Sunday, May 28, 2017

Shacking Up by Helena Hunting: Review


Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

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About the Author:

Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s putting her degree in English Lit to good use by writing contemporary erotic romance. She is the author of Clipped Wings, her debut novel, and Inked Armor.

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Review by Yvette:

An outlandish concept + an extra helping of sexual tension + several uncomfortably awkward encounters = the gist of Helena Hunting’s newest release, Shacking Up. I've read and loved several of the books in the author’s Pucked series so I had high expectations for Shacking Up. As much as I wanted to love this book, however, I found it to be underwhelming and even tame in comparison to her other books. The writing was lackluster compared to her usual style, as if she toned down her typical crazy, in-your-face persona several notches. Unfortunately, the brief glimpses of her signature humor weren't enough to breathe life into a story where so little is happening.

The set-up for the story is amusing, if a bit unbelievable, with our heroine, Ruby, managing to snag a gig as Bancroft’s pet-sitter at a time when she’s not only homeless, but unemployed. The two strike up a long-distance flirtation that gradually grows bolder as the weeks pass. My main issue is that the entire plot seems to be one, extended bout of foreplay leading to their inevitable hookup. I never thought I'd say this but it turns out there IS such a thing as too much sexual tension. In a romance, I'd like for there to be, well, more romance. The fact that Bancroft and Ruby are physically apart more than they're together throughout the narrative doesn't help with building a connection deeper than lust. Aside from Ruby’s and Bancroft’s job aspirations and their mutual dislike for their wealthy background (and all it entails), I felt as though I didn’t get to know them beyond superficialities.

Overall, everything about Shacking Up is okay. I enjoyed it. The protagonists had cute banter. And it was fairly steamy. But there wasn't much to the plot and the characters were ultimately one-dimensional. Everything was pretty straightforward and there wasn't anything that made me excited about picking up the book once I took a break (and I took several). While I realize we’ll probably see some familiar faces coming up in future books, I found I didn’t connect with them enough to want to read more.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher for an honest review

Rating: 2.5 Stars

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