Tag Archives: Penny Reid

Beard in Hiding by Penny Reid

Overview

Title: Beard in Hiding
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #4.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

I’ve been totally intrigued to read this since found out that Diane was going to get heron novel. But I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d feel a out it, after all, Diane is kind of hard to stomach in Beard Science. But, even though I don’t love her as much as the many other women in the Penny Reid world, I liked her a whole lot more than I had anticipated. Plus Repo, who, again wasn’t exactly all that likeable, was also so much more sympathetic than I had anticipated.

After reading about the murder and craziness in Marriage and Murder, it was really cool to read about the events from a different point of view. In fact, reading about all of Diane’s experiences from a different point of view was enjoyable. I love how Penny is able to take a pretty intense story and tell it from so many different angles. Total different facets of a story that I really can’t get out of my head. Now I need to read Home and Heist to see if Diane is able to re-enter Jennifer’s life…

Reid did a fantastic  job of fleshing Diane out and providing context to her behaviour. Coming from wn abusive background and the decisions that she made, whilst not good, have a little more understanding. Plus, Cletus makes a few appearances, and I always love that. It reminds us that even villains sometimes have a great back story that make them relatable. Although, not every author can make them as sympathetic as Reid has managed to.

It was a whole lot of fun learning more about both Repo and Diane. It also highlights the ways in which the Iron Wraiths are completely falling apart. How good men can get tangled up in a bad situation, and how Jessica James can come from someone who seems the be kind of evil… I’m just hoping that Diane and Repo manage to make more appearances in the future books about Green Valley.

<- Beard in MindDr. Strange Beard ->

Image source: Amazon

Homecoming King by Penny Reid

Overview

Title: Homecoming King
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Three Kings #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

Fake relationship tropes are always good fun. But a fake marriage to your childhood obsession / crush? That meets whole new levels of awesome! Plus, Abbi is just all kinds of cute and fun. I particularly love her enjoyment in decorating for Halloween and Christmas. I seriously wish I had the creativity and motivation to be such a decorating whizz.

From the beginning, you know that Abbi has come from a fairly bad relationship. One in which she was definitely abused in some fashion, although it’s not clear how. And then when you FINALLY find out what actually happened, the fact that she was groomed and used so tragically is a little bit heartbreaking. God, it would put anyone off of dating. Which, of course is what leads to the whole fake marriage thing that gives us such a fun happily ever after.

Rex and Abbi’s ?re?Meet Cute was so much fun. I mean, pouring your ridiculously drunk past crush into the car and undressing him with gloves? That was pure romantic comedy. Which of course set the tone perfectly for this whole novel. A tale that is filled with fateful moments, some awkward blunders and a whole lot of sweetness. Particularly when you find out that all of those “dates” that Rex went on that ended up in a marriage, he totally planned out. I mean, could he get any cuter? The answer is that yes, yes he does.

I loved Homecoming King. It was not only a great fake marriage trope, but also a really sweet second chances romance. I love that it features leads who are just that little bit older and just that bit jaded. Plus, Abbi is just so beautifully quirky. I always love the quirky women in the lead, it’s so wonderfully easy to relate… now I can’t wait for Drama King to be released.

<- More Penny ReidDrama King ->

Image source: Amazon

Capture by Penny Reid

Overview

Title: Elements of Chemistry: Capture
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Hypothesis #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2015

Thoughts

This was such a beautiful ending to this trilogy. FINALLY, there is an ending without a horrible cliff-hanger. And Abe is introduced JUST enough for me to be curious about the happenings in Motion. I love that while this fast forwards from the happenings in Heat, there are still snapshots of the time that has passed. Basically, I just loved this whole story and the way that Kaitlyn and Martin’s story ends.

I had a few hopes that I mentioned in my Heat review. Hopes that Kaitlyn would stand up for herself and come into her own. That Martin would get over his assholery and be a better man… and they all came true. Which is honestly obvious from the very start. But I did love how a series of miscommunications drew out that final moment of reconnection. It meant that this was pretty much a cover to cover read for me.

Kaitlyn is such a gorgeous, loveable woman right through this series. Although I love how in this book she starts to figure out how to be the woman she wants. She renegotiated her relationship with her parents, particularly her mother. Figures out how to support herself in her chosen career, and just generally becomes a badass woman. It’s a little cliche that she is getting crushed on by multiple men, but it still emphasises her growing I to her own.

Mostly though it’s the way that Martin changes that made me incredibly happy. He doesn’t necessarily fundamentally change, but he does soften at the edges a bit. And, mostly, he gets so much better at listening to Kaitlyn and her desires. He makes room for someone else in his single mindedness. Which, of course, completely melted my heart. THIS is why I love Penny Reid so much.

<- HeatMotion ->

Image source: Goodreads

Attraction by Penny Reid

Overview

Title: Elements of Chemistry: Attraction
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Hypothesis #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2015

Thoughts

I wasn’t sure how I’d like this story, since it starts with a girl hiding in a closet, overhearing a drugging and exploitation plot. And then you meet Martin, and it doesn’t necessarily get easier to spend some literary time with him. Although, because it’s Penny Reid, once Martin makes his appearance, you are unequivocally pulled in. I might still be a bit iffy on him after reading this novel, but I’m also completely pulled in – I NEED to find out just WHY he is such a royal dick.

Kaitlyn is a fantastic counterpoint to Martin. She’s incredibly sweet and reserved. And although not comfortable with the “Bunsen burner in her pants” (what a great description), she does seem quite comfortable with herself. That doesn’t mean there is an iota of self-confidence there, but there is comfort and like of oneself.

There is a warning with this story that it does end on a cliff-hanger, so I was expecting that. But the cliff-hanger that it ended on? Wow. I wasn’t expecting that. Or the emotional intensity. I should have expected that from one of my favourite authors. Let’s be honest here. It makes it incredibly difficult not to pick up the next boom immediately. I lasted less than 24 hours before diving into Heat…

I must admit, Sam is an absolutely amazing beat friend. She makes sure Kaitlyn is safe and cared for. She looks out for her and stands up for her. She is the kind of best friend that I think every woman deserves. She’s also willing to set aside her own prejudices so that Kaitlyn is able to experience her own life without a strong, independent, female best friend to cramp her style. The support but willingness to have someone make their own mistakes is just gorgeous.

<- More Penny ReidHeat ->

Image source: Amazon

Heat by Penny Reid

Overview

Title: Elements of Chemistry: Heat
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Hypothesis #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2015

Thoughts

Like Attraction, this novel had a pretty untended cliff-hanger. Unlike Attraction, it was kind of horrible. And heartbreaking. And I actually felt my heart break a little bit. I mean I know that Martin and Kaitlyn are going to end up together eventually because… well, romance novel. But it still hurt to read this, and there’s that bit you think is the sad, cliff-hanger ending… and then it just gets worse.

I’m not going to lie, Martin’s background is kind of tragic, and it does hurt your heart. But that really doesn’t excuse his assholery behaviour. And some of his behaviour is seriously not okay. I’m seriously hoping that in Capture all of his mistakes make him realise that maybe he needs to pull back on his damn attitude. Having said that, I still completely loved him. He’s that bad boy trope that you can’t help but love.

To be fair, Kaitlyn’s family isn’t all that great either. At least there’s love there, but it is somewhat neglectful. I don’t love how the inability to communicate causes the horrible badness that ends this story either. But, there’s already moments of Kaitlyn figuring out who she is, so hopefully that continues in Capture. Actually, I probably look forward to Kaitlyn coming into her own more than I look forward to her and Martin finding their way back to each other.

As much as the breakup in this story sucks, I’m 100% behind Kaitlyn’s decision. It’s hard to imagine the heartbreak that she goes through, but Martin breaks so many unwritten relationship rules, it’s hard not to understand why she does it.

<- AttractionCapture ->

Image source: Amazon

Totally Folked by Penny Reid

Overview

Title: Totally Folked
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Good Folk: Modern Folktales #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

Even though Jackson is a bit of a douche from the moment you meet him in Beauty and the Mustache, I always found it kind of hard to dislike him. He definitely has his idiot quotient, but underneath, there’s always this sense of decency about him. That definitely shines through in Totally Folked. And shows me that I had reason to think good, happy thoughts about the man with his many appearances throughout the Winston Brothers series.

Aside from the romance, one of the things that stuck out the most to me was Jackson’s rationale for his approach to the Winston’s. In particular, there is a moment when he talks about Duane and his many, many speeding tickets. It’s kind of cool to see so much of that story and courtship from both sides. And yeah, I think that both sides had a lot of validity.

Reid also doesn’t shy away from the realities of being an emergency service worker and the horrors that they see. Something that I really appreciated. After all, sometimes being an emergency service worker is romanticised and glorified. It’s an amazing calling and I could wax poetic about the wonderful people who choose to pursue this, but it’s not all sunshine and roses. In fact, one of my favourite moments is when, towards the end of the book, Jackson finally admits that everything is not okay, and it was a sucky day.

Raquel and Jackson are a wonderful couple. And I love that when they both realise that this is REAL, they genuinely try to make compromises. It’s a fear I have for some people in my life, that that unwillingness to give a little will result in losing everything. Which, it almost does in this story, but, as with all good romances, it all ends up okay. With compromise!

<- Just Folking AroundFolk Around and Find Out ->

Image source: Amazon

Just Folking Around by Penny Reid

Overview

Title: Just Folking Around
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Good Folk: Modern Folktales #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Year: 2021

Thoughts

I knew that Raquel and Jackson start out as a fling night, and then there’s the reception. But honestly, knew no more than that. Because you know, I like to avoid spoilers. I kind of thought that this fling moment would be hashed out in a short prologue that gives you the bare bones of the interactions. Instead, Reid granted us with this amazing novella that gives us SO MUCH MORE than I expected.

Rachel and Jackson are, indeed an incredibly cute couple. I love that Raquel is a little bit off kilter. Like most of us who are slightly odd, she is constantly censoring herself. I love how neurotic she is (kindred spirit much?) The constant censoring is way too familiar and incredibly sweet. But, I also love how she is able to release some of that control around Jackson.

This was a beautiful novella, one that I’m likely to read again and again. In part because I really loved the whole set chess thing. I might have to suggest this for my next date night…

<- More Penny ReidTotally Folked ->

Image source: Amazon

Live and Let Grow by Penny Reid

Overview
Live and Let Grow by Penny Reid

Title: Live and Let Grow
Author: Penny Reid
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 30th October 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2021
5th sentence, 74th page: Yeah.

Synopsis

Alice is in love with her best friend.

Now all she has to do is tell him.

Best buds Milo Manganiello and Alice Hooper have been the one constant in each other’s lives for over fifteen years. The charismatic and compassionate physics professor was there when Alice got married, and he was there ten years later when she got divorced. Likewise, the candid and kind computer science professor has always been there for Milo. She babysits his apartment and plethora of houseplants when he’s traveling and they share breakfast together every day he’s in town.

Alice wasn’t always in love with Milo, but the feeling has grown, and when Milo returns from his latest globe-trotting adventure, Alice decides it’s time to spill the seeds. 88 Does Alice have the grit to confess? And will feelings take root? Or is hers a love destined never to bloom?

Thoughts

For such a short story. This was just too damn cute. I mean, two people who are completely in love with each other, not quite ready to let each other know. And just generally having a whole heap of misunderstandings that could lead to total tragedy.

Alice is such a quirky lead. I know how hard it is to tell the person you love of your feelings. But the multitude of ways that she’s tried to do this… just way too cute for words. Actually, I would have probably enjoyed it far more if the first scene of her attempt to tell Milo of her feelings continued. Her sister was a bit of a killjoy with the whole romance thing. And kind of strongly putting down poor Alice when she was “looking out for her”.

The part that I’m most jealous of in this story is the fact that Alice is able to keep plants alive! I mean, I’m sure I should be jealous of the amazing romance in this tale. But since I don’t tend to even be able to keep cacti alive… I’m mostly just incredibly jealous that Alice can.

This was a fantastic visit back into the world of Penny Reid’s mind and writing. It was a short read. But one that I loved and will read again and again and again.

<- More Penny ReidMore contemporary romance ->

Image source: Goodreads

Marriage and Murder by Penny Reid

Overview
Marriage and Murder by Penny Reid

Title: Marriage and Murder
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Solving for Pie #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance, Cozy mystery
Dates read: 24th – 29th October 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2021
5th sentence, 74th page: The lie.

Synopsis

The Devil is in the details…

Cletus Byron Winston wishes to marry Jennifer Anne Donner-Sylvester (aka The Banana Cake Queen) posthaste! He’s spent the last year wanting nothing more than for the celebrations to be brief, libations flowing, and BYOB (bring your own blueberries). His future mother-in-law has other plans, plans his intended has been willing to indulge, much to Cletus’s chagrin. Therefore, so must he. To a point. But truth be told, he wouldn’t mind if the meddlesome matriarch disappeared, at least until the nuptials are over.

On the night of Cletus and Jenn’s long-awaited engagement party, just when the surly schemer is of a mind to take matters into his own hands, a shocking events upends everyone’s best laid plans and sends the small hamlet of Green Valley into complete disarray. The final months leading up to Cletus and Jenn’s matrimonial bliss are plagued with chaos and uncertainty. Will Cletus and Jenn finally make it to the altar? Or will murder and mayhem derail their happily-ever-after?

And most importantly, who done it?

Thoughts

After the most enjoyable of moments in Engagement and Espionage, I couldn’t wait to pick up Marriage and Murder. Luckily, this was one of those times that I actually had it sitting on the shelf, ready to go. So, of course, I dived right in. And I most definitely was not disappointed. This was an amazing story. love the contemporary mystery feel. Loved the story line. And, as always, loved Cletus and Jenn.

This may make me a slightly bad person… but, personally I love the fact that Kip dies in this story. I mean, death is bad and all. But he is the kind of villain I most fear. The sort that is so deliriously self-righteous that you just… can’t even reason with them. Or bribe them. Or really in anyway do anything. And they’re also the type of person that I fear the most in the world. I mean, someone who has no logic and you can’t have an open, safe and frank conversation with? Yup. That’s scary. So in this story, I appreciated that he can no longer quite torture Jenn and Cletus. Once his murder is solved anyway.

I always love a good mystery in which you can’t quite guess what / who the guilty party is. The facts of this get more and more blurred as there are potentially two different murder methods / villains. I loved trying to piece together all of the bits and pieces as Cletus and Jenn rush to try and do the same thing. I mean, I would love this story just because of the amazing lead couple. But the fact that there is a mystery I spent the whole time trying to piece together? Completely priceless.

This is most definitely one of my favourite books to have read recently. Again, mostly because, well, Cletus and Jenn are awesome. They’re fun and quirky, they’re completely unique and they just leave me with a huge smile on my face from the very beginning. Definitely an impossible couple to forget. And not one that I would want to. I’m so glad that this story ends in their marriage. Now I get to find out about the next part of their relationship when I save up the money to buy Home and Heist.

<- Engagement and EspionageHome and Heist ->

Image source: Goodreads

Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid

Overview
Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid

Title: Engagement and Espionage
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Solving for Pie #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceCozy mystery
Dates read: 22nd – 24th October 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: What am I going to do about those cows?

Synopsis

Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil… and now they’re engaged!

But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most “fowl” need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancé. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear.

Sabotage!

Will an undercover missions unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked?

Thoughts

I already know that Penny Reid can write an amazing romance and a wonderful story. Plus, I did fall stupid in love with Cletus and Jenn in Beard Science. But, I was a little intrigued as to whether she could write a decent cozy mystery or not. It turns out, she can. And, like everything else I have read by her. It’s brilliant. And fun. And just all around a really good read.

I love that throughout this story, there is not only the question of who is out to get Jenn, but how Cletus is going to propose. I love that he is sweet enough to have multiple rings and to want to try again and again to get the exact right proposal. He’s incredibly dense, but also completely adorable. A nice balance in my opinion. I mean, I don’t know many people who aren’t kind of dense in at least one area. And the fact that for Cletus, it’s how relationships work… loved it.

One of the hardest things I’ve found about being in a relationship is trying to juggle everything when things get a little hectic. I know that my partner is always in my corner, but I also know that I need to make the time and space to show him that I’m also in his corner. I love that Cletus and Jenn very much go through this. They are madly in love and completely understanding of one another, but they’re not quite meshing completely throughout this story. Something that, realistically, I think most relationships go through at some point.

Jenn and her mother have a contentious and difficult relationship from the very moment that you meet them. I like that Reid acknowledges this and works towards finding a more satisfactory way to live with one another. It’s a difficult line to walk and I found the way that they try and negotiate this to be absolutely brilliant. It’s a reminder that no one is perfect, and all relationships need work – particularly those that have been dysfunctional for far too long.

There are a number of cute moments throughout this, but the part that, of course takes my attention the most – the battle that Jenn and Cletus face. The way that they are racing against the clock to try and figure out who, exactly, is trying to sabotage them. The relationships and the negotiation of their worlds’ just makes this all that much better. And, of course so much harder to put down.

<- More Penny ReidMarriage and Murder ->

Image source: Goodreads