Blog Tour (Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway): Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

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Happily Ever Ninja

by Penny Reid @ReidRomance

Reviewer: Ivy @PoisonIvy70

Publication Date: January 19, 2016

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humor

Rating: 4.75 stars

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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Synopsis

From the USA Today Best Selling Author of ‘Truth or Beard’

There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except… not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

This is a full length, 100k word novel, and is the 5th book in the Knitting in the City Series. All books in the series can be read as a standalone except book #1.5

 

Ivy

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The romance after the HEA: The HEA (Happily Ever After). That moment when you know that your couple has survived the obstacles, acknowledged their love and they will finally, finally be together. That is the shining (diamond) ring. The payoff to the long and winding road, the brass (ok platinum) ring, the Rocky victory dance (yep, I’m humming that damn theme song now).  Ms. Reid gives us all that and more in Happily Ever Ninja. She pulls back the curtain on Fiona and Greg’s marriage and what it truly means to live happily ever after. Hint – it’s the living part that’s most important.

The setup: Greg and Fiona Archer have been married for 14 years. They are living their HEA, but when the mundane collides with the fantastical and lives are in danger, that’s when it gets real. And crazy. The story twists and turns with more action/adventure from the earlier books, so I won’t delve too deeply into plot spoilers. Suffice it to say that Greg’s job as consultant to big oil and Fiona’s training as a former CIA agent come into play.

Standalone (kind of): Their courtship in college is detailed in the free novella, Ninja at First Sight, so if you’ve read that, you’re all set. If not, no worries, Ms. Reid has included it here as well. You do not need to read the earlier books in the series, but they’re great so you should. Just sayin’.

Smart is sexy and funny: Fiona and Greg meet in college and the connection is instant, though their love isn’t, by any means. Ms. Reid isn’t big on the steam, and that’s alright – she gives me just enough to keep me interested. It’s truly a delight to see the heat build through their wickedly dry humor as they banter and debate any number of issues while giving the reader an insane amount of verbal foreplay.

Strong women, strong friendships: Each book in the Knitting in the City series has had its own spin on what romance means to each of these women, as individual as the women themselves and that’s rare in a romance series, where the heroines have a tendency to blend after a while. I also adore that Ms. Reid doesn’t take the tried and true route of making other women characters irrational skanky hoes just for the sake of conflict. They’re not all Pollyannas and braiding each other’s hair either, they’re just realistic – I wish there were more characters like this in romances.

Fiona, American Ninja badassery come to life: Out of all the women, Fiona’s been the calm center, the one that’s great in a crisis, the motherly (though she’s certainly not that much older than the others), nurturing one. Now, when I think of Fiona, I think of this little American ninja badass, climbing walls, kicking ass and taking names.  She’s pragmatic and empathetic, and her capacity to forgive and move on is strong. It’s her greatest strength and weakness – her pragmatism, and desire to be reasonable and move on instead of standing up and speaking her peace when it’s needed.

Greg, the cantankerous, obstinate, frustrating, lovely hero: In my opinion, Greg has the strongest personality of all the Reid heroes, and certainly evoked the strongest reaction out of me.

I love his wit, his protective instincts and his all consuming adoration and need for Fiona. His love is all encompassing and I completely understood how Fiona could be swept up in his wake.

He was also maddeningly protective, and there were times when I was angry (frankly, angrier than Fiona) at him that he was overprotective and blind to the choices he made, but I always understood them. Which made it harder to judge him for his actions. Basically, he’s a layered character with many facets to him, none of them idealized and I adored him for it. I just wish that in delving into his past, we the reader got to see more about him, the reason for his scars (inside and out) to help accept when his decisions overrode his common sense.

There is no ending: While there’s a resolution to the big plot and you are satisfied that they are back on track, much like real life, Fiona and Greg’s relationship is ever changing and evolving. It’s not over, it’s just onto the next chapter. I love the symmetry to the beginning and end, which mirrored my own experience – I opened and closed this book with a smile on my face.

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I really enjoyed my time with Fiona and Greg. Much like a real marriage, theirs is a fascinating, funny, smart, exciting, complicated, never easy, and certainly worth every moment. If you haven’t read the Knitting in the City series, I encourage you to do so. It’s one of the best out there and it just gets better and better with every installment.

– Ivy

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

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Excerpt

“What are you doing?”

“What do you think I’m doing?” He unbuttoned his pants and unzipped them.

Perhaps it didn’t make any sense, but I didn’t want Greg to see me naked. Not when I was still furious with him. Not when he was angry with me. Even though we’d been together for eighteen years, married for fourteen, and made two children together, when we were arguing I didn’t like the vulnerability of bare skin.

“Oh, no. No, no, no.” I sat forward in the tub, hiding my nakedness. “We haven’t talked through everything yet. I’m angry with you, and I know you’re still upset with me.”

He shrugged. “Then we’ll have angry intercourse.”

“We’re not having intercourse.”

“Then I’ll give you angry cunnilingus.”

Damn him, but that made me laugh.

Greg’s eyebrows bounced once on his forehead and he grinned, his pants falling to the ground.

“I don’t want any of your angry oral sex, thank you very much.” I crossed my arms over my chest, endeavoring to keep my expression stern . . . and failing.

“Of course you do. Angry oral sex is the best kind of oral sex. And we are so rarely angry with each other. We should take advantage of this opportunity.” His thumbs hooked into his boxers with the intent of pulling them down.

“Do not take off your boxers.”

Greg didn’t remove his boxers, but he didn’t withdraw the threat of his thumbs either.

“You know, I’ve heard it’s a good idea to fight while naked. I think I read that in a very important medical text book written by Albert Einstein’s cousin, Dr. Olga Einstein.”

About

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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