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–Book Review– Love Hacked by Penny Reid (Penny Maggie)

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5 Pennies out of 5

Publication Date: March 11, 2014

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There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn’t been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra–near desperation and maybe a little tipsy–gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all.

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In recent discussions of books the question is often asked: “What is your favorite line?” There are books that while I am reading them I have some lines that I really love for any number of reasons but I don’t often remember them when I’m done unless I either write them down, or someone else had that same favorite line and they remember what it is. I can take notes or I can put little sticky markers near my favorite lines. I do not write in books. Growing up in my house you did not deface the printed page with your own original markings. Dog earing pages was grounds for grounding. And then I got a Kindle. The feature that I think I love the most on my Kindle is the highlight option.  Don’t worry, there’s a point to all of this.

When I got an ARC for Love Hacked, not only did I squeal and tell my kids to order their own damn pizza because I was busy, I realized that I could use the highlighting option on my Kindle to make sure I remembered my favorite lines. I knew that there would be many. I had read Penny Reid’s two other books and loved them for all the clever moments, hysterical Penny-isms (the woman can make up some amazing new words) and gut bustingly funny verbal exchanges. When I finished the Love Hacked and took a look at my highlights there were a metric ton of them. And these were the short bits that could easily be marked off. I drew the line at highlighting whole scenes.

Love Hacked is the third book in the Knitting in the City series by Penney Reid and, I think, the best. Sandra Fielding is a child psychiatrist who is looking for The One. She vets her dates to assure that they fulfill her criteria for a suitable life partner. Her dates tend to be clean-cut, professional, golfer types – and she makes them cry. Sandra has a gift for drawing people out so that she can help them. With her dates, this usually means tears before dessert and a referral for therapy. So, lots of first dates for Sandra, but it’s not all bad. These dinners take place at The Taj where her waiter is always the lovely Alex of the dead sexy voice. He’s exactly the kind of guy that Sandra doesn’t date but puts the unusual thought of a one night stand possibility in her head. It turns out that Alex has had his eye on Sandra and when they finally start talking the sparks sure do fly. Love Hacked is full of hot romance – actual romance with people figuring each other out and having lots of fun while they do – mystery, intrigue, surprises, lots of laughs, and the Tuesday night knitting group. There’s also Bonergate, Star Wars jokes and Sandra’s collection of custom situational t-shirts.

As usual I fell in love with Penny’s characters. Sandra is smart, sexy, funny – Star Wars jokes and custom situational t-shirts, worth repeating – caring and a little more vulnerable than she’ll admit. Alex is, um, what was I saying? Right, Alex. Alex is a sexy enigma who will in turns make your heart feel like it will break and make your body feel like it’s going to overheat while all the while you brain will try to keep up with his. I loved watching Sandra and Alex figure each other, and themselves, out during this story. They are good for each other, challenge each other, cause the other to change in the best ways, and never too much.

Penny Reid has once again given us wonderful, well-rounded, characters in a smart, funny, unique story. The first person narrative is handled perfectly. It is Sandra, it sounds like her, not like Elizabeth from Friends without Benefits or Janie from Neanderthal Seeks Human. This is her story in her voice. And this is as much of a spoiler as you’ll get. As much as you love Alex by the end Sandra’s story, you’ll love him more after the epilogue.

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Penny Reid has difficulty writing about herself in the third person. She finds it strange and unsettling. Therefore, Penny will now switch to the first person.

I’m originally from California but now live in the Southeast US with my family after going to college in the area. I work full time at a large University in the field of biomedical research (e.g. clinical research studies conducted under the auspices of the FDA). I work a lot. I also love to knit and crochet; sew bags, blankets, and clothes; carve lino blocks for fabric printing; make homemade soap, jam, marmalade; and- most recently- I’m learning to garden.

I don’t like to sit still unless I’m writing, reading, or knitting and I usually only knit in my knitting group… or at red lights while stuck in traffic. I only read on planes (where I’m trapped). Luckily, I travel a lot for work.

The voices in my head (characters) became so loud over the summer of 2012- specifically, Janie Morris- that I was forced to write Neanderthal Seeks Human, my first attempt at a full length novel. It took me 7 months while working full time, crafting, and raising my people-children (boy-5, girl-3).

If I could have any job in the world it would be my job because I feel like what I do makes a tangible difference in the lives of every living person. If I could have any life in the world it would be my life. Happiness is the seed of good fortune and success. Do what it takes to be happy and be a source of happiness for others.

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Love Hacked on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18739438-love-hacked?from_search=true

Neanderthal Seeks Human on Amazon: click here on Goodreads click here

Friends Without Benefits on Amazon: click here on Goodreads click here

You can find the author’s blog here: http://reidromance.blogspot.com/p/about-penny.html

Penny on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter

Penny on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReidRomance

Penny on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/reidromance/

Penny on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/people/ReidRomance

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