Dating-ish, an all new standalone from the USA Today bestselling Knitting in the City romantic comedy series by Penny Reid is available now!
‘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?
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.
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.
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.”
“What if I needed it for research reasons?”
“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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The Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid
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!