Series: Knitting in the City #6
Published by Self Published on 5/16/17
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon
There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She’s fed up with online dating, 2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.
After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:
Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?
But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma . . .
As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?
Dating-ish is by far one of my most favorite reads of the year. It’s smart and funny and heartfelt. A standalone romance that will run away with your heart and keep it. Today, I have a DELETED SCENE from Matt and Marie’s book and, you guys, oh my gosh! It’s the most PERFECT scene. I GOT ALL THE TINGLES. I can’t wait for you to read it. Also, if you haven’t one-clicked this amazing book, DO IT! It’s everything a romance should be and so much more. Just perfect.
I’ll tell you this, Dating-ish is a guaranteed book hangover. A standalone novel that will surprise you with its depth and intensity. One that’ll have you laughing and crying, swooning and wanting, needing all good things for these characters. You’ll ache, feel devastated at times, but it will leave you so happy and fulfilled. It’s deep. Heartfelt. Very, very heartfelt. In fact, this is the most HEARTFELT novel I have read this year. Memorable. Profound. Well written. Heart tugging. Man, do I LOVE IT!
OK! So… Here are some of the things I am thinking! (Sorry, I have to structure my thoughts because they’re a mess of a million and one things when it comes to this book!)
1. I read Dating-ish in a day. ONE. SINGLE. DAY! That’s crazy for me. Because…
a) I’m a super slow reader.
And b) Penny’s books aren’t short.
So the fact that I sat down, did not get distracted, and finished this novel in less than 12 hours tells you just how fantastic it is.
2. These characters are quirky and charming, funny and sweet and also, REALLY SEXY! Yes, sexy as in “whoa, baby!” I was WOWED by the sexy times. I mean, hey, hey, heyyyyyyyy, hottie Matt! ::waggles brows:: My jaw dropped. The man has MOVES. And Penny Reid had her couple getting down and dirty for her readers. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock. I certainly haven’t read all of Penny’s books, only several in this series, but I don’t remember them being this crazy hot. Matt had my heart pounding! Delicious. And ooohhhh, did it make me feel ALL THE FEELS. ::giggles:: Goodness!
3. THIS BOOK HURT. A lot. There’s no other way to say it. It hurt in way that I felt pain everywhere. A way that will make me remember every moment of this novel. It felt profound. It touched on human connection. It explained things so eloquently. I felt like Penny didn’t just write a standard romance (not that I was expecting that), she dug DEEP and wrote a romance that was layered, smart, well thought out, and authentic. It felt genuine. And again, heartfelt. This book had so much soul.
4. Matt and Marie’s romance is a decadent slow burn. A sizzling, heart stopping, chest aching, belly tingling, goose-bump inducing, soul searing, slow burn. They start off disliking each other and then it shimmies into this sweet friendship that develops into so much more. It’s WELL PACED. Everything in this novel has a purpose, a reason. Every chapter moves the plot forward. There’s no filler. It’s not contrived or over the top. These characters are developed and shaped, given life one word at a time in the most exemplary way.
5. Matt and Marie’s connection, their chemistry, their dynamic steals the air right out of your lungs. Matt’s a complex, broken man and he RUINS YOU. He makes you want to wrap your arms around him and snuggle him forever. He’s had a childhood that’s been devoid of love. It shows in who he is. And the way Marie responds to that brokenness will set your pulse racing. These two have a connection that felt intrinsic. It’s certainly tangible. I felt it, and I fell in love with them! With my nose buried in the pages, my lungs breathing the words as if they were my air, I was memorized, hypnotized, intoxicated by their need for one another. It felt like everything to me.
6. The writing is smart. WHIP SMART. Though I’ll admit, I struggled with the first 30-ish%. The robot topic wasn’t my thing. I was a tad bored. I wanted more Matt and Marie times. I’m selfish like that. Kind of an “instant gratification” kind of reader. I’ll admit that. LOL. ::hangs head in shame:: And you know what? Penny taught me a lesson. She taught me to be patient. To NEVER give up on characters because I’m not getting what I want, when I want it. I mean, oh my God, could you imagine? If I had stopped reading because I was a little bored, I would have missed out on the most beautiful romance ever. A romance that’s buried itself inside me and made me feel so alive and happy and full of good things. So yes, pay attention. Keep reading. Everything in this book is there for a reason!
And 7. The story line is endearing. Marie and Matt start off badly. SUPER badly. It’s hilarious and I wasn’t sure how these two were going to handle each other from that first impression. I felt like the story was unique and had everything in it to kept you on your toes. Charming, sweet, and so moving! Such an incredible romance.
This scene takes place between Chapter 27 and the epilogue.
“I expected better food.”
Glancing at Matt’s grumpy expression, I laughed. “Why?”
“He’s a chef.”
“Yeah, but he couldn’t make it himself. It’s his party, and he had other things to do.”
We’d arrived two hours ago and as soon as we stepped foot into the ballroom, I’d realized why David and his betrothed had needed a firm head count so far in advance.
The theme of the engagement party was Harry Potter, specifically book four in the series, The Goblet of Fire. Each guest had been given a Hogwarts robe, tailor-made for her or his height and size, with his or her house crest embroidered over the heart. Apparently, David’s fiancée was a gigantic Harry Potter fan as well as a self-made millionaire of a day-spa empire.
Therefore, the shindig was the most ridiculously outrageous and ostentatious display of badassery that I’d ever seen.
And, in case I’d failed to mention, it was Harry Potter themed.
Obviously, Gwen and I hit it off immediately. She was a Ravenclaw—like Matt—and had recently read my cuddle piece as it had just been published. She wanted to ask me what I thought about adding professional cuddlers to her spa services repertoire.
After ten minutes, I found myself in serious danger of falling head over heels into girl-crush territory.
Yet Matt was throwing me shade, his face twisted into a scowl of disappointment. “I purposefully had a light lunch because I thought the food would be awesome.”
“There’s plenty left.” I motioned to the buffet, which was brimming with delicacies from the pages of Harry Potter.
FYI, in case you missed it, the party was Harry Potter themed.
He wrinkled his nose. “I don’t want something mediocre, or even good. I want something fantastic.”
I chuckled at him, Matt and his food obsession. How could he be thinking about food when we were flanked by a huge dragon papier mâché sculpture? And to our left was a tank full of mermaids.
But then I felt his eyes on my profile, and just the weight of his stare sent a shiver racing down my spine. I glanced at him, found his gaze on me heavy with a peculiar kind of intensity.
“Want me to eat you out?”
My mouth fell open in shock, and I scoff-snort-laughed, shaking my head at his teasing.
But then my grin faded, because I realized he was serious. “You’re serious.”
“You’re crazy,” I whispered, shaking my head sternly. “We’re not doing that here.”
“But I’m hungry for something I know will taste fantastic.”
An immediate blush surged to my cheeks, leaving my neck hot. “Matt.”
I stepped closer to him, again whispering urgently, “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go down on me at my ex’s engagement party, for obvious reasons.”
One side of his mouth tilted higher than the other, as did one eyebrow, wickedness twinkling in his eyes. “I bet I can change your mind.”
“I won’t even touch you,” he leaned forward, whispering hotly in my ear, “unless you want me to.”
I gathered a deep breath, glaring at the air around him, my chest tight and achy.
He leaned away, still grinning—his smile somehow both soft and sharp—his eyes dropping to my mouth. “I had a hard time focusing at work today,” he said conversationally.
I made a noncommittal sound, still glaring at him, but unable to completely suppress my smile.
“Don’t you want to know why?”
I shook my head, but asked, “Why did you have a hard time focusing?”
Part of me suspected—and hoped—this was merely a setup for another floppy disk joke. Part of me hoped it wasn’t.
His voice lost its conversational tone, grew darker. “I couldn’t stop thinking about the sounds you make when I’m inside you.”
I bit my bottom lip, a wave of simmering longing unfurling in my belly. “Oh?”
“Take this morning, for instance.”
My eyelashes fluttered at the memory of what we’d done this morning, how he’d joined me in the shower unexpectedly.
“When you took my cock into your body, and I held your wrists above your head so I could taste your tits while we fucked, did you like that? Because it sounded like you did. It sounded like you couldn’t get enough.”
I gritted my teeth. My heart was racing.
“I love how you feel, how hot you are, and how soft. So fucking soft. I love how you breathe, how you pant. But mostly, I love how you beg.” His gaze lost its mischievousness, and became achingly earnest and solemn. “They were delicious, by the way.”
He let his eyes drop meaningfully to my chest and smirked.
“Were they?” I asked, winded, my breasts feeling heavier, fuller than they had mere seconds ago.
“Yes. But not as sweet as your. . .” He licked his top lip, drawing it into his mouth, biting it lightly like he’d done to me this morning, but in a completely different place.
“Matt,” I whimpered. “You’re not nice.”
“Do you want me to beg? Because I will.” He held his hand out, his voice now a deep, grumbly whisper. “I’m so hungry for you, Marie. I’m starving.”
“Where?” I asked, taking his hand, hardly recognizing myself, but sublimely in love with this version of me. Because of the incredible man—owner of my heart—taking my hand.
“Come . . .” He grinned wolfishly in triumph, tugging toward the large makeshift hedge maze at one end of the room, “Come with me.”
About the Author
Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.