on January 1st 1970
Now a USA TODAY BESTSELLER
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 human kind, 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?
Dating-ish, an all new standalone from the USA Today bestselling Knitting in the City romantic comedy series by Penny Reid is available now!
‘Dating-ish’ can be read as a standalone, is a full length 100k word novel, and is book #6 in the Knitting in the City Series.
It is no secret that I’m a **insert Donald Trump voice** HUGE fan of Penny Reid. I adore her writing and fall in love with each set of characters that I’ve read of her’s. Marie and Matt were no different. One of the things that I enjoy most about Penny’s books is that they are SMART. Not just in content and dialogue, but honestly thought provoking. I was completely pulled into the idea of this book: replacing a relationship with paid services. Who does that?!?! What was more interesting was Matt’s perspective: replace human compassion with a robot….a compassionate robot. Ummm, WHAT?!?!? How the hell is this going to work? OMG….it does people. It. So. Does.
Let me say this. If you think that talking about robots and technology are going to be way over your head or of no interest of yours, let me just say stop right there!! This is Penny people. She takes these quirky and absurd theories and makes them into delightful and romantic storylines that leave you all squishy inside….squishy being a technical term here.
So let’s get to it: the Plot. If you’re like me and have been totally sucked in to the amazingness that is this series, you’ve already met Marie. A 30-something journalist that finds that dating in Chicago is just. so. damn. HARD. Why does it have to be so difficult? Online dating hasn’t been working out so well, and her last set up proved that there are a lot of weirdos out there. Umm, did I mention that her last set up was with our hero Matt?
The beginning of this book starts with Marie meeting Matt on their first date set up by Marie’s online dating site. According to the site, they are a PERFECT match! Marie was beyond excited to finally find her person in life. So imagine her disappointment when she shows up and the guy is a total dud. She feels like she’s on an interview instead of an actual date. As it turns out, she was right. Matt is looking on how to create an AI(artificial intelligence) that can replace humans. Yes, that’s right people. So he’s taken to research as to what people are looking for in a mate….hence his ‘date’ with Marie.
Obviously this doesn’t go over well with Marie, but as it turns out Marie is intrigued and comes up with her own theory, replacing a relationship with paid services. Cute?? HELL YA IT’S CUTE! Again, the reason why I love Penny Reid #329: Her plots are so freaking unique and crazy ass addicting.
Marie and Matt become immersed in each other’s research and quickly become best friends. Marie is obviously attracted to the super nerd Professor, but Matt has made it very clear that he does not seek out long term relationships. He has been married before, with disastrous results that he doesn’t wish to repeat. Ever.
But Marie is quite the opposite. Marriage is the end game for Marie. Her mission is to find her person in life. And the more time she spends with Matt, the more she believes that he’s the one. But Matt has a lot of baggage. And we quickly start to realize why Matt’s passion is to replace human intimacy with artificial intelligence.
Ugh, these two. I loved the hate to friends to lovers component. Their relationship was a roller-coaster, one that I didn’t want to get off of! I found myself sneaking moments throughout my entire work day to read as much as I could because I just couldn’t put it down. Their story was so unique and cute, but so thought provoking as well. This book is completely swoon-worthy, so just go for it!
What makes me even more excited, is that we get to see a glimpse of Kat and Dan’s story. I never want this series to end, but I am also completely thrilled that it’s going to end with Kat and Dan!!! Until then.
**ARC provided in exchange for an honest Review.
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.
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.”
“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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