Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe // Review + Excerpt

January 28, 2021

Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe

Maddy's off-limits. Plus, she's not even my type. At all. I like hot girls and they like me back. I don't go for sweet girl-next-door types. And I definitely don't go for smart girls. Hell no.

Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe

Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe

Standalone - Morgan Brothers #3
Release - July 25, 2016
Genre - Romantic Comedy/friends-to-lovers
Dual POV - 1st person
Heat Level - 4 out of 5
Format/Source - ebook borrowed through KU
Length - 384 pages
Publisher - SoCoRo Publishing

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 went into this story with some pretty high expectations. I was prepared to laugh and laugh and laugh until my belly hurt... and that's exactly what I got! Keane Morgan is ridonkulous!! His ways, his attitude, his wit, his charm, his looks, his everything made me giggle, snort and swoon.

Maddie is starting over in a new city. Moving in with her sister is going to help her accomplish all of her goals. She just has to survive the road trip with Keane to get there. As hilarious as Keane was, I loved how, for the most part, Maddie was able to keep up with his antics. They were able to click so fast (thanks to the author for that) and there was barely any wasted moments.

The romance was a slow build but I think it was better for it. The author did a wonderful job of developing the characters and their connection to each other. I do wish more time was spent on these two as a couple, but I can't always get what I want. There were times that the hilarity overshadowed what was being created, but I was so busy chuckling that all was forgiven.
"... my left ovary just popped out an egg, and I'm not even mid-cycle."
Ball Peen Hammer is a hysterically funny romance featuring a beautiful, oblivious girl and a gorgeous, arrogant, class clown of a boy. He's hilarious, she's adorbsicles. He's not her type. She's not his. Or so they think. One shared road trip later... If you love to laugh really hard (and a lot) while falling in love with amazing characters - can I be an honorary member of the Morgan family? - this book... no this series... is for you!

Available on Amazon and FREE with Kindle Unlimited -

As they exchange information, I make my way to the end of my aisle and loop into theirs, not taking my eyes off Baby Face the whole time. Shit. This dude’s hunting Maddy so hard, it’s making my blood boil. Jesus, he’s going full-throttle rifle on Maddy’s ass right now, completely foregoing his crossbow altogether.
When I reach the two of them in the middle of their aisle, I shuffle past the dude and stand next to Maddy, shoulder to shoulder, and then, on a sudden impulse, put my arm around her shoulders and squeeze her tight, making her wobble in place at the unexpected jolt to her balance. “Hey, sis,” I say, squeezing her like a rag doll. “You totally fell down on your candy-acquiring duties.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” She subtly wiggles out of my grasp. “Brian and I got into this hilarious argument about the best candy bar of all- time, and—”
“And I’m totally right,” Brian says, cutting her off, and they both chuckle at some inside joke.
“No, I’m totally right,” Maddy corrects.
Brian smiles at her. “I’ll actually be down in L.A. in a month. How ’bout I call you then?”
“Nice to meet you, man,” Brian says, looking at me. He nods but doesn’t put out his hand.
I nod back.
Brian strolls away, buys a Snickers bar and a can of Red Bull, and leaves with a little wave to Maddy.
The minute he’s out the door, Maddy takes a giant step away from me, her face etched with annoyance. “What was that?” she asks.
“That weird thing you just did?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Maddy puts on an exaggerated scowl, like she’s Hulk Hogan eying an opponent. “’Hey, Brian,’” she says in a low voice, clearly intending to imitate me but sounding more like Arnold Schwarzenegger imitating Maddy imitating me. “’I’m Maddy Milliken’s bodyguard and I’m going to beat you the hell up now,’” she adds.
“What are you talking about?” I say, chuckling.
Maddy pauses, assessing me, and finally shrugs. “Nothing. I guess I imagined it.”
“Imaged what?”
“Your weird… I dunno… vibe.”
“Oh, well, yeah. I was worried about you.”
“Worried about me? I was standing in a minimart, buying candy. Pretty low-risk activity, I’d say.”
“Uh, you absolutely were not standing in a minimart, buying candy—you totally fell down on that job, dude. You were standing in a minimart, getting picked up by a douche. And second of all—”
Shit. What the fuck am I doing? I’ve got to stop this shit right now. “Don’t get riled up, baby doll,” I say in my most soothing voice. “All I’m saying is you took so damned long in here, I started thinking maybe the store was getting robbed or you’d fallen into the toilet or something.”
Maddy twists her mouth. “Brian didn’t seem the least bit douchey to me.”
I shrug.“What gave you the impression he’s a douche?”
“Just a figure of speech. So are you gonna do the job I hired you to do or not?” I motion to the candy rack. “‘Cause based on your performance thus far, you’re totally fired.”
“And I wasn’t getting ‘picked up,’” Maddy says, her tone full of indignation. “Brian’s brother goes to UCLA. Can’t I talk to a helpful, nice guy without it being some sort of a sleazy pick-up?”
“Sure you can. However, in this instance, you were talking to a helpful, nice guy who was picking you up so he can bone the living fuck outta ya.”
“Keane.” Maddy’s cheeks burst with color. “Don’t say that. Oh my god. You’re insane. Brian was just being helpful, that’s all.”
“Yeah, so he can bone the living fuck outta ya.”
“Stop saying that. Please. It’s offensive and absolutely not true. This topic of conversation is officially over.”

USA Today and Internationally bestselling author Lauren Rowe lives in San Diego, California, where, in addition to writing books, she performs with her dance/party band at events all over Southern California, writes songs, trains her new puppy, Ruthie and spends time with her wonderful family, and narrates audiobooks.

Find out all about Lauren and her books on her website:


  1. Ridonkulous is exactly how I would describe Keane! He was so annoying but managed to come across in a good way. I thought this book was so fun and I'm happy you did, too. Great review!

    1. Thanks Deanna! Yeah, they don't make 'em like Keane. He's incredibly unique! I thought for sure I wouldn't be able to continue stomaching it, then he'd say something crazy (again), and I was laughing until my belly hurt.


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