Friday, January 15, 2016

NOVELLA REVIEW: "Ninja at First Sight: An Origin Story" by Penny Reid

Ninja at First Sight (Knitting in the City, #4.75)
(Knitting in the City #4.75)

For Ages 18+ (Language)
New Adult -- Contemporary

Caped Publishing -- Published on November 21, 2015
Ebook, 194 pages
Read in January 2016
Purchased from Amazon


First Person Narrative, Shy Heroines, Romantic Comedy, Witty Banter, Cliffhanger

What do a cynical former Marine and a sheltered former Olympic contender have in common?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  He has a girlfriend and she’s never been kissed.  He’s sullenly sarcastic and she’s earnestly empathetic. He can’t stop thinking about her.  She knows she should keep her distance.  Nevertheless, when opposites attract the results may be unexpected, but they’re also undeniably magnetic.

"I don't like this."

Ninja at First Sight is a fun introduction to the couple that will be the focus of the next book in Penny Reid's Knitting in the City series, Happily Ever Ninja.  Fiona is a member of the titular knitting group and readers of the series have heard stories about her husband, Greg, and their marriage.  This book shows how they met and provides some background for what I'm hoping will be another successful contemporary for the author.

Fiona is a former Olympic-level gymnast who had to stop competing after being diagnosed with cancer.  Years have passed and she is now healthy and starting college.  Her coed dormitory allows for her to interact with different types of people and the one that grabs her attention right away is Greg, a snarky, ex-Marine.  Greg is a bit of an odd hero with his love of playing devil's advocate.  His cynical view on life takes a turn when he meets (and falls head over heels) for the lively Fiona.

I just adored Fiona.  She had a rough time, but has come out stronger and ready to live life to the fullest without being cheesy about it.  She is a bit on the shy side due to the fact that she has trouble relating to her peers and hasn't spent much time thinking about anything but her health.  I really liked how willing she was to call Greg out on his bullshit and go toe to toe with him in a debate.  Greg has some arrogant moments and I liked that the author didn't try to gloss over his flaws.  But, there is something innately attractive about him and it is easy to see that there is a really good person underneath all the snark.  A big part of his attraction (for me) is how he treats Fiona.  He is protective, but also adores her for her personal strength.

The romance between Fiona and Greg feels quick just because of the page length, but the story takes place over the course of an academic year.  When they first meet, Greg is dating someone else and, eventually, breaks up with her to pursue Fiona.  I appreciated the way that the author depicted this scenario without making the first girlfriend as the villain.  It was portrayed pretty realistically as two people who just drifted apart.  Once Greg and Fiona start hanging out, their already obvious chemistry just imploded.  Their conversations had me laughing out loud and it was easy to see how well-matched they were.

I think Ninja at First Sight would be a good introduction to the Knitting in the City series and Penny Reid's writing.  There aren't any references to other characters in series since it takes place so much earlier.  I can't wait to read Happily Ever Ninja and am anxious to see how Greg and Fiona's relationship has developed.

“Attending to injustice, no matter how small, is always a worthy cause.”

1. Neanderthal Meets Human: A Smart Romance
1.5. Neanderthal Marries Human: A Smarter Romance
2. Friends Without Benefits: An Unrequited Romance
3. Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance
4. Beauty and the Mustache: A Philosophical Romance
4.5. Scenes from the City: A Knitting in the City Surprise
4.75. Ninja at First Sight: An Origin Story
5. Happily Ever Ninja: A Married Romance (Coming January 2016)
6. Dating-ish: A Scientific Romance (Coming 2016)

Goodreads -- Author Website

Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Kobo

1 comment:

  1. You've totally sold me! I need to read this! I just can never resist shy heroines.


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