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text 2015-09-16 16:47
Odd Couples: Opposites Attract in Contemporary Romance Novels
Apples Should Be Red - Penny Watson
Unbuttoned - Maisey Yates
Just My Luck (Escape to New Zealand) - Rosalind James
Love Hacked - Penny Reid
Sheltered - Charlotte Stein
About Last Night - Ruthie Knox
Nobody's Baby But Mine - Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Her Best Worst Mistake - Sarah Mayberry
The Chocolate Temptation - Laura Florand
The Theory of Attraction - Delphine Dryden

Oppistes Attract is one of my favorite themes. I love the conflict that comes from just being two very differnt people. 

 

Here are some great Odd Couples in Contemporary Romance. 

 

My lists are never in any particular order. 

 

1. Apples Should Be Red by Penny Watson

 

Recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner: 

Start with 62-year old politically incorrect, chain-smoking, hard-cussing curmudgeon. 

Add 59-year old sexually-repressed know-it-all in pearls. 

Throw in a beer can-turkey, a battle for horticultural supremacy, and nudist next-door neighbor. 

Serve on paper plates, garnished with garden gnome. 

Tastes like happily ever after. 

 

2. Unbuttoned by Maisey Yates

 

Carly Denton has learned to keep her buttons and emotions firmly fastened. Her parents’ constant drama, and an unrequited crush on her brother’s best friend, taught her to keep her passion beneath the surface. But she can no longer avoid the one man with the ability to bring that passion to a boil...
 
Lucas remembers Carly as a freckle-faced tomboy—not a frosty woman who treats him like a burr under her saddle. But when they must work together on a charity project, Lucas is shocked to find their bickering melt into some serious mutual attraction. He’s determined to show Carly that he’s the man for her, if only she’d learn to let loose.
 
Lucas is the last man on earth Carly should give in to. The freedom she finds in his arms has her feeling happier than ever, but is it enough to make her realize that the greatest risk isn’t losing your heart, but losing the chance at happiness?

 

3. Just My Luck by Rosalind James

 

Nate Torrance has a job to do, and the biggest rugby boots in the world to fill. He can’t afford to lose his focus, especially not to a brown-eyed Canadian who pushes all his buttons and looks much too good in a climbing harness. 

Allison Villiers may not know what she wants to do with her life, but she’s clear about one thing. She’s not impressed by the new captain of the All Blacks, however big a deal he is to the rest of New Zealand. If only her unfortunate taste for adventure didn’t keep leading her astray ... 

 

4. Love Hacked by Penny Reid

 

There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn't been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra--near desperation and maybe a little tipsy--gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all. 

 

5. Sheltered by Charlotte Stein

 

Evie has lived her entire life under her abusive father’s thumb. He controls everything. Where she goes to college, who she sees, what she does. But when she meets Van—a punk who shows her how different life could be—she realizes how much she’s been missing. Van offers her excitement, protection, love…and most of all, sex—even if he’s at first reluctant to give her all the things she’s been craving. She wants to explore this new world of arousal and desire, but Van is only too aware of how fragile she is, how innocent… And how much is at stake, when their love is forbidden.

 

6. About Last Night by Ruthie Knox

 

Cath Talarico knows a mistake when she makes it, and God knows she's made her share. So many, in fact, that this Chicago girl knows London is her last, best shot at starting over. But bad habits are hard to break, and soon Cath finds herself back where she has vowed never to go . . . in the bed of a man who is all kinds of wrong: too rich, too classy, too uptight for a free-spirited troublemaker like her.

Nev Chamberlain feels trapped and miserable in his family's banking empire. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist and bohemian struggling to break free and lose control. Mary Catherine--even her name turns him on--with her tattoos, her secrets, and her gamine, sex-starved body, unleashes all kinds of fantasies.

When blue blood mixes with bad blood, can a couple that is definitely wrong for each other ever be perfectly right? And with a little luck and a lot of love, can they make last night last a lifetime?

 

7. Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

 

Genius physics professor Dr Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby. But finding a father won't be easy. Jane's super-intelligence made her feel like a freak growing up, and she's determined to spare her child that suffering. Which means she must find someone very special to father her child. Someone a bit . . . well . . . stupid.


Cal Bonner, legendary sports star, seems like the perfect choice. But his good looks are deceiving. Dr Jane learns too late that Cal is a lot smarter than he lets on- and he's not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy baby-mad schemer . . .

 

8. Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry

 

She thinks he's stuffy. He thinks she's spoilt.
Then the gloves come off... and so do their clothes!

For six years Violet Sutcliffe has known that Martin St Clair is the wrong man for her best friend. He's stuffy, old before his time, conservative. He drives Violet nuts - and the feeling is entirely mutual. Then, out of nowhere, her friend walks out just weeks before her wedding to Martin, flying to Australia on a mission of self-discovery. Back in London, Violet finds herself feeling sorry for suddenly-single Martin. At least, she tells herself it's pity she feels. Then he comes calling one dark, stormy night and they discover that beneath their mutual dislike there lies a fiery sexual chemistry.

It's crazy and all-consuming - and utterly wrong. Because not only are they chalk and cheese, oil and water, but Martin once belonged to her best friend. A friend Violet is terrified of losing. What future can there be for a relationship with so many strikes against it?

 

9. The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand

 

She hated him. 

Patrick Chevalier. The charming, laid-back, golden second-in-command of the Paris pastry kitchen where Sarah worked as intern, who made everything she failed at seem so easy, and who could have every woman he winked at falling for him without even trying. She hated him, but she’d risked too much for this dream to give up on it and walk out just so he wouldn’t break her heart. 

But he didn’t hate her. 

Sarah Lin. Patrick’s serious, dark-haired American intern, who looked at him as if she could see right through him and wasn’t so impressed with what she saw. As her boss, he knew he should leave her alone. The same way he knew better than to risk his heart and gamble on love. 

But he was never good at not going after what – or who – he wanted. 

He could make magic out of sugar. But could he mold hate into love? 

 

10. The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden

 

Camilla can set her watch by her hunky rocket-scientist neighbor who jogs past her window each day. She relishes each glimpse of his shirtless abs, and is dying to see more. But it's hard to connect with a man who doesn't seem to know she exists...

Ivan feels at home in the lab, not in social situations. When he finally approaches his attractive neighbor, it's not for a date—he wants tutoring in how to behave at an important fundraiser. Ivan doesn't expect the chemistry between them to be quite so explosive, and is surprised when Cami actually accepts his proposal to embark on a series of "lessons."

 

Cami soon discovers Ivan's schedule isn't the only thing he likes to be strict about—he needs to be charge in the bedroom as well. She's shocked at how much she comes to enjoy her submissive side, but wonders if a real relationship is in the equation...

 

Wow. So many great books! Resisting reread..

 

Vote for your favorite on my Goodreads list: Odd Couples: Opposites Attract in Contemporary Romance Novels  and please your Odd Couples. 

 

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text 2014-12-31 15:22
Cat's Best Contemporary Romance Reads of 2014
His Road Home - Anna Richland
Sun-Kissed - Laura Florand
Love Hacked - Penny Reid
Hard Time - Cara McKenna
Deeper - Robin York
Live - Mary Ann Rivers
Beyond Repair - Charlotte Stein
Imperfect Chemistry - Mary Frame
Artistic License - Elle Pierson
The Key - Victoria Darkins

Every year, I tend to have a sub genre I glom. This year I had an amazing run of blessings with Contemporary Romance.  Contemporary Romances published in 2014 were particularly good so this post is just about those beauties.

 

Here is my best reads of Contemporary Romance published in 2014.  So many 5 stars, it is dazzling.  I can't never pick a favorite so these books are not in any particular order. They are all great. Read them!

 

1. His Road Home by Anna Richland 5 Stars

 

Special Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast, or he'll end up in a marriage orchestrated by an Afghan warlord. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it. But when Rey loses both legs and the ability to speak while rescuing a local boy, the image goes viral.

Seattle marine biologist Grace Kim is shocked to find out she's engaged. When she's offered a plane ticket to visit her "fiancé," she takes it, looking for the answer to one question: Why did he lie? Touched by Rey's funny texts and the determination she sees in him, Grace offers her friendship—a big step for someone who prefers whales to most company.

 

And when Rey is finally sent home, Grace agrees to help him drive his classic car cross-country over Thanksgiving—a once-in-a-lifetime road trip that leads to what feels like real love. In front of his friends and family, she plays the caring fiancée, but what place will Grace have in Rey's new life once he's ready to be on his own again?

 

2. Truly: A New York Novel by Ruthie Knox 5 Stars

 

May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
 
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.

 

3. Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand 5 Stars

 

They called her the Ice Queen.

Anne Winters. Self-made billionaire. Household name. Divorced single mom. Convicted felon. She didn’t let anyone or anything get to her. No one was allowed to breach the walls around her heart except for her own son. She had only one trusted friend: her vacation house neighbor. They’d been walking the beach together for twenty years. Not that this gave him access to her heart, of course…

They called him a man who got what he wanted.

Mack Corey. Self-made billionaire. Dominant world player. Widowed father of the bride. No felony convictions yet, although his daughters had come close. He’d transformed his family company into one of the top 500 by the age of thirty. He’d raised two daughters who dumped him for idiot arrogant French chocolatiers and went off to live in Paris. Hell, he even managed to tolerate his dad. But that Ice Queen act Anne Winters had going was really starting to get to him…

They’d been best friends for twenty years. Could they become lovers?
Could a frozen heart be kissed by the sun?

 

4. Love Hacked by Penny Reid 5 Stars 

 

There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn't been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra--near desperation and maybe a little tipsy--gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all.

 

5. Hard Time by Cara McKenna 5 Stars

 

Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.

Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.

When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.

 

6. Deeper by Robin York 5 Stars

 

When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.
 
West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.
 
They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.
 
When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.

 

7. Live: A Burnside Novel by Mary Ann Rivers 5 Stars 

 

If there’s an upside to unemployment, Destiny Burnside may have found it. Job searching at her local library in Lakefield, Ohio, gives her plenty of time to ogle the hottest man she has ever laid eyes on: the sexy wood-carver who’s restoring the building. But as the rejection letters pile up, Destiny finds an unexpected shoulder to cry on. With his rich Welsh accent, Hefin Thomas stirs Destiny so completely that, even though he’s leaving soon, she lets herself believe the memory of his scorching kisses will be enough.
 
Hefin can’t help but notice the slender, confident woman with ginger hair who returns each day, so hopeful and determined. So when the tears start to fall, his silence—penance for a failed marriage—finally cracks. Once he’s touched her, what Hefin wants is to take her back to Wales and hold her forever. But Destiny’s roots run too deep. What they both need is each other—to learn how to live and love again.

 

8. The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand 5 Stars

 

She hated him.

Patrick Chevalier. The charming, laid-back, golden second-in-command of the Paris pastry kitchen where Sarah worked as intern, who made everything she failed at seem so easy, and who could have every woman he winked at falling for him without even trying. She hated him, but she’d risked too much for this dream to give up on it and walk out just so he wouldn’t break her heart.

But he didn’t hate her.

Sarah Lin. Patrick’s serious, dark-haired American intern, who looked at him as if she could see right through him and wasn’t so impressed with what she saw. As her boss, he knew he should leave her alone. The same way he knew better than to risk his heart and gamble on love.

But he was never good at not going after what – or who – he wanted.

He could make magic out of sugar. But could he mold hate into love.

 

9. Beyond Repair by Charlotte Stein 5 Stars 

 

When Alice Evans finds a bona fide movie star on the floor of her living room, she has no idea what to do. Ordinary men are frightening enough, never mind someone as famous and frankly gorgeous as Holden Stark.


However, once she realizes that Holden is suffering behind that famous facade, she knows she has to help. He needs someone like her to give him a taste of sweetness and desire and love. He needs normality. The only problem—Alice is hiding a secret that is far from normal. In fact, her name isn’t even Alice at all.


And once Holden finds out, the intense connection they are just beginning to build may well be torn apart.

 

10.  Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid 4 Stars

 

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

 

11. Hard to Hold On To: A Hard Ink Novella  by Laura Kaye 4 Stars

 

Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves--which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago. 

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to

 

12. The Key by Victoria Darkins 4 Stars

 

Jack and Carrie are lost souls. Jack is an eminent university lecturer in English Literature who suffers from quadriplegia after a spinal cord injury in his late teens. Having convinced himself that he was better off on his own he has closed the door on any romantic entanglements and instead directed all his energy into his work.

Carrie is trying to unchain herself from a cruel, neglectful and guilt ridden childhood. She has earned a place on a degree course of her dreams but it comes at a costly price.

Both are thrown together by Mary, a mutual friend and past social worker, who has hatched a plan to help Jack and Carrie with their predicaments. Carrie becomes Jack's live-in carer securing her with an income and unexpected benefits.

Will it be too late from them to find out that they both hold the key to unleash each other from the chains that hold them to their past? A key that will unlock their hearts.

 

13. Just Not Mine by Rosalind James 4 Stars

 

Destiny can sneak up on you. Or it can smack you in the face.

Hugh Latimer’s coping with a few problems just now. A broken hand, missing the European rugby tour . . . and a half-brother and sister who are playing havoc with his love life. Instead of packing down in the scrum, he’s driving the carpool to ballet—or forgetting it’s his turn. When he hears his neighbor wailing out bad pop in the wee hours, it’s the last straw.

Josie Pae Ata is a fortunate woman. A new house, good friends, a gorgeous boyfriend—oh, and stardom, too. Getting involved with her new neighbors would bring risks she doesn’t need. But life has a way of changing the rules. And when you get more than you can handle, sometimes all you can do is hang on for the ride.

 

14. Shoreline Drive by Lily Everett 4 Stars

 

Dr. Ben Faulkner is a veterinarian on warm, welcoming Sanctuary Island, a refuge for wild horses. Though he’s dedicated his life to healing animals and rescuing the ones no one wants, Ben is nursing deep wounds of his own. After tragedy tore his family apart, he gave up his dreams of finding happiness long ago…until Merry Preston arrives on the island. Vivacious, friendly, and instantly loveable, Merry is everything Ben is not. She’s also nine months pregnant and attempting to carve out a new life for herself and her unborn child.

 

Though Ben tries to keep his distance, when a raging storm cuts them off from the mainland, he’s forced to help bring her new baby into the world.  It’s a harrowing experience that leaves him with one great certainty: I want these two to be my family. Seeing his opportunity, he makes a dramatic proposal to the young mother: a marriage of convenience. If Merry marries him, he’ll draw up a contract naming her son as his heir and promising to provide for them both. But as they’ll learn, love is more than a business proposition…and it’ll take all the magic hidden in Sanctuary Island to turn Ben’s proposal into something real and lasting. 

 

15. Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame 4 Stars 

 

Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she's amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her both confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity. 


When her attempts to come up with an actual experiment quickly drop from lackluster to nonexistent, she’s given a choice: figure out how to conduct a groundbreaking study on passion, or lose both the grant and her position at the university. Put on leave until she can crack the perfect proposal, she finds there’s only one way she can study emotions: by experiencing them herself.

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy's neighbor and the one person on the planet she finds strangely and maddeningly appealing. Jensen's life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, complicated—in short, the perfect starting point for Lucy's study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what's more important: analyzing her passions...or giving in to them?
 
16. Artistic License by Elle Pierson 4 Stars
 
"Picasso would have loved his face."

An art exhibition in Queenstown, New Zealand results in an unlikely friendship and a reluctant love when shy art student Sophy James meets reticent security consultant Mick Hollister. Content with her solitude and independence, Sophy has never desired a long-term relationship. Born with a face that apparently not even a mother could love, Mick has given up hope of having one. They don't have a lot in common; they shouldn't even like one another - and they can't stay away from each other.
 

So, there it is! What a wonderful year! Thank you! 

 

I read about 300-400 books a year. My best reads come from that pool of books.  I would love to know your favorites that I may have missed in Contemporary Romance published 2014. 

 

To vote for your best Contemporary Romance from this year-- Best Contemporary Romance 2014.

 

 

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text 2014-09-15 15:58
Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance (Knitting in the City Book 3) $1.99
Love Hacked - Penny Reid

Love Hacked: A reluctant romance (Knitting in the City Book 3) by Penny Reid 

 

There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn't been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra--near desperation and maybe a little tipsy--gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all. 

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review 2014-09-13 04:14
Love Hacked by Penny Reid
Love Hacked - Penny Reid

Love Hacked begins with Sandra on yet another failed first date. Her dates always end in tears after her listening to all of their problems. However, at her favorite restaurant there is a waiter who she's attracted to but he seems to young, and he doesn't seem to like her. Sandra is wrong however when she gets back to her table after a bathroom break to find that waiter with her, then they share a powerful kiss. After that Alex tries to have a relationship with Sandra but not only is he younger than her, he also has lots of secrets he's keeping from her. 

This one wasn't really my favorite of this series. It was okay, but I wasn't a huge fan of Alex. I hated that he kept keeping secrets from Sandra, and the fact that she just ignored several things that happened. It bugged me. But other wise it was funny, and interesting. I did like Sandra, and of course all of the rest of the Tuesday night knit group! I'm still looking forward to more in this series!

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review 2014-09-04 01:10
Likeability is Key
Love Hacked - Penny Reid

Maybe this makes me shallow, but whether or not I find a main character "likeable" makes a huge difference in my enjoyment level. Love Hacked is a prime example. I have read the two previous books in Penny Reid's Knitting in the City series, and enjoyed Reid's humor and writing style, and liked the stories reasonably well, but rated both books only three stars because I found the main characters so unpleasant. Elizabeth (Friends Without Benefits) I found to be so toxic I couldn't see what the hero saw in her. Janie (Neanderthal Meets Human) was better, but still hard to connect with in that she's very rigid in her world view in a way that I am not. I warmed up to Janie's love, Quinn, but it took awhile, because at first blush he's a typical icy, reserved alpha male. 

 

By contrast, I really, really liked both Sandra and Alex in Love Hacked. Sandra is funny, smart, and relatable, and Alex is one of the best contemporary heroes I've come across in months: he has a heartbreaking backstory, but it hasn't broken him, and he is honest and emotionally forthright (in contrast to alpha men like Quinn, who don't like to talk about their feelings or even acknowledge that they have any). -And the fact that I liked both characters so much made Love Hacked an almost five star read: everything I liked about Penny Reid's writing combined with a couple whose happiness I could invest in (because if I don't like a character, how am I supposed to give a damn about their HEA?). 

 

I found the premise of this story really fascinating, too: more so than plain-jane-meets-billionaire (Neanderthal) or celebrity-pining-for-the-one-that-got-away (Friends). Sandra is a therapist who has spent two years trying to find Mr. Right, but no matter how normal they seem, they can't help but open up to her Magical-Therapist-Vibe and they always wind up crying before the first course. Alex is the waiter who has watched her reduce men to tears every Friday night for two years… but he's so much more than a waiter. Alex has a Tortured Past, but unlike all the other guys Sandra meets, he's not interested in letting her put on her Therapist Hat and poke around in his psyche. This means that Alex is the one guy that Sandra can't figure out, which makes him endlessly fascinating--but also scary. 

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