own show. But then his investor backed out, and he had already ghosted the group, so he set off on his own path… as an escort. He’s hired by a woman named Ginny Thomas, who brings him back to New Orleans with her. But then she leaves him in the penthouse suite of a fancy hotel, so what’s a guy to do other than go to the bar and drown his sorrows in many MANY hurricanes? Aiden has never been ashamed of who he is, but he doesn’t love who he’s becoming. Especially once he meets someone who might be worth holding onto.

Faith Charles is definitely her father’s daughter – she loves environmental law and wants to be a conservationist. But she didn’t pass the bar the first time around, so she’s working for her mother’s campaign to become the mayor of New Orleans. But Faith and her mother have never seen eye to eye, and honestly Faith doesn’t even know if her mother is proud of her. After she gets a little sassy at an event, Faith gets a mandatory week off from work, and immediately goes to the bar where her best friend works. And her best friend introduces her to a beautiful stripper named Aiden Rios.

Faith is pretty up front with Aiden about who she is after that first night, and she assumes that Aiden is doing the same with her. But he has a secret – he doesn’t want to tell Faith that he’s actually being paid to be in New Orleans as some sad rich lady’s escort. And that’s before he finds out who the sad rich lady really is. Can Faith and Aiden’s budding relationship survive all the drama?

3 Things I Loved

  1. Aiden. Aiden was a side character in Stripped, playing the part of Fallon’s little brother in a lot of ways. He was endearing as a side character and completely captivating as the hero of his own story. I didn’t love that he wouldn’t tell Faith exactly how he made his money, but I can understand why he didn’t want to. It was nice to read his growth on the page as he realized that he was more than his job.
  2. Faith. Oh Faith. I didn’t really like her at the beginning, because I wanted her to stand up to her mom! But then when she finally did, the payoff was worth it. And she and Aiden had C H E M I S T R Y for days.
  3. Fallon. If there was one person I was happy to see again, it was Fallon. He swoops in and acts as Aiden’s big brother again at a time when that’s exactly what Aiden needed. Always give advice, Fallon. It suits you.

Dislikes/Problematic Content

Oh gosh. In terms of a diverse cast, this book was excellent! Faith is black, Aiden is Colombian, Faith’s mom is trying to be the first black female mayor of New Orleans, and it’s just so true to life. I love it. But there were some things in this book that could definitely be triggers for people.

First off, sex work. I, personally, feel that sex work is a valid job for those who are choosing to do it. But that’s not always the case, so I could see this being a trigger for some people. Aiden talks openly about when he may sleep with a client and when he definitely won’t, but it’s an aspect of his job that I wanted to make sure was out in the open.

Second, abuse. Slight spoiler here, but Ginny is being abused by her husband. Probably has been for years. Part of the climax of the plot revolves around abuse, and also abuse in Aiden’s past, and that’s another thing I wanted out in the open. It’s woven throughout the book, making it not surprising at the end, but it could definitely be a trigger for people as well.

Other than those two things, the only thing I didn’t really like was how stupid Aiden was at around the halfway point in the book. Just TELL her, you big doofus. But whatever, it all works out in the end.


Rating

A reminder of the rating scale:

  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

As they say in “Sweet Caroline” – SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD! I liked it better than the first book in the series. I can’t wait for number 3! I’m giving Hired a BLUE rating. Because it deserves nothing less!

Happy reading!

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