May 18, 2017


Ball Peen Hammer, by Lauren Rowe
Publish Date:
July 25, 2016
Publisher: SoCoRo Publishing
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) Keane Morgan wouldn’t return any of my calls or texts, and I was pissed as hell about it. I didn’t want to drive from Seattle to L.A. with the guy any more than he wanted to drive with me, but I had no frickin’ choice in the matter--at least, not if I wanted to use his brother Dax’s coveted parking spot at UCLA. 

Okay, so it turned out Keane was objectively gorgeous, and, fine, pretty funny, too. But did he have to be so damned in love with himself? I mean, jeez, the cocky way he flashed those dimples was just so orchestrated. And, honestly, what kind of guy uses the phrase “baby doll” with a straight face? Oh, that’s right: the kind of guy who’s a male stripper.

Yup, the cocky jerk turned out to be Seattle’s answer to Magic Mike, a stripper known as “Ball Peen Hammer”--which meant Keane Morgan was emphatically not the kind of guy I’d ever fall for.

Not. At. All.

No freakin’ way.

Well, until Keane convinced me to fall for him, that is.

Which I did.


I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I purchased Ball Peen Hammer from Audible. No freaking clue that I would laugh more listening to this book than I ever have before. Or that I would fall in love so much with this world and ALL of its characters. Certainly I didn't know that this would be one of the most enjoyable audio books I've ever listened to. Go me. 

In its simplest form, Ball Peen Hammer is about an introverted UCLA film student who, through a friend of her sister, lines up a ride buddy she's never met before to take the trip to LA from Seattle. That buddy would be a very popular male stripper with ebullient charm and blue hair named Keane Morgan. On paper, they are complete opposites and make no sense. But, as it turns out, they are pretty much perfect for each other. 

The banter between Keane and Maddie was brilliantly hilarious. Somehow Lauren Rowe managed to work real conversation and the exchanging of personal information in among euphemisms, silly nicknames and talk of top-notch sex techniques. All along their trip and even later after they reach their destination, Maddie and Keane forged a wonderful friendship that spawned into something more for both of them. 

Keane and Maddie are not the only endearing relationship highlighted in this book. Keane has an epic bromance with his BFF Zander. Those two guys were utterly adorbcicles. And Keane and his siblings and parents sound like an incredible family. They're close enough to tell each other when they're being idiots and then that they love each other in the next breath. 

Sometimes "funny" books like these have a hard time finding the right balance between humor and seriousness. If the book is funny all the time, it's hard to take either character seriously when they're trying to do something or say something meaningful. Ball Peen Hammer, while funny way more often than not, did have moments when I was brought to tears for how upset it made me. There were moments when Maddie and Keane discussed sensitive subjects, and those moments were treated with the attention they deserved. 

The audio version of Ball Peen Hammer was narrated by two fantastic actors. John Lane read the part of Keane, and he was perfect. He captured the happy-go-lucky, cocky, sweet stripper man that I loved so much. Maddie was narrated by Lauren Rowe. Yep - the author. How cool is that? And she was so great! I don't know if the acting or the writing came first, but for sure, she's ace at both. 

No comments: