Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Penny Reid’s latest, Dating-ish. I love-love-loved this book. How much? Well, I’ve read it twice in the last month and a half. I’m pretty sure it’s my new favorite Knitting in the City book. SO. FREAKING. GOOD.
Dating-Ish by Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #6
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 16, 2017
Format: eARC, 304 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: 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 human kind, 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?
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I think I have a new favorite Penny Reid book. At the very least, I have a new favorite in this series. I think. If you make me pick. Gah! It’s hard to play favorites. But for real. Dating-ish? Fuh-reaking loved it. How much? SO MUCH that I’ve read it twice since I got my ARC in April.
Marie and Matt were something special. I will forever have a soft spot for them. Friends to lovers is one of my very favorite tropes and what Penny did with it and these characters was magical. I love it so much that, even after two readings, I’m having a hard time putting into words exactly why I loved it as much as I did. Basically I just want to flail around and squee and make everyone read it. Yes, that means you.
Dating-ish drew me in from the very first page. It charmed me with amazing characters, both old and new, swoony romance and nerdy goodness. (Harry Potter references FTW!) It hit me in the feels and I loved it. If you’ve ever read a Penny Reid book, you know to expect her to bring the funny and she definitely delivered on that in this book. Between the sweet lines, the hot lines (yes, there were several of those) and the funny lines, I did a whole lot of highlighting while reading.
The way that Marie and Matt’s relationship developed from strangers (with some animosity) to friends to best friends to more just felt so very real. The conflicting emotions — does he think of me as a friend? does he see me as more? do I want more with him? is he just a crutch? — Marie felt were so easy to relate to. And because we spend the entire book in *her* head and not his, I was left wondering what was going on in his head the entire time. But, oh the swoons! He was there at (almost) every turn and just so damn amazing. *sigh* In case you couldn’t guess, I have a new favorite book boyfriend to go along with my new favorite book.
I could go on and on and on talking about how amazing this book is, but I’ll save you some time and stop now. Just read it. Fall in love with the characters and be left with all the swoony feels when it’s all over. Now I kinda want to read it for the third time…
Don’t run away from me, hopes! I can’t move that fast in these heels and we’re in this together.
Forget men and romance. The answer to my aching loneliness would be all the cats.
“You should have someone who adores you. Who is worthy of you, Marie. Never settle for less.”
“Nothing about you could ever bore me. You’re the most remarkable person I’ve met.”
5:11 a.m. Greg: Fi is asleep and so is the baby. But I can’t sleep when I’m this happy. It would be a waste of the moments that make life worth living.
“Hearts are bastards that way, always looking for a goddamn window.”
“I want you to know that any part of yourself you’re willing to share with me—any time, any energy, any thought—I exist as a ready audience.”
For the first time in my life, I was encouraging my hopes. I allowed them to run and fly. To the sky. To the stars. Because that’s what my life was going to be from now on.
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.”
What’s your favorite Penny Reid book?