For What It's Worth

Monday, March 10, 2014

Review: Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3) by Penny Reid

20982872There 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.

This is a full-length, 110k word novel and is the third book in the Knitting in the City series. All books in the series can be read as a standalone.

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Source: Purchased

This is the second book I’ve read by Penny Reid & I find her writing style to be so much fun, even a little oddball at times.

Her characters have major quirks, (like belting out random trivia at inappropriate times) and an air of mystery surrounding them. At times it can be off-putting but I also love how her stories keep me on my toes and throw me off balance.

The first book in the Knitting in the City series, Neanderthal Seeks Human, was hilarious. While Love Hacked is also filled with funny moments, it’s also darker.

Sandra is a pediatric psychotherapist, 29, single and looking for THE ONE. She meets all her dates at her favorite restaurant, on a Friday night. They start to unload on her because she’s such a great listener, leave in a fit of tears and move on, finding their happily ever after – and it isn’t Sandra. It’s ok though, because none of the men have given her the zing; except for her very young, very hot waiter, Alex.

Oh Alex. I had such a difficult time with this character. He is everything I hate in a book guy. He runs hot & cold, he’s a little stalker-ish, possessive, secretive, and has SO much emotional baggage. He might as well be a blaring red flag warning. KEEP AWAY FROM ME. But…..lord help me – I found him to be so freaking sexy. Along with all his bad qualities, he’s sweet, innocent, awkward, wise beyond his years and fiercely loyal.

I think what made the Alex/Sandra relationship work for me was that Sandra stopped Alex in his tracks when he was being an ass. They could be in an extremely hot and heavy moment but Sandra didn’t pull that “my body betrayed me” crap and let him run over her. She stood her own ground and set boundaries.

Love Hacked was surprising. I was never sure how, or even if, this romance could ever work. I wasn’t even sure it should work. It was refreshing. Even though I wasn’t always sold on them as a couple, I loved that for once I couldn’t see the path to their HEA after page 2. Yet, it was also loads of fun.

Another thing I love about this series is the friendship between the knitting club girls. They are supportive but honest with each other. I don’t know how many of the girls will get a book but I hope it’s all of them. You can read the books as stand alones but each one builds on the friendships and personally, I enjoy that aspect as much as the romances.

There were a few editing issues – wrong pronouns and a few typos but nothing overly distracting. 

Final thoughts: Fun series, lots of sexy times. While both Neanderthal Seeks Human and Love Hacked have a lot of humor, Love Hacked was much edgier concerning Alex and his past. Also a fun element of intrigue and mystery as a backdrop to the romance. 


  1. This is a wonderful review, Karen! I love Penny's writing, but you are right - this book was darker. I also enjoyed that she made a choice to pair up a younger man with an older woman and it totally worked for me. Still, Quinn stays my absolute favorite :)

    1. I did too. She explored the issue without getting bogged down in it which I also liked.

      Quinn is more *my* kind of guy and he's my favorite too.

      Somehow I skipped Elizabeth's book. I thought this was #2 so I have to go back and read that one.

  2. Though put off by the cover your wonderful review has me thinking I might actually like this. Definitely one I'll keep a look out for.

  3. okay I need to start reading this series :)

  4. I have to read that other book. I love to laugh. Also, I do enjoy a darker novel. These sound so good. I'm going to have to put all the books in this series down in my wishlist. I might have to learn how to knit too. LOL

    1. She has a nice balance of humor and angst in this one. The first is more humor. I missed the second book.

  5. I'm in!

    I am truly enjoying a different variety of books these days. Like you, I'm enjoying the quirkier characters and writing. I love that Sandra was strong enough to set and maintain boundaries. And I like that you ended up liking Alex despite his flaws.
    Great review!

    1. I really think you would love this series and get the oddball humor.

      he's not my cup o' tea but I found him hot anyway. I was a little ashamed of myself for it lol

  6. This sounds right up my alley though...Alex. Grr. Those types of guys really irritate me. At least Sandra holds her own with him. That makes me like her a lot!

    1. It's really complicated and I can understand his reasons - that's just not my type of guy. Sandra schools him though so it worked for me.

  7. Replies
    1. I think you would like this series. It's offbeat but cute.