Romantic Comedy Recap 2.14.18
I have gone down a Penny Reid rabbit hole the last few weeks, and it has been amazing. I have devoured the Knitting in the City series and the Winston Brother series. And since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I would recap the three most recent Knitting in the City series books.
Beauty and the Mustache centers around Ashley Winston and Drew Runous. Ashley left her Tennessee home when she left for college, leaving her mother and six brothers behind. Each of her brothers will be the focus of the Winston Brothers series. But this is the first time we see them. Ashley flies home for the first time in eight years when her mother is in the hospital; her mother, only forty-seven, is diagnosed with cervical cancer and is only given six weeks to live. Ashley, a pediatric ICU nurse, stays at home to take care of her mother. Drew is the Game Warden at the local National Park and is Jethro’s, the oldest Winston, boss. Drew has become a fixture around the Winston house and is Bethany Winston’s power of attorney. Ashley is completely baffled by Drew and his presence in her family’s life. But as her mother deteriorates, Ashley finds comfort in Drew, who has been interested since day one. This was an interesting book because it spent more time apart from the Knitting ladies, even though they all talked and even visited Ashley. I loved this book because it explored several different issues, like finding love through grief and family reunions. Also it introduced us to the amazingness that is the Winston brothers. Seriously, I fell hard for every single one of them. But Ashley and Drew’s relationship became one of my favorites because they both needed each other so much. Also Drew kept calling Ashley Sugar, which normally I would have despised, but when Drew does it, swoon.
In the fifth Knitting in the City series book, Happily Ever Ninja, we read about Fiona and Greg Archer. Happily Ever Ninja is unique because it is the first romance novel I have read where the couple is already married. We learned in Love Hacked (Sandra & Alex’s book) that Fiona was ex-CIA, so it should not surprise us to see how much of a badass Fiona is. Greg works in Africa for months at a time as an oil engineer, trying to make sure oil companies are practicing the safest extraction processes. Greg and Fiona have mostly a long-distance marriage, which makes Fiona crazy when juggling their two kids, Jack and Grace, as well as their whole lives. But when Greg is kidnapped, Fiona, along with Marie, Quinn, and Dan, head to Africa to get him back. Like I said, Fiona is a badass. Since Fiona and Greg, who is British (seriously, Penny? You are killing me.), are already married, Happily Ever Ninja focuses more on them finding love again. The long distance and Fiona’s insistence that everything is fine has taken a toll on their relationship, but I love how Penny Reid explored an already committed relationship as the focus of a romance novel. Fiona has always been the mother hen of the knitting group, so I was so glad to see how amazing and complex she was when she wasn’t giving sage advice to the other ladies. Penny also wrote a prequel novella about Greg and Fiona falling in love in college, Ninja at First Sight.
Dating-ish is the sixth Knitting in the City book. Marie Harris has not had a ton of screen time in the other books, except for in Happily Ever Ninja. But we do know that Marie is a freelance writer who broke up with her longtime boyfriend in Love Hacked. Since that breakup, Marie has been trying out online dating, and she has a date with a guy named Derek who seems like her perfect match. However, the date goes horribly awry. Then it turns out the guy, actually named Matt, is Fiona’s neighbor and is an engineer trying to create robots as replacements for relationships. After Marie gets assigned a story for a magazine where she needs Matt’s Compassion AI data, she and Matt start a tentative friendship. But as they spend more time together, she begins to fall for Matt, but Matt has made it clear that he doesn’t want a long-term relationship. I absolutely adored Matt and Marie because their relationship is incredibly realistic. It is so hard to be friends, when one of you wants more.
Now I am all caught up with the Knitting in the City series, but Marriage of Inconvenience comes out in March. It will be Kat and Dan the Security Man’s book, and I seriously cannot wait. Penny Reid has the amazing gift of being able to write sexy romances, but still having incredibly complex and smart characters. I will be reading everything she writes from here on out.
What are your favorite romance novels?