Wednesday, April 2, 2014

REVIEW: "Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance" by Penny Reid

Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3)

Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance by Penny Reid
(Knitting in the City #3)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Contemporary Romance

Caped Publishing -- March 3, 2014
Ebook, 390 pages
Purchased from Amazon

First Person Narrative, Romantic Comedy, May-December Romance

There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn't been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra--near desperation and maybe a little tipsy--gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all.

"He was bald in a way that made me think of both melons and sex."

Love Hacked is Penny Reid's third installment in her hilarious and refreshingly original Knitting in the City series.  Fans have already seen two of the Knitting Club members (quirky Jane and sarcastic Elizabeth) get their HEA so now it is time to focus on one of my favorites, Sandra the child psychiatrist.  I am impressed with how much Ms. Reid has grown as an author through this series since this is definitely my favorite so far.

As I mentioned above, Sandra is a psychiatrist who is on a mission to find someone to settle down with.  Unfortunately, she has a tendency to be attract nice guys who bring out her "helpful" side and she ends up becoming their therapist, and later platonic female friend, rather than their lover.  Her luck seems to change though when Alex the Waiter (who has been waiting on Sandra and her dates for two years) decides to throw his hat into the fray.  But, Alex is much more than a simple restaurant worker and he wants something much more than a therapy session or a one-night stand.
"Alex the waiter was on my Spank Naughty list in third place, right after Henry Cavill, the actor, then Henry Cavill as Superman.  He was proof that God existed and that God loved straight women."
 I adored both of these characters.  Sandra made me giggle so many times with her witty remarks and pop culture obsession.  The way she used her quirky t-shirt collection to emphasize both her mood and the situation she was in was very creative on Ms. Reid's part.  I am also obligated to love any heroine who is obsessed with the Star Wars franchise.  And Alex is another sexy Reid hero though he is as different from Quinn (Neanderthal Seeks Human) and Nico (Friends Without Benefits) as he can be.  I loved the mystery around him and found him to a great match for outgoing Sandra.

The plot of Love Hacked basically centers around the development of Sandra and Alex's relationship through their awkward (but hot) first meetings to their fun dates to their more serious conversations.  Like the rest of the Knitting in the City series, there is plenty of humor to keep readers laughing late into the night.  There is also a dash of suspense related to Alex and a Big Secret he is carrying around with him.

Besides Sandra and Alex's unique dates, some of my favorite scenes were the ones with the Knitting Club.  This series is now three books old so fans are getting to know all the members really well.  I love the friendship that these women (and single man) have with each other and how devoted they are.  I believe that book-obsessed Ashley is next to take center stage and I can't wait to see how Ms. Reid matches with her.

Overall, I found Love Hacked to be an enjoyable and easy to read contemporary romance that really stands out in the genre.  Ms. Reid is not afraid to push the envelope with her characters and I definitely applaud her for featuring a couple where the woman is a older than the man.  I highly recommend this for readers who are looking for a funny, but thought-provoking romance.  And it can definitely be read as a stand-alone though it is fun to see how the Knitting Club changes from book to book.


Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

"Gorgeous, green-eyed, loud-mouthed female who makes men cry comes in every other Friday night for years.  Wears only sexy dresses, high heels, and discusses topics such as Star Wars parenting theory, karaoke as foreplay, sleep obsession, the phallic qualities of knitting and crochet tools, and the continuing status of Pakistan as a viable U.S. ally.  All this and she couldn't be bothered to give me the time of day.  You were perfect.  You were a fantasy."

1. Neanderthal Seeks Humans: A Smart Romance
2. Friends Without Benefits: An Unrequited Romance
3. Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance
4. Beauty and the Mustache: A Philosophical Romance (Coming September 2014)



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