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New Book by Penny Reid: Beard in Mind

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Beard in Mind, an all new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid, is LIVE!

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All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.

Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.

She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

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Enter the Giveaway!

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Meet Penny Reid:

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.

 

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

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My Favorite Book of 2017: Dating-ish

DATING ISH BLOG TOUR BANNER

Dating-ish, an all new standalone from the USA Today bestselling Knitting in the City romantic comedy series by Penny Reid is available now!

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‘Dating-ish’ can be read as a standalone, is a full length 100k word novel, and is book #6 in the Knitting in the City Series.

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?

Excerpt:

He was quiet for bit, we both were, and I felt myself relax more and more. His palm took a detour every so often, dutifully skipping my hip and sliding along my side, and then back to my leg. Soon, I was so relaxed I felt drowsy.

I felt fingers in my hair, moving the mass away from my neck with treasuring strokes just before Matt nuzzled the back of my neck, causing goosebumps to scatter over my skin.

“Mmm.” I smiled. “Hey. Jared said no tickling.” My voice sounded sleepy.

“Does this tickle?” Matt asked softly, nuzzling me again. I felt the brush of his lips—not a kiss, a brush—paired with hot breath against the bare skin of my neck and a zing shot straight down my spine, making my toes curl and a sudden hot ache twist in my lower belly.

Oh no.

I knew that ache. I hadn’t felt it because of another person’s touch in quite a long time. Nevertheless, no one ever forgets that ache.

My back arched instinctively, my bottom pressing back against his crotch, and I stiffened. I felt my nipples harden, strain beneath the cotton of my bra. I was now fully awake. No longer drowsy.

Nope.

Not even a little.

Matt stiffened, too. His movements abruptly ceasing.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asked, alarm coating his words, and in the next moment his hand was suspended in the air above me. “Did I touch something I shouldn’t?”

I exhaled a short, nervous laugh, gripped by the urge to sit up.

“No. No. You didn’t.” I moved to the edge of the bed, righting myself, away from Matt, needing distance. “I’m good.” I gathered a silent breath and released it slowly because my pulse was racing.

Crap, Marie. Get a grip. It’s Matt Simmons. Professor Matt. The big kid. Why are you reacting this way?

“Did I . . .” These initial words were hesitant, and a moment of silence stretched before he continued, his tone comically teasing as he finished his thought. “Did I arouse you?”

I snorted, shaking my head, laughing at his silly tone. Turning at the waist to peer at him over my shoulder, Matt was grinning at me, twisting a make-believe mustache between his thumb and forefinger.

But then he stopped.

“I did, didn’t I?” he pushed, his hand dropping. He looked pleased, if not a little amazed.

I sighed, feeling a smidge embarrassed, and nodded. “Actually, yes. That’s a sensitive spot for most women.”

“The back of your neck?” He lifted himself to one elbow, his eyes darting to my neck with keen interest.

“My neck in general, actually.”

“Huh.” Matt frowned thoughtfully. “Where else?”

I pressed my lips together and gave him an incredulous look. “I’m not telling you that.”

“Why not?”

“Matt.”

“What if I needed it for research reasons?”

“Matt.”

“What if I told you it was part of our questionnaire?” He tossed his legs over the side of the bed and stood, walking around to my side and offering me his hand. “You should give me a schematic of your body with the erogenous zones circled and rated.”

“Let me guess, you want them rated on a ten-point scale,” I deadpanned as I accepted his hand, stood, and stepped away to gain some distance and straighten my shirt.

He shrugged, crossing his arms, stalking after me. “Or exponential. I was going to say a Likert scale, but a logarithmic scale works, too.”

Chuckling, appreciative of his attempt to diffuse my embarrassment and awkwardness with the joke, I realized Matt Simmons wasn’t a bad guy. He might even be a good guy, just a little . . . peculiar.

And wants to replace romantic relationships with robots. Best not forget that detail.

Yeah, he’d make an interesting friend.

“Thanks.” I gave him a small smile.

“For what?” His eyes moved between mine.

“For the cuddle. Thanks for the cuddle, Matt.”

“Anytime, Marie.” He grinned down at me, his eyes dancing as he leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime.”

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Meet Penny Reid:

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.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja


BOOK REVIEW

The Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid

Romantic Comedy

 

Dating-ish (Book 6)

 

While this book is sixth in the Knitting in the City Series, it can be read as a standalone. I received a complementary copy of this novel because I am a fan freak of Penny Reid’s. I voluntarily chose to review this book because this book is really great and I love it.

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 (sXe)

 

Quick & Dirty summary: Marie has been on more bad dates than she can count. Actually, she’s very smart so Marie can count them all; she’d just rather not. When she goes on her most recent crash and burn online date, she decides to swear off dating for a while. Instead she focuses on her work, and her work as a reporter leads her to the very interesting idea of replacing romantic relationships with paid services. Of course, she has to test out this theory, like any good scientist would, with a series of experiments. And who better than to help her with her experiments than an honest to goodness scientist. Never mind that the scientist in question is also the abovementioned crash and burn date. And never mind that the scientist in question also happens to have an insanely hot body, beautiful brown eyes, and a vulnerability that makes Marie’s lady parts melt. Never mind any of that.

 

There is so much about this book to love. I love, love, love Marie. She is another great example of how intelligent people come with different kinds of intelligences. For example, I could not possibly study for the bar and pass it without taking a class. That’s just not how my brain works and I like to think I’m reasonably smart. But Marie can do it! And she has the ability to ask the right questions, which get her interesting answers, which make her smart in this incredibly fun way. So yeah, I love Marie.

And then there’s Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt. My book boyfriend Matt. I love his vulnerability. His intensity. His desire to do good in the world. And, of course, his hot bod. And yes, I know Matt isn’t a real person. But I feel this way about him because this book is so good! He is not the quintessential alpha. But that’s not to say he isn’t an alpha male. He is, but he definitely complicates the stereotype, which is a signature of Reid’s writing.

So, here is where I explain why this particular book isn’t a five star. Despite it being a lovely book, the entire problem that the plot centers on is a little flimsy to me. Marie is so straightforward and honest. She doesn’t play any games and I love that about her. And Matt has his flaws, as any good character does, but I think the problem is a little unbelievable. I won’t say more because I don’t want any spoilers in my review.

Second, there were a few things that I’d like to see tied up. One is the question Marie poses to Matt about the ethics of personal robots. We have laws against animal abuse. Will there be laws against robot abuse? Not only is this an interesting conversation to have in general, but I think it’s an important one for Matt’s character development.

Second the gossip tree must be explained in more detail. It might not be necessary in this book, what is in this book is sufficient, but it must be explored more. I demand this Penny (if you’re reading this review)!

Third, I’d like to know how Marie’s article turns out in the end. Maybe that’s for another book. Maybe my answer is in this particular book and I didn’t read it closely enough. That’s one problem in devouring a book in a single day. But I like to write my reviews based on my first impression of the book, so as much as I would have loved to re-read this book already, I haven’t because I think what you are probably interested in when reading reviews is how did this book go over the first time. So my apologies if this last point is illogical, although who even remembers what my last point is in the midst of all this rambling.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $5.99)

Yes. You will want to read this book again and again.

Something else you might enjoy:

There isn’t a direct overlap in my recommendation, but I think if you like Dating-ish, you might also like The Gene Project. It’s about a very awkward nerd trying to find a spouse. I loved it!

Epps: An Independent Author You Must Read!

Cold Sandwiches and All by E. M. Epps
Romantic Comedy

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Overall Rating: 4 (xoxo)

Quick & Dirty summary: Rosemary is a typical modern woman, if you think of the typical modern woman as one who reads a lot, has been employed in a lot of different jobs, and isn’t afraid to put her heart on the line. When Rosemary and her business partner and best friend get the (unfortunate) job of a lifetime redecorating a room in the King’s castle, she’s surprised to come across the King and promptly fall in love. Lucien, as the King, knows that he’s not the most handsome fellow in the world, so he’s just as surprised as Rosemary when the chemistry between them sizzles. Rosemary is everything that Lucien would want, but he can’t have her. Lucien is determined to push Rosemary away. Rosemary is determined to fight for the man she loves.

The characters in this novel are well developed and wonderful. Rosemary is ridiculous in the best possible way and Lucien is somehow both insecure and an alpha male, making the pair of them intriguing, loveable and funny as all get out. This is billed as a romantic comedy, and it definitely should be considered one, but it doesn’t follow all of the typical tropes of the genre. There is a bit of magic, a modern sensibility, and yet a historical edge to the whole thing that I find delightful.

The secondary characters are also well developed and delightfully described. I especially love Rosemary’s roommate, Sasha, and am hoping to see more of her in future novels. Rosemary’s neighbors are also painted vividly, as well as Lucien’s staff. There are a lot of people in this book to be enthralled with, making it a fun read.

So, you may be wondering why I gave it four stars instead of five. Well, the first is because the tone of the novel is a little distant. There’s some formality there that makes it hard to slide completely into the novel’s world. In my opinion, it’s typical of historical romances, but this isn’t exactly a historical romance. The second minor annoyance with the novel is that the single problem of the novel, the whole issue driving the plot, is somewhat superficial and terribly resolved in the end. It’s not that it’s unfeasible, the ending, it’s that it’s almost too simple. Part of it is too simple because Epps has written Rosemary’s character so well, that I as the reader roll my eyes because it’s obvious what the solution is. Sorry this critique is both vague and somewhat nonsensical, but I can only be clearer if I write spoilers and I hate that.

My last point is a bit of a pro and a con: while this is a romantic comedy, the romance is very light. Essentially it feels like their love story is just beginning at the end of the novel. This doesn’t bother me too much because that’s how life is, the real romance is after you’ve decided to let yourself be in love, but it means I’m hoping for an extra amazing sequel, which the author tells me she is currently writing. So I love this book, I am enthusiastic about this book, but I’m waiting for more.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $5.99)
Okay, so for a Kindle book this is kind of expensive, but still, I have to tell you to buy it anyway. This is such an unusual book. If you don’t think you’ll like it, then don’t risk it. But if this is up your alley then it is well worth the 6 bucks. If you’re like me and have Kindle Unlimited then it’s free! And, if you find that you love E. M. Epps (who goes by Emma) so much, you can actually become a “patron” (yes like in the Renaissance era) and get every single book and short story from her for free for as long as she publishes. And I think she’s pretty young, so that potentially means a lot of stories. Emma, if you read this review and I have the details wrong, please let me know.

Something else you might enjoy:
I feel like I recommend Amy Harmon books a lot, but if you like Cold Sandwiches then you’ll probably like The Bird and the Sword. It’s not a romantic comedy, but it has some similarities with magic, a kingdom and “truth” that you might find interesting. You can read my review of it here to see if you’d like it.

Cover Reveal: Sweet Spot

Title: Sweet Spot
Author: Stella Rhys
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Sara Eirew
Release Date: March 30, 2017
Blurb

Our first meeting as neighbors was screwed from the start.

He was hot. I was naked. And we had no chance in hell at ever being platonic. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I live at extremes. After going ten years locked in what felt like a dysfunctional marriage, I’m now decidedly boy-free. In nearly three years I’ve had no boyfriends, no flings, no dates and no sex. For the sake of my dream career, the sacrifice has been easy.

At least it was.

Until Lukas came along.

He’s rude, gorgeous, arrogant – a stone-carved wall of muscle and distraction. He’s everything I know to avoid but there’s no avoiding your next-door neighbor. Oh yeah. The man now lives three steps from me and to make matters worse, he crashed into my life while I was soaked in the tub. Mortifying to say the least and it went something like this: I ran out exposed. He looked. He laughed.

And then I locked myself out. 

In short, Lukas Hendricks was smirking, swaggering trouble from the start. And me?


I was – for the first time in years – about to be screwed.

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Author Bio

Stella Rhys is an author of contemporary romance and can’t help but write it hot, steamy and borderline filthy (just kidding, it’s flat-out filthy). Writing aside, she lives for coffee, the Yankees and cooking recipes way out of her league. She was born and raised in New York and now lives there with her husband and charmingly entitled fur baby.
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Loving the Player in the Player and the Pixie

Rugby Series by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy

 

The Player and the Pixie (Book 2)

 

If you’d like my opinion on the first book in the series, The Hooker and the Hermit, you can find it on Goodreads by clicking this link. I wrote this before I began this blog and so the format is different and the evaluation system is a bit different, so please read it with a grain of salt. The third book in the series, The Cad and the Co-Ed, is scheduled to be released Feb. 14 so I suggest reading the first two books now so you’re all caught up. While each book is technically a stand-alone novel, they are much better read in sequence. And as a side note: if buy books on Kindle, then the new book won’t be available for pre-order. If you read on other platforms it is available for pre-order, but once Feb. 14 hits, it will go off those platforms to be exclusively available on Kindle. In summary, if you read on Kindle you will have to wait to buy it till it’s release date. If you don’t, you need to pre-order it NOW.

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Overall Rating: 4.5 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty Summary: Sean Cassidy is the player everyone hates, especially after he betrayed his teammate Ronan and violated the bro code. Sean has it out for Ronan and he isn’t above using Ronan’s little sister, Lucy, to mess with him. Lucy may have rainbow colored hair, but she’s not a child. She knows that she has problems and she’s doing her best to fix them, but when Sean blackmails her into having dinner with him, she might have added one more problem to her list. When Lucy discovers that Sean is terrible in bed, she finds an enjoyable way to kill two birds with one stone. But when emotions get out of hand, it’s Sean who has the problem of convincing Lucy to give him an honest shot at becoming more than just a player.

I enjoyed this novel so much! It probably had something to do with the unique storyline of the player being bad in bed. It’s hilarious to think of all the women who use Sean for his celebrity and have to pay for it in bad sex. I do wish the storyline had gone into a little more depth as to WHY Sean is bad in bed. It speculates a little, but it’s made out to be more a matter of technique than actually paying attention to how a woman is responding to a man’s touch. This aspect of the book reminded me a little of the movie Don Jon with Joseph-Gordon Levitt. If you aren’t afraid of sex scenes and porn, the movie has an interesting “lesson” of a similar vein.

The psychological aspects of this book are immense, what with Lucy’s problems with her mother, Sean’s childhood emotional neglect, and the whole needing to get “warm.” If you enjoy thinking about human nature, then reading this book is fascinating.

The progression of Lucy and Sean’s relationship is another strong selling point for me. While it started off with a kind of tense anger, it slowly evolved into a friendship of sorts. This incremental development to their relationship was believable and enjoyable.

Overall, this book is a great journey. It moves from Ireland to Spain to New York and then back to Ireland and each place seems to represent a different phase of Lucy and Sean’s relationship. Oh, and the sex scenes are pretty great too and they also traverse spaces.

One other small critique I had of the book is the resolution of the central conflict for Lucy. In the end, it seems too easily solved after Lucy spent weeks upon weeks, and even a few tears, worrying about it. This aspect of the plot didn’t bother me as much as it could have, though, because Sean is so earnest in his attempts at being with Lucy. I love it when a man is cute and vulnerable and needy (in a healthy way).

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $1.99)

Yes, get it now while it’s on sale! The third book in the series releases on Feb. 14 and prices will probably go up after that so hurry. And bonus, if you have Kindle Unlimited it’s free!

Something else you might enjoy:

There are a lot of reforming-the-player themed books, but none of them have a storyline where the hero is bad in bed. In fact, I can’t think of a single book where the sex isn’t just magically wonderful. Has anyone else read a book where the partners have to work at learning what each other likes?