(Knitting in the City #6)
by Penny Reid
Genre: Contemporary romance
Release Date: May 16th, 2017
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?
Now I've always said that my favourite Knitting book is Beauty and the Mustache, and then Happily Ever Ninja came out. And now with Dating-ish, I guess I can say that all three of them are my favourite---I simply can't choose!
So yeah, I love this, as expected. I LOVE THIS A LOT. Here's some !!!!!! because it's that great. I've probably reread this 4-5 times after the first time because I kept thinking about it. I also cried a lot reading this for some inexplicable reason; Penny's other books never made me this weepy I want to write a long email to Penny demanding explanation for this phenomenon. Penny's books always invite her readers to think; I love the A.I. companion concept and the Nazi discussion, and whether or not human need for companionship can be replaced with paid services.
Now, wow, about Marie, where do I start? She intrigued me ever since she initiated the skinhead-baddies takedown in Neanderthal Seeks Human, and I find her even more awesome in Dating-ish. I relate to Marie so hard; I'm also looking for the Right Person but unlike Marie, I don't even bother to delve into online dating because...eh, men...but I digress. It's so easy to love Marie, and I admire her a lot for her genuineness, her open personality, and her courage to go outside her comfort zone and try new things (orgasm meditation, I can't even---). Also, I squealed when it's revealed that Marie's Abram's sister. I'm already so excited for the next Hypothesis book.
I liked Matt instantly when I met him in Happily Ever Ninja; dude is definitely me when it comes to food (though I don't really have the passion for coconut). I didn't even expect Penny to throw them both together. Disastrous first date aside, they just fit so well. I love their chemistry and banter, and how hot they are together.
Overall, Dating-ish has all the classic Penny Reid goodness: it's funny, smart, and entertaining, and I'm already hyped for Penny's next book.
As a part of the blog tour, here's an excerpt of Dating-ish (which is one of my favourite scenes off the book, yes):
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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