Monday, June 5, 2017

Dating-ish (Knitting in the City #6) by Penny Reid: Blog Tour Review & Excerpt


There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She’s fed up with online dating, 2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.

After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:

Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?

But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma . . .

As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

Click to Buy the Knitting in the City Series on Amazon:


Review by Yvette:

You know, I tried to avoid early reviews of Dating-ish. I really did. But despite my best efforts, I was unable to avoid the fact that this book made people cry. I kept thinking to myself that they had to be exaggerating. Turns out, they weren't. All I have to say is, curse you Penny Reid for breaking my heart! This book… Gah! So. Many. Feels. There were many times I laughed while reading Dating-ish, a few times I was on the verge of tears, and a couple times I thought I might throw my Kindle across the room. At the end, though, I was left with a feeling of indescribable happiness. This book is an emotional whirlwind of epic proportions and I loved every minute of it.

After seeing Dating-ish described as a "humanoid romance", the first thing I thought is, that's SO Penny Reid. And I mean that in the best possibly way. My favorite author of quirky, offbeat romances is back with the latest installment in her Knitting in the City series, which follows Marie’s story. Maybe it’s because when we first met Marie, she was in a committed relationship, but I never expected that she would get a book, or that it would be my new favorite in the series. I can’t say I’ve ever read a romance with artificial intelligence as a central topic of discussion, but that’s just one of the many reasons why Dating-ish is so unique. I'm not usually one to include much about a book's plot in my reviews but, for Dating-ish, I'm reluctant to reveal even the minutest detail because this is a story that doesn't need to be prefaced with anything other than the blurb. My advice? Go into this one with an open mind and get ready to fall in love.

There are some books you read to shut down your brain and enjoy an hour or two of mindless entertainment. Then there are books like Dating-ish that challenge you. Books that are stimulating and thought-provoking. It takes a gifted author like Penny Reid to write a book that educates your mind and engages your heart, which is exactly what she does with this unconventional love story. Dating-ish is a slow-burning romance between two strangers, Marie and Matt, who become friends, and proceed to recklessly straddle the line between friendship and something more. Their banter is flirtatious and grin-inducing, with their conversations covering topics such as sex and robots and everything in between. These are characters who are fascinating from the start, yet the more I became acquainted with them, delving into their thoughts and idiosyncrasies, the more enthralling and charismatic I found them both to be, and the more I rooted for a happy ending.

Dating-ish is one of the most romantic, one of the most intellectual, and one of the most emotionally-compelling books I've had the pleasure of reading. It’s hopeful but doesn’t shy away from disappointment. It’s logical but it’s also silly. It's somehow both hopelessly romantic and jarringly realistic. It left me with both a huge book hangover and a desperate need to get my hands on Kat and Dan’s book.

*complimentary copy provided by author for an honest review

Rating: 6 Stars

About Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is a part time author of romantic fiction. When she is not immersed in penning smart romances she works full time in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to two diminutive adults (boy-7 and girl-5), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought hijacker.

Connect with Penny Reid:


He was quiet for bit, we both were, and I felt myself relax more and more. His palm took a detour every so often, dutifully skipping my hip and sliding along my side, and then back to my leg. Soon, I was so relaxed I felt drowsy.

I felt fingers in my hair, moving the mass away from my neck with treasuring strokes just before Matt nuzzled the back of my neck, causing goosebumps to scatter over my skin.

“Mmm.” I smiled. “Hey. Jared said no tickling.” My voice sounded sleepy.

“Does this tickle?” Matt asked softly, nuzzling me again. I felt the brush of his lips—not a kiss, a brush—paired with hot breath against the bare skin of my neck and a zing shot straight down my spine, making my toes curl and a sudden hot ache twist in my lower belly.

Oh no.

I knew that ache. I hadn’t felt it because of another person’s touch in quite a long time. Nevertheless, no one ever forgets that ache.

My back arched instinctively, my bottom pressing back against his crotch, and I stiffened. I felt my nipples harden, strain beneath the cotton of my bra. I was now fully awake. No longer drowsy.


Not even a little.

Matt stiffened, too. His movements abruptly ceasing.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asked, alarm coating his words, and in the next moment his hand was suspended in the air above me. “Did I touch something I shouldn’t?”

I exhaled a short, nervous laugh, gripped by the urge to sit up.

“No. No. You didn’t.” I moved to the edge of the bed, righting myself, away from Matt, needing distance. “I’m good.” I gathered a silent breath and released it slowly because my pulse was racing.

Crap, Marie. Get a grip. It’s Matt Simmons. Professor Matt. The big kid. Why are you reacting this way?

“Did I . . .” These initial words were hesitant, and a moment of silence stretched before he continued, his tone comically teasing as he finished his thought. “Did I arouse you?”

I snorted, shaking my head, laughing at his silly tone. Turning at the waist to peer at him over my shoulder, Matt was grinning at me, twisting a make-believe mustache between his thumb and forefinger.

But then he stopped.

“I did, didn’t I?” he pushed, his hand dropping. He looked pleased, if not a little amazed.

I sighed, feeling a smidge embarrassed, and nodded. “Actually, yes. That’s a sensitive spot for most women.”

“The back of your neck?” He lifted himself to one elbow, his eyes darting to my neck with keen interest.

“My neck in general, actually.”

“Huh.” Matt frowned thoughtfully. “Where else?”

I pressed my lips together and gave him an incredulous look. “I’m not telling you that.”

“Why not?”


“What if I needed it for research reasons?”


“What if I told you it was part of our questionnaire?” He tossed his legs over the side of the bed and stood, walking around to my side and offering me his hand. “You should give me a schematic of your body with the erogenous zones circled and rated.”

“Let me guess, you want them rated on a ten-point scale,” I deadpanned as I accepted his hand, stood, and stepped away to gain some distance and straighten my shirt.

He shrugged, crossing his arms, stalking after me. “Or exponential. I was going to say a Likert scale, but a logarithmic scale works, too.”

Chuckling, appreciative of his attempt to diffuse my embarrassment and awkwardness with the joke, I realized Matt Simmons wasn’t a bad guy. He might even be a good guy, just a little . . . peculiar.

And wants to replace romantic relationships with robots. Best not forget that detail.

Yeah, he’d make an interesting friend.

“Thanks.” I gave him a small smile.

“For what?” His eyes moved between mine.

“For the cuddle. Thanks for the cuddle, Matt.”

“Anytime, Marie.” He grinned down at me, his eyes dancing as he leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime.”

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