Wednesday 3 February 2016

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway ~ Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City #5) by Penny Reid

Book Description:

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

Buy Links:


I sensed Greg stiffen further and straighten. He turned from me to face our neighbor. “Who the hell are you?” 

Matty’s eyes were wide, clearly confused, and more than a little concerned when they met mine briefly, then flickered back to my husband’s. “Uh, I’m Matt.” 

“Mat? As in, a small rectangular piece of carpet made for the express purpose of cleaning dirt from one’s shoes?” 

Greg’s impolite words and clipped tone pulled me from my stupor and I smacked his shoulder. “Greg!” I pulled my towel tighter and walked around my rude husband to stand in between the two men. 

“Oh, you’re Greg,” Matty said, sounding less confused, but more wary. 

“Yeah. I’m Greg,” he growled, making no attempt to disguise his hostility; but then, he never did. 

“Greg, this is Matthew Simmons. He is our next door neighbor.” 

“Is that so?” 

“Yes,” I ground out, “that is so.” 

Matty, holding a kitchen towel, gave his palms another wipe before reaching out his hand to Greg. “Nice to meet you . . . ?” 

Greg made no movement to accept the handshake, instead opting to narrow his eyes threateningly. “Why don’t you have a shirt on, Matt?” 

Matty’s eyes widened and he dropped his hand as he glanced at his bare chest. “I, uh-I was just—” 

“He was replacing the garbage disposal,” I supplied, irritated with Greg’s bad-mannered behavior. Furthermore, I was irritated that I was irritated, because my husband was home. He was home! He was here and I’d missed him and, instead of taking advantage of his presence, I was standing in my towel in the living room being irritated. 

“My garbage disposal?” Greg’s frown was severe as his gaze moved to me, ripe with accusation. “You let him replace my garbage disposal?” 

“Your garbage disposal? What are you talking about?” 

“I just installed that disposal.” 

“No, you didn’t. It’s been three years. And Grace ruined it in January.” 

“How did she do that?” 

“She put Jack’s rock collection in the sink and turned it on as revenge for him hiding her Barbie dolls.” 

Greg blinked and he appeared to be digesting this information with some difficulty. At last he said, “Grace has Barbie dolls? When did she get Barbie dolls?” 

Sigh . . . 

I glanced at the ceiling and shook my head, then turned to poor Professor Matthew Simmons. “Thank you for your help, Matt. I really appreciate it.” 

Matty’s eyes moved between us, then finally settled on me. “No problem. I’ll just get my tools and . . . other stuff.” He tossed his thumb over his shoulder, lingered awkwardly in the doorway for two seconds, then disappeared back into the kitchen. 

I slid my eyes to Greg and found my husband still staring at the spot where Matty had been standing, an angry frown creasing his tired features. 

“What is wrong with you?” I asked in a tight whisper, gripping the towel at my chest. 

“What is wrong with me?” 

“Yes. What was that?” I motioned to the kitchen, to Matt, keeping my voice low. 

My husband’s eyes flashed and he spoke through gritted teeth, “A man, who happens to live next door to my family, takes off his clothes in my home while my beautiful wife is walking around in nothing but a towel . . .” Greg’s typically dry delivery was intoned with an extra helping of scathing sarcasm as he added, “Yeah. Seems legit.” 

It took me a few seconds to recover from his insinuation, but when I did I forgot to lower my voice. “I used to babysit him, Greg! I changed his diapers.” 

“Babysit him? What?” He looked truly perplexed, like I’d revealed Matt was responsible for all the Star Wars prequels, but then his eyes narrowed again as though he’d just realized something important. “Wait, so you’ve seen his penis?” 

I gasped, then inadvertently laughed my frustration. “Really? That’s the take-home message? That I’ve seen his penis? If it makes you feel any better, it was about this long.” I held my thumb and forefinger apart to indicate an inch. 

At the same moment Matt reappeared in the living room—shirt on—and unwisely said, “Hey! I was only two years old. It’s at least fifteen times larger now.” 

“Fifteen times? Prone to exaggeration, aren’t you?” Greg drawled, giving Matt a look of plain disbelief. 

“Not longer, larger.” Matt shrugged innocently, like he was clarifying the size of his sofa and not his man parts. “I was referring to volume, not necessarily length—though it is—”

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“I’d spent fourteen years as a we. An us. And becoming a me at this point was entirely out of the question.”

After reading Ninja at First Sight just before starting this book I was eager to dive back into Greg and Fe’s story. However, adult Fe and Greg are nothing like student Greg and Fe. We still have that connection, the banter and the all-encompassing love for one another but we also have the trials and tribulations of marriage and all the “drop stitches” that that entails. This book picks up when Greg and Fe have been married for fourteen years and have two children. (Ninja at First sight is included in Happily Ever Ninja)

“A relationship is made up of many burdens, and the two people within the relationship have different strengths and weaknesses, abilities and talents. Burdens are weightless, worlds change, and love endures when both people are contributing their maximum.”

This was a little different from what I was expecting as this book was more a Romantic Suspense rather than a Romantic Comedy, but it could easily be a concoction of the two. I had plenty of laugh out loud moments and as irritating as Greg was at times he had a heart of gold and his dialogue was intellectual at times as well as hilarious. You couldn’t help but love him. His love and devotion towards Fe was heart-warming and yet he still had his vulnerable side in desperately needing constant reminders of being wanted and needed. Fe had always been independent and strong and sometimes a man just needs that reassurance he is vital to his partner’s life, sometimes an absence of words can cause chasms and Greg constantly needed his chasm to be filled in.

“I watched my parents gather dossiers of each other’s mistakes for their arsenal, nuclear proliferation of emotional weaponry. You and I…we must always forgive and forget. But most importantly, we must never take each other’s forgiveness for granted.”

Greg works for oil companies ensuring that the environment is protected and the inhabitants are not being put at risk. This means that he is constantly away from home and this adds pressure to his relationship with Fe. Juggling work, being a wife and mum to two young children and being Mrs Independent is beginning to take its toll on Fe. Her shoulders are broad, but not that broad, she really needs help and is reticent to ask for it. She is slowly but surely being worn away but can she save herself before it is too late? One phone call is all it takes.

“And besides, if we don’t teach them about welding at home, they’ll just learn about it on the streets.”

“…That sounds like something Hitler would say.”

Penny Reid really delivered a plot twist I never saw coming and one that I will not mention as you need that OMG moment too, but suddenly your eyes are opened and you suddenly see Fe in a totally different light and this is where the suspense starts.

“My heart keeps discovering new ways to love you.”

I loved that this book was about a married couple and the fact that Penny Reid delivered realistic struggles that married couples face every day. While Greg and Fe have long periods of absence and that is far from usual, when they are together, the struggle is real. The little annoyances, the little niggles that snowball, when molehills become mountains…we have all been there but to see it in writing in front of you without alpha billionaires and society princesses was refreshing. They were a normal married couple and were totally relatable and that is what made this all the funnier too.

“You’re ridiculous.”
“It’s pronounced remarkable, darling.”

“I don’t – I can’t – you should be ashamed of yourself.”
“It’s pronounced astonished.”

Penny Reid’s writing style is extremely refreshing and her dry sense of humour is one that I can follow and actually makes me laugh. I had many a laugh out loud moment and you find yourself laughing with Greg and Fe rather than at them. Penny Reid totally takes you into their marriage and into their circle of friends and you cannot help but find yourself as one of the team. This book was perfectly balanced with that heart-warming romance, laugh out loud humour and a whole heap of suspense. A plot that will keep you engaged and championing this couple along. Their friends looked up to them and that was for a reason. Together they were perfect but it needed constant work and these two always worked at it. They needed each other, there was no one without the other and that really came across on the pages. I loved this book and cannot wait to read more of this series.

“But then, after a minute, he squeezed my boobs and asked, “Are we going to have sex tonight? I have stuff to do and it’s already nine thirty.””

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.


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