Jake Jacobs is a young pool pro seeking to be a reigning billiard champion. He has it all, some might say, a natural talent for the game, a beautiful young girlfriend who does everything she can to support him, and has made it into a traveling tournament to take a shot at winning it all. Only Jake sees the things he doesn’t have, the things he needs, and one element of playing pool he doesn’t have is the distraction.
As Jake puts it, a distraction is the girl with the player, a tall leggy beautiful creature distracting the opponent and taking the pressure off her man. Hayden Holmes just isn’t leggy or tall. Hayden is a beautiful girl and dedicated to Jake like no other, but she isn’t proving the best distraction. When Jake has a bad round and things seem to be looking down, Hayden takes it as a challenge to go out and find some way of helping him, some way of being that distraction he needs.
Finding her way to an old curiosity shop, Hayden meets Calvin Poole, an old man with a collection of very strange curiosities. She finds the Rack of Linn, a cursed torture rack that supposedly can stretch every part of a person, making them not only taller, but bigger. The problem arises when Hayden continues to use this rack, making herself more and more of a distraction, never thinking about what the dark side might be using such a contraption.
Rack’em UP is a simple fun tale with relatable characters who find themselves quite suddenly in unrelatable circumstances. Jake Jacobs is understandable as a down on himself talent in the sport of billiards, someone who readers can identify with as he focuses too much on what he lacks and not what he has. This leads him through a number of bad breaks, both on and off the table. Hayden, likewise is a character that is relatable, a girl who is dedicated to helping her man, no matter what the consequences.
When a cursed object is discovered and then promptly used and found not only to work but to work exceptionally well, Hayden lets her own obsession with helping Jake overrule normal behavior. The trick in the story is that the cursed object, a medieval torture rack is actually a character to itself, holding some mystery and power that overtakes all the characters as the story proceeds. The stretching and growing continues, until finally like a rubber band, everything snaps and Hayden finds herself looking down on a new life, one where Jake is now dedicated to her as much as she was dedicated to him.