Happy Ever Ninja

Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

5 badass mother stars!!!

I gotta say, Penny Reid continues to deliver a different kind of heroine to the romance genre. And every single one of them is incredible! Fiona was a heroine that I’ve never seen before and I fell in love with her almost immediately. Seriously, I have a girl crush on her (the kind where you idolize, not attraction lol). How many romances have you read that contain a badass mother who balances a job, kids and more? Other than this one I couldn’t name another title.

“Someone needs to appreciate Fiona for her badass skills, Greg. Because they are fucking awesome.”

Greg and Fiona were college sweethearts and have been married for about fourteen years. Greg works in Africa on oil projects while Fiona stays at home in Chicago and watches the kids and works. It’s a difficult situation but the two of them make it work. When Fiona learns that Greg has been kidnapped and held for ransom, she takes it upon herself to go after him and get him back.

If you’ve read the previous books in this series, you know that Fiona used to be a member of the CIA. So the idea of her going off to rescue her man wasn’t at all preposterous, in fact it was pretty much expected. And with the help of her friends she’s able to sneak into Africa.

I loved this book. Seriously. I’m not a mother, I’m not a wife, and yet I was easily able to relate to Fiona and her struggles and issues. And just because the characters were already married, doesn’t mean that the romance factor isn’t present in this book. In a way it enhanced it because we know these two people are in love, and watching them fight for their love was every bit as romantic as watching a couple fall in love.

There’s also the distinctive brand of Penny Reid humor we come to expect from her books, it’s one of the things that make her books so special. I laughed a lot while reading this book, it never failed to put a smile on my face. Greg and Fiona have this wonderful banter that makes me want to hug them both, but not interrupt them so as I can continue to watch them banter.

“I need you to clean the apartment, and pick up your goddamn socks, and stop making mindless messes-like we have magical cleaning fairies who orgasm every time they do the laundry.”

Separate from the story, my all-time favorite part of this book was the letters and notes at the beginning of each chapter from real life couples. Some of them made me laugh, some smile and others made my heart flutter. It was such a nice touch that added a lot to the book. I found myself wanting to highlight the letter before every chapter I loved them so much.

Every Penny Reid book I’ve read I have loved or enjoyed. I think it goes without saying now that she could write anything and I would love it. Even a description of paint drying on walls.

“My heart keeps discovering new ways to love you.”

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review

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Beauty and the Mustache

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

4.25 stars

“With you there are only two distances that matter: Here. Not here. You are not here.”

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Ashley Winston is a former beauty queen who left home as a teenager for college and 8 years later never returned. Tormented by her 6 goofy brothers, she distanced herself from everyone in her family except her mother. Ashley receives news that her mother is in the hospital and will not see anyone, so she rushes home from Chicago to Tennessee to see what is wrong.

Upon returning home Ashley discovers that her brothers have changed from rambunctious irresponsible young men into hard working and loving men. Among her brothers is a stranger, Drew, who has become a friend of the family in her absence. Soon Ashley’s world comes crashing down around her, and it’s up to her brothers and Drew to keep her afloat.

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I really enjoyed this book in the Knitting series. After having so many friends who loved it I was excited to meet Ashley and Drew and the ever famous Winston brothers. I also like that this book took us out of Chicago and into rural Tennessee, a place I’ve never been to physically, but after reading this book I felt as if I had visited there.

Ashley as a heroine is someone I admired, she worked hard to be where she was at in her life, and despite her reservations her love for her brothers was strong. She wanted to be valued for who she was and not what she looked like.

“No. Since I first saw you. Since I first laid eyes on you and felt sorry for every beautiful thing that was made no longer resplendent—nullified by your being.”

Drew was a hot viking man that makes another great addition to my book boyfriend collection, and I wouldn’t mind staying with him in his secluded cabin and not leaving (for weeks, months, years). He was a little bit too stoic for my reader tastes at some points, and near the end I was a bit shocked by his actions (more so his lack of actions) and alas I was hoping for a bit more from him.

For me the best part of this book was the family dynamics between Ashley and her brothers. Being an only child I always dreamed of having brothers, and this book only made me wish for them more. While not perfect, Ashley’s brothers were a strong support system and a little bit naughty. I cannot wait to read their series!!!

“Apathy between family members makes the blood they share turn to water.”

This is a romance I would highly recommend to EVERYONE! Honestly I cannot think of a single friend who would not enjoy it at least a little bit.

“When you cried, I learned what helplessness tastes like. Because all I could do was swallow.”

Love Hacked

Love Hacked by Penny Reid

5 stars!

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“There is boring. There is sensational. There is mediocre. There is lazy. There is good. There is evil. People do implausible things all the time, and they run the gamut of moderately weird to truly extraordinary. But there is no normal. The world is an unbelievable place full of unbelievable people doing unbelievable things.”

So, I kind of adore this book. I’m really kicking myself now for having put of reading it, I have no clue why I did. Love Hacked is my favorite of the Knitting series so far and unexpectedly blew me away!!!

This is the story of Sandra and Alex. Sandra has gone on a number of unsuccessful dates over the past three years, mostly with her dates ending up sobbing based on the personal issues unearthed. Most of her dates take place at an Indian restaurant where Alex works as a waiter. After her most recent date fails, Alex sits down and takes his place, but remains a mystery to Sandra. The two have an obvious connection, but Sandra has her doubts about Alex and how he’s so quiet about himself. Despite this, the two find themselves thrown together more often than not and tentatively forge a relationship.

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“When I was younger, I wanted plenty of things, plenty of people, until I realized there was no point in wanting. Since then, I’ve never had something I wanted, not really. Not ’til you.”

I loved the back and forth between Alex and Sandra. The two were so different and yet seemed so perfect together. Alex is an extremely intelligent individual and he wouldn’t fall for a dumb girl or a fake one. I loved Sandra in this book and her low bullshit meter. She fought hard for him, believed in him and didn’t judge him too harshly. In return Alex did his best to take care of Sandra despite his trust issues and more.

I also loved the intelligent sense of humor in this book. Lots of Star Wars references that made me smile. Much of the banter had me cracking up as well. Alex and Sandra had a great push and pull relationship but neither went too far. I also was impressed with the age difference, personally at 26 I would have a hard time dating a 21 year old guy, so I can kind of identify with Sandra’s struggle with the 6-7 year age difference between them, but ultimately age didn’t matter. It really was the case of loving someone for who they are despite differences.

So again, like I already said, I loved this book. Loved the characters, story, angst and more and I highly recommend!

“You’ve shown me joy where before I saw only despair. You’ve taught me hope where before I knew only hopelessness. I may be broken, but all my pieces are yours. And I’ll work every day of my life to deserve you.”

Friends Without Benefits

Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) by Penny Reid

4.5 Italian stars

“Nothing is more frustrating than being attracted to someone who is a complete jerk – except for maybe also caring about that person despite continued abuses. I was such an idiot.”

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Penny Reid just gets better and better with every book I read by her! After finishing a book that didn’t work for me, I needed to dive into something I knew I would love, so I turned to my spirit animal Penny Reid. Yes you read that right, Penny Reid is my spirit animal. Go and find your own!

Friends Without Benefits is the story of Elizabeth and Nico. The two of them grew up together, and Nico was a bit of a bully to Elizabeth when they were younger. The loss of a mutual friend in high school leads to emotions Elizabeth didn’t expect so she bailed and never contacted Nico again. Now, ten years later, he and his mother walk into the hospital she works at to get Nico’s niece on a clinical trial that will help her.

The two have an attraction which Elizabeth fights. But will childhood love prevail? Or will Nico lose the girl he was meant to be with?

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It’s obvious I love Penny Reid and her books. Some I like more than others and this one fits that description. I love the idea that Nico was a lovestruck kid for most of their lives and knew from an early age who his soulmate was. Elizabeth is a tough nut to crack but once someone is in her heart, they are there forever.

Elizabeth is dealing with a bit of loneliness now that her best friend and roommate Janie has found the love of her life. Considering her options lovers wise she is thrown for a loop when Nico reappears. It was perfect timing that he came back into her life because she ended up focusing more on him and his family.

“I wasn’t a hypocrite — well, everyone is a hypocrite, but I was trying hard to be less of one.”

I loved Nico, I loved Elizabeth, Angelica, Rose and more. The angst was deliciously sweet and knitted carefully into the story <— see what I did there? 😛 If you are looking for a book that will make you smile, laugh and believe in the power of true love, this is the book for you.

“You can’t tell me that I don’t know you. I see you. I see you better than you see yourself. And everything about you is beautiful.”

Neanderthal Seeks Human

Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City #1) by Penny Reid

3.75 really cute stars!!!

“She said I owned the clothes of a radiologist and the shoes of an OBGYN; which is like the medical doctor equivalent of saying that I dressed like a librarian with a propensity of fuckmeboots.”

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This is my second Penny Reid book and it was a lot of fun! I had originally only read The Hooker and the Hermit, and now it’s very clear to me who wrote what in that book now that I’ve read books by both authors.

Neanderthal Seeks Human is about Janie who just broke up with her boyfriend, spilled coffee on herself, broke her shoes and got fired from her job. She is escorted out of her office building by a security guard also know to her (privately) as McHotPants. Janie is a bit socially awkward, she has a tendency to spew out random facts at the drop of a hat. But Janie is really smart, and a bit aloof as to how pretty she is. A series of chance meetings with McHotPants aka Quinn, lands Janie a new job. And that’s all I will say for now…

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I really liked Quinn as a hero. He wasn’t the most decisive guy, but he seemed to really like Janie for who she was and was genuinely interested in all of her random factoids. It also took him forever to show Janie he liked her, but to be fair, she was oblivious to many things throughout the book. And I liked that about Janie, because quite honestly, it made her relatable (to me, because I am super oblivious quite a bit of the time as well).

“I decided, as I succumbed to sleep, that men should come with manuals, subtitles, and reset buttons.”

This book had fairly low angst and no over the top drama, which many of you enjoy. The one thing it really needed though was a little bit more steam and a little less fade to black.

At times I found myself laughing out loud in places I shouldn’t have. There is a very funny knitting group meeting near the end that I could not stop laughing at and had to set my kindle down before I dropped it. I also spent a lot of time reading this when I should have been doing grad work, so it’s highly addictive too.

Give it a chance! It’s a great read for when you don’t know what to read next 🙂