Book: Love Hacked
Series: Knitting in the City #3
Author: Penny Reid
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor
Tour Organized by: Indie Sage, LLC
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.
Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/Love-Hacked-reluctant-romance-Knitting-ebook/dp/B00IS98B24/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1ECYM3S6ZNFAKNWD04B9
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Hacked-Reluctant-Romance-Knitting/dp/0989281043/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394468416&sr=8-1&keywords=love+hacked
B&N Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-hacked-penny-reid/1118864389?ean=2940149506149
Love Hacked Quotes:
[He was bald in a way that made me think of both melons and sex.]
[Alex the waiter was on my Spank Naughty list in third place, right after Henry Cavill the actor, then Henry Cavill as Superman.]
[He didn’t hear my comment. No one did. Or, if they did, they made no outward show. Which means they didn’t hear me because, as intoxicated as they were, at least one of them would have repeated it loudly and made lewd hand gestures.]
[I was looking forward to slamping it up. In fact, I was counting on it. Embrace your inner slamp!]
[“They never look nice, it’s basically impossible. You can’t dress them up, and I’ve seen a lot of balls in the ER. I’ve never seen a man’s balls and thought to myself, Now that guy has a great set of testicles.”]
[“You are woman. You are lovely in every way—inside and out. But he will always have ugly balls and there is nothing he can do about it.”]
[I love you like MC Hammer loves Gestalt Theory.]
[And why did men insist on buying the largest size? Didn’t they understand the concept of sizes? Did they think buying a magnum sized condom was going to fool me into thinking their Toyota Camery was an aircraft carrier?]
[Next came my socks. I ventured a bit further and pulled off my sweater and shirt, then my pants. I draped them over the back of my comfy chair and heard a stifled choke from behind me.
Alex stood at the precipice to the room, his gaze on my bare legs and back. I glanced at my plain purple cotton bra and underwear. They were just as modest, if not more so, as a bathing suit. I turned toward him with a question on the tip of my tongue and he flinched. He then averted his eyes and looked everywhere but at me.
I frowned, not prepared for his overreaction, and tried to think of something to make the moment less uncomfortable. “Um… Do you want something to drink?”
“I was promised hot chocolate.” His voice was strained.
“Okay, I’ll start the water.”
He studied my bulletin board. “You’re not going to get dressed first?”
I shrugged. “I guess I could.”
His gaze abruptly met mine. “You should.”
The heat in his eyes surprised me. And then I laughed. If old cotton underwear could get him this worked up, I should have tried it two weeks ago.
“What’s the matter, Mr. Bond?” I posed against the chair, deepened my voice, raised an eyebrow, “Are you afraid for my health and safety? Concerned I’ll catch a cold?”
Holding my gaze, Alex peeled off his jacket and boots. His long sleeve shirt followed, leaving him bare chested. I dug my nails into the palms of my hands to keep my eyes from straying.
“Keeping your pants on?”
“I have nothing under these pants.”
My eyes widened. I couldn’t help it. What was I thinking about? I completely lost my thought.
“Ah.” I nodded, took a tentative step toward him, trying to remember what happened right before he told me about his commando status. “I see.”
“What now?” He asked.
I wanted to say, Now the pants!]
[His hands gripped my waist—not my arms, which my pickled brain thought was noteworthy—and duly steadied and unsettled me with his nearness. His proximity and touch caused a zing—yes, a zing—from the back of my neck to my fingertips and heretofore neglected womanly pelvic region. The heat of his hands bled through the thin material of my dress, settled just above my hips, and this sensation paired with the zing sobered me slightly.
I hadn’t experienced a zing with a man—or a boy—or a man-boy—in a very, very long time.
“Well, h-hello.” I stuttered, lifted my eyes and found his, once again, singularly focused on my mouth. A new zing sailed southward, past my female equipment to my tiptoes.
Ah, how I missed the zing!
We stood silent, inches from each other, sharing the same breath.
“Three years is a long time.” He said, his voice achingly seductive.
I frowned because I was confused, but whispered, “Yes. And fettuccini noodles are too thick.”
He frowned, but his attention didn’t waver from my lips. “What does that have to do with anything?”
“I don’t know. You said three years is a long time. I thought we were sharing random opinions.”
Alex laughed—it sounded a bit nervous, but I couldn’t be sure, and shook his head. “Sandra, what do you say? I think it’s well past time you had a kiss.” His eyes flickered to mine. I noted they were still guarded, wizened; but they were also heated and every shade of licentious lapis imaginable.
In a word, delightful.
I licked my lips, gathered a deep breath through my nose, considered the offer.
He was maybe twenty-three; more likely he was twenty-two. That was six years younger than my twenty-eight. The six years between twenty-two and twenty-eight was a vast minefield of life experience and a thick forest of emotional maturity.
We were on different emotion planets.
I was looking for the guy. I was looking for my life partner. I wasn’t looking for a dangerous yet delicious looking youngster waiter with a chip on his shoulder.
Alex was manlicious in a way that I rarely encountered. And he wanted to kiss me. And he wasn’t crying. Triple bonus.
Okay, I thought, psyching myself up, yes, let’s do this. Let’s go wild, just this once. Kiss the boy. Kiss the boy and round the bases. Look for your life partner tomorrow.
Before I lost my nerve, I kissed him.
It was brief, sudden; a drive by kiss and I savored his stunned soft mouth. Then I leaned just my head away and glanced at him. He had such a great mouth and he’d parted it slightly in surprise.
I nodded. “Okay, just one more.” I kissed him again, fast but with more pressure this time, planted my lips to his and breathed in through my nose
Then, reluctantly, I leaned away again and immediately said, “Just one more kiss after this-”
He interrupted my assertion by mouthlesting me; meaning, he affixed his lips to mine and kissed me good and thorough.
Thick, urgent tongue invasion; biting; sucking and stroking.As he assaulted me in the best way possible, I was vaguely aware that he’d backed me into and against the corner of the small alcove, just under the stairs. His feet braced apart and his body towered over mine, filled every inch of available space; his fingers dug into my side and back in a way that felt aggressive.
Then, abruptly, he pulled just a centimeter away. Breathing hard he said, “One more meaning that kiss?”
I hazily blinked my eyes and opened my abused lips to respond; however, before I could, he pressed me against the wall with his imposing frame, rocked against me—center to center—and growled, “Or, this kiss?”
ZING ZING ZING!
His every day voice was a thing of beauty; but his growly voice made me want to lick his face.
The mouthlesting moved from misdemeanor to a felony crime against all women other than me. He employed tongue, teeth,lips in a way that drove all thought beyond this kiss from my mind. We existed, just the two of us, in our kiss cocoon. In that moment, strangers though we were, I allowed him to take in a way I hadn’t known I was capable of giving.
I’d lit the fuse and, God bless him, he’d provided the fireworks. Life was good.]
[I was swimming in my conflicting contemplations when, upon attempting to exit the bathroom, my progress was wholly impinged and impugned.
He stopped me. Meaning, he put his arm out, barred my way forward as though he’d been lying in wait. His eyes bounced between mine before finally settling on my mouth with completely unapologetic brashness.
He smiled, slow and a little wicked. He leaned a fraction of an inch closer—which, by a percentage of the distance separating us, was quite a lot. “Did you enjoy your butter chicken?”
“Yes. Did you enjoy serving me?”
His gaze flickered to mine, held. He had the most unusual eyes. Dark, dark blue—like cobalt—with black and gold specs radiating from the pupil at the center. “Serving you is always a pleasure.”
Of course, his voice and words sent an enchanting shivering awareness down my spine and to my nerve endings. Unaccountably, all my previous concerns evaporated and I was left only with a single thought.
I returned his smile, hoped mine rivaled his for wickedness. “Glad to hear it.”
“So, Sandra…” he hovered, dipped his chin so that I had to lift mine to maintain eye contact. If I took a deep breath our chests would probably touch. “You owe me one, right?”
I nodded, knew that my outward appearance of nonchalance was the complete opposite of the building apprehension and excitement twisting in my middle. “That’s right. At this point, after what you did for Marie, I might even owe you two ones.”
He shook his head, looked momentarily thoughtful. “No, I don’t think so. Your friend Fiona seemed to be perfectly capable of handling the situation. What’s her story anyway? What does she do?”
“She’s a former engineer for the State Department. Now she’s a stay at home mom.”
His face darkened, his eyes lost focus for a split second as though he were absorbing this information. “The State Department, huh?”
“No reason. Anyway…” his eyes ignited again as they moved over my face. “You owe me one.”
“Yes, as you’ve stated previously.”
“A big one—that’s what you said?” His eyes were steady, unflinching. It should have been unnerving. Instead, I found it strangely adorable—like he didn’t know any better.
“Yes. I believe those were the words I used.”
“What time will you be done with your friends?”
“Now, actually. I need you to bring our check.”
“Good. The restaurant closes at ten tonight. Can you be back here by nine fifty-five?”
I studied him; my head fell backwards a bit, my eyes narrowing into surveillance slits. “I’m confused.”
“Yes. Your behavior is confusing.”
An eyebrow arched above overtly nerdy glasses. “How so?”
“You run hot and cold. You sit with me on Friday, are confrontational, and it’s clear you have a genuine dislike of psychiatrists-”
“You’re right, I do dislike psychiatrists.”
“-then you kiss me-”
“You kissed me first.”
“-but you offered first. And then you walked away.” I paused, allowed my statements to marinate for a few seconds, thenadded. “But tonight you’re very solicitous and are flashing the sexy eyes again.”
He didn’t respond immediately and I was somewhat surprised to find an expression of obvious admiration warm his gaze as it moved over my face. Finally, he said, “I do dislike psychiatrists, usually.”
He ignored the question. “But, I like you.”
He ignored that question too. “And I’d like to apologize for sending mixed signals. Will you come tonight?”
My lips twisted to the side. I wasn’t yet satisfied. “First, answer me this: why did you decide to sit down with me on Friday? I’ve been coming in here for over two years. If you like me, despite my unfortunate profession, why’d you wait so long?”
He didn’t hesitate in his response. “It was the dress.”
My eyebrows jumped. “The dress?”
“Yeah. The red dress. I was compelled to act. I had no choice.” His nod was gentle, but his barely-there grin was wicked. It did things to me.]
[This was where my mind was occupied when Alex stepped out of a shadowy alley in front of my El station and just about scared the poop out of me.
I jumped back, my hand pressed to my heart, and gasped my shock. “Oh my god!”
Alex lifted his hands in a demonstration of his docile intent. “Sorry, sorry. I saw you leave the hospital and came through this way to intercept you. Are you okay?”
I walked backward then leaned one hand against the brick wall facing of Jefferson’s Shoe Repair and Sock Emporium. I couldn’t catch my breath.
“You just almost gave me literal shitzterhozen.” I chuckled; it was soft yet a little hysterical. I shook my head to clear it.
His rumbly laugh met my ears. “You should have seen your face.”
My laugh continued, less hysterical, more therapeutic.“Bukkake! I can’t believe how fast my heart is beating.”
Alex crossed to me and placed two fingers against my neck, presumably to feel my pulse. “I can’t-”
In one swift movement I unzipped my jacket to my abdomen, grabbed his hand, and stuffed it into my jacket under my left breast, “Here, this is how you get the full effect.”
His eyebrows jumped; his smile was immense, devastating. His hand, cold at first, curled just slightly around my ribs and it tickled. Gradually, his fingers thawed, and where his palm was pressed over my shirt heated with our combined warmth.
We passed a long moment, his hand in my jacket, feeling my heart beat; and my eyes surveying his reaction. His smile waned over the course of several seconds and an intense, but distant, melancholy claimed over his features.
With visible reluctance Alex drew his hand away then re-zipped my jacket. Without his hand, my chest felt cold.
A small, sad smile lingered around his lips and I caught a whiff of his soap.
He’d showered and smelled mantastic. My heart rate spiked again.
“Thank you.” He said. His tone was quiet, deferential. “I’ve never done that before.”
“What? Jump out of an alley way like a menacing henchman and loosen a person’s poop?”
Alex pressed his lips together, though they curved upward betraying the smile he attempted to suppress. “No. I do that all the time. It’s Wednesday, right?”
“Ha. Very funny.”
“I was talking about feeling your heart beat. I’ve never done that before.”
My gaze flickered over him. “What do you mean? To anyone?”
He nodded once and reached for my hand, pulled me along the street behind him. “Correct.”
“Not even your mom?”
“Not that I remember.”
“Not that you remember?”
About the Author:
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.
TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY:
1 MASSIVE Giveaway winner (open internationally) will get signed print copies of the following:
Tattooed Dots by Kimberly Knight
Geoducks are for Lovers by Daisy Prescott
Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan
Chocolate Rose by Laura Florand
Better, Him, Her by Carey Heywood
Consequences, Truth, Convicted, Behind His Eyes - Consequences by Aleatha Romig
Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino
Behind His Lens by RS Grey
Mine to Lose, Being There by TK Rapp
Black Box by Cassia Leo
Axel by Harper Sloan
The Proposal, The Pairing by Katie Ashley
Torn by KA Robinson
Seduction and Snacks by Tara Sivec
Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid
Tote signed by these authors + more.
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SCROLL DOWN FOR SERIES INFO
Title: Neanderthal Seeks Human
Series: Knitting in the City #1
Author: Penny Reid
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor
This is a full-length, 110k word novel and is the first book in the Knitting in the City series.
There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.
After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.
Title: Friends Without Benefits
Series: Knitting in the City #2
Author: Penny Reid
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor
Friends Without Benefits can be read as a standalone, is a full length 120k word novel, and is book#2 in the Knitting in the City Series.
There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she's unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like NicoManganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love