Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid

Rating: ★★★★★ stars
Date published: September 29th, 2013
Publisher: Caped Publishing
Synopsis: Friends Without Benefits can be read as a standalone, is a full length 120k word novel, and is book#2 in the Knitting in the City Series. 

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she's unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

What I Thought:

I love it when enemies turn to lovers.  I love it when best/former friends fall in love, and I love it when unrequited love/crushes are finally requited.  I also love to laugh, sometimes cry, and I always like to fall in love with the characters I'm reading about.  After all, how can you not love the quick witted Elizabeth when she's not tongue tied around Nico or how much Nico cares for those he loves?

I first met Elizabeth in Neanderthal Seeks Human (NSH).  She's Janie's best friend and looks out for her.  Elizabeth is very sarcastic and oh so stubborn, yet still very strong. There were times when I wanted to shake her silly and hope she came to her senses.  She's fantastic to read about.  You want to be her, heck, I want to be her!   Elizabeth is very much taken aback by Nico's re-entry into her life.  She has some past issues regarding him and the attraction she had for him comes roaring back.  Nico isn't helping them go away and we are the lucky ones who get to sit back and "watch" the fireworks.   (I wanted to yell at Elizabeth at one point and tell her, "If you don't want Nico, I'll take him!)

I loved how many feelings I got when I read this book.  Of course there was lots of laughter. Some of it came from seeing the knitting group together and others came from moments of Elizabeth & Nico interactions, but I laughed myself silly and if I wasn't laughing, then I had a big smile on my face.  I also teared up and cried.  There are moments that really touch you and it's hard to keep all that inside.  

I was very excited to read this book.  I read it within 24 hours of reading NSH.  I was super impressed with this story and of course with Penny Reid.  She wrote a book where the main female character was the alpha and the hero was somewhat of an alpha/beta mix.  I don't think I've ever read a book that wasn't erotica that had that dynamic.  Penny Reid has very quickly shot onto my "must read/must own authors" and also onto the "favorites" list.  You don't have to take my word for it, all you have to do is pick up one of her books and find out for yourself!  And kudos to her for giving readers a choose it yourself option when it came to the heat level with this book.  I read both chapters and loved them. Penny is definitely someone's books you're going to want to read!

Purchase Links:

About the Author
Author-Photo-Penny-Reid-300x300SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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