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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Love Hacked (Knitting in the City #3) By Penny Reid

A Review By Wendy
5 Snarky, Inventive, Transformative, ZINGING Stars 
* * * * *

Ok, I admit it. I am a sucker for smart books. No, I am not talking about encyclopedia, full of analysis books. I am also not talking about books which are full of how smart they present themselves to be with SAT vocabulary; with pages and pages of words which could be reduced to 3 and say the same thing equally as well.

No, I am talking about books which have unique, snappy characters…..People who immediately draw you in with what is happening in their heads. They feel things deeply; express their thoughts and feeling so I can understand why they do what they do. If they have a sharp wit, many friends to share said sharp wit, all the better. Add a real story, of course, a swoon worthy man…. and I am all in.

Loved Hacked is all of the above and more. I say more because it brings some very interesting questions about we as people and how we can separate who we are with our careers with how we may need to be with our loved ones.

Sandra is a Pediatric Psychiatrist. She has been through all of the mistakes in love; had her heartbroken and is on the quest for the guy… the one to have a real life with. At 28, she has been searching through a system of first dates for 2 years. Her looks are lovely, her personality a little quirky and self deprecating; everything should be all systems go. She seems to be shopping in the same pool of respectable, professional career driven men getting the same results… at first fun banter… then the men all seem to key into her reminding them of someone in their past, a friend, ex or even their mother… and then the men start to pour out their trauma to her… she sits, listens in her professional manner, gives them a pat or hug depending on how affected they are and hands them off with a card for a fellow shrink  to help them on their journey. Many stay friends.

All this takes place at Sandra’s favorite Indian restaurant as their Butter Chicken is beyond compare and the vision of Alex, her waiter over these years, is equally as stunning. In fact, if Sandra had to choose between the two… I really don’t think she could.  Alex seems to be younger than Sandra, yet has a worldliness about him. Physically, he is something to behold… penetrating eyes, lanky body and grace. When he talks with her, it is if he sees into her soul.

It is during one of these Friday night dates when Sandra’s horoscope seems to come to pass… as it told her “be watchful you will meet the catalyst of your future” the other day…. She thought it meant the fella she was sitting with… but he too did whatever other Friday night date did… he cried and left with the shrink’s card. No, what was about to be the change in her life was Alex coming and sitting at her table, drinking the wine and actually having a conversation with her. Earth shattering!

Alex sits as comfortable as can be… eating and drinking the wine… the place is now empty and he is talking to her. Sandra has to formulate the words to his questions as he is not being very nice…He goes through his theories of who she is and why she has brought these men to the restaurant… he has correctly deduced she is a shrink but is shocked to learn these are first dates. While having this conversation, he has been repeatedly filling Sandra’s wine glass resulting in a very tipsy Sandra. Things come to a head when he says he doesn’t understand why she does all of this as she is attractive … she in her state she shares she hasn't been kissed in over two years, close to 3 and doesn’t intentionally wish these men to cry. She gets up… unsteady… goes to the bathroom and upon returning walks directly into Alex, who is blocking her way…

He mentions 3 years is a long time to go without a kiss while holding her close…. Sandra decides to graze her lips across his… does once, and then again… Alex then takes over. This is a man who knows how to kiss… he sets off Zings throughout Sandra… making her experience what it really feels like to have that overwhelming stupid brain want….

As they pull away… they have the most telling conversation… because Alex asks Sandra a basic question- she shakes her head no but tells the truth with her mouth doing again what Alex has seen over and over again… Sandra can shut down how she is thinking and feeling about things in order to hear the other person’s story without giving herself way. Alex focuses in on this and stops all of the action they were having… Sandra goes home not really understanding what took place… Alex is closed off.

This book is wonderful. We follow the two of these people getting to know each other in spite of the boundaries each uses. Alex has deep, serious ideas of life; what it has dealt him; how he needs to live as freely as he can. Sandra has her own ways and some she doesn't really wish to address… defense mechanisms which have been used for years. Alex pushes her and she does the same with him.

The real obstacle for these two is something not oblivious right away…  Can Sandra be there for Alex and just be… rather than be the Sandra she is use to being; the listener ,than fixer… that is the critical question I felt in this book.

I came to Loved Hacked (Knitting in the City #3) by Penny Reid totally blind. I did not know of the series or Ms. Reid. The characters from the past books are here; the repartee is fast, hysterical and smart. Words are created and used perfectly. I want to be part of their knitting group and I don’t knit. The story line is really current… and funny enough Real Life magazines have been doing articles about the topic used as the focal point.  

The chemistry between Sandra and Alex is off the charts and ZINGING all over the place so this is a true yummy romance.

I will be looking for more from Ms. Reid and will probably work my way backwards through this series. Now if I learn how to knit one and purl two… it will be an added bonus. 

We received this Arc in exchange for an honest review

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. I work full time in the biotech industry as a researcher. I work a lot. I'm also a full time mom to two diminutive adults (boy-5 and girl-3), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought hijacker.

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.

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.(less)

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