Also by this author: Dating-ish, Beard in Mind
Also in this series: Dating-ish, Neanderthal Seeks Human
Series: Knitting In The City #2
on September 29th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Smart Romance
Buy on Amazon

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.

Friends Without Benefits

by Penny Reid

Penny Reid is the Queen of Smart Romance I love her ability to weave scientific facts, Star Trek or Star Wars references and other geeky things that make my nerdy heart shout a happy Yeehaw into her stories.

In Friends Without Benefits we get to know Elizabeth Finney, a pediatric doctor who comes with a lot of emotional baggage. She lost her high school sweetheart to a disease. The guy she grew up with and who was also her late boyfriend’s best friend used to bully her. When he, now a successful comedy show host, crashes back into her life he turns it upside down and her inside out, because Nico the bully…seems…nice…kind.

“Nothing is more frustrating than being attracted to someone who is a complete jerk – except for maybe also caring about that person despite continued abuses. I was such an idiot.”

I have to admit I did get a little frustrated with Elizabeth because she kept pushing him away, time and time again, telling him “that’s why she didn’t want to do this”. I had to consciously remind myself that Nico used to be a douchewaffle at school and really treated her horribly. It was hard because Nico 2.0 was incredibly sweet and adorable. Furthermore, Elizabeth was really convinced, although misguided, that you can only love once in your life. Admitting being in love with Nico would come with a lot of adjustments to what she thought was true. It also took her forever to see her own worth and let fear rule her for a long time. All of this though was, looking at the big picture, understandable.

I loved Nico for his relentless pursuit of her, for loving her, for keeping trying despite her rebuilding her walls time and again. I loved that he never held back and said out loud pretty much from the beginning that she was IT for him and I never, not one second, had a doubt about that. Nico wasn’t above playing games and he kept pushing her until she gave in. His remorse for being a bully at school and the consequences of it, Elizabeth’s distrust of him, was so obvious and honest. And when he finally got her? He gave me serious lady parts tingles.

“I don’t want to be fair! I’m not interested in being nice! You’re right. I’m playing games with you and I’m playing dirty because I want you, I need you, to be with you, to hear your voice, your laugh, to hold you, to touch you…”

I don’t know how Ms Reid does it but I haven’t disliked a single one of her heroes. I loved them all and Nico fits the bill. He was dreamy. I also loved Elizabeth, despite her giving me whiplash. The most hilarious moment was pretty much at the end when Quinn from Neanderthal Seeks Human had to get naked on a tv-show.

I’m slowly making my way through the series. I can’t get enough of the author’s writing. It’s quirky in a way, with all those geek speak and science references, funny and spellbinding. Up next: Love Hacked!

“You have to know that I’m in love with you, you have to know that I’ve loved you since we were kids, since before I can remember.”


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