Review: Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance by Penny Reid

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Bitcoins. A psycho-therapist who draws in men who want to reveal everything and uncover all things emotional about themselves to her during their first date. A hacker and a genius. A 21-year-old virgin. A 28-year-old woman who’s looking for The One. All this and more from Penny Reid’sLove Hacked: A Reluctant Romance,” the third book in the author’s Knitting in the City series.

It took me a good, long while before I felt compelled to pick up this series again. You see, I loved Neanderthal Seeks Human (book 1) and Neanderthal Marries Human (book 1.5, but written after books 2 and 3), but I absolutely loathed the heroine in book 2, Friends Without Benefits, that I just had to stop before I lose my e-reader (due to the fact that I wanted to throw it into the fictional faces of Dr. Elizabeth Bitchyface and Dr. Sandra Fielding. The latter, ironically enough, is the heroine featured in Love Hacked). It took my liking Daisy Prescott’s “Missionary Position,” where Ms. Prescott advertised Ms. Reid’s “Love Hacked,” for me to brace myself and finally read Sandra’s story.

I really do think that a reader judges a book she’s reading, based on what she’s feeling that day. How else can I explain why I hated Sandra in book 2, but grudgingly liked her in book 3 of this weird and wonderful series? Perhaps my rating is also influenced by how the author portrays her characters? In one book, a major character could be the most likable and least annoying of girlfriends, but in another, that same character would be given a minor role and made to be the villain of the bunch. This wishy-washy feeling I get about a fictional character is also prevalent in my current hatred (read: former love) for a character named Gretchen from Jessica Clare’s “Billionaire Boys Club” and “Billionaires and Bridesmaids” series. Anyhow, Sandra from Ms. Reid’s Knitting series has been redeemed in my eyes.

Her hero, Alex Greene, on the other hand, is a fascinating character. He’s engaged in a May-December romance with Sandra, where he is the May to her December. No where in the book, however, did I feel like they were unevenly matched. Alex was a hacking genius – the fictional creator of bitcoins. He’s also a man who challenged Sandra’s intellectual, professional, personal, and emotional psyches. At one point, she felt physically challenged, too, by the size of his… er, bit, but this was inconsequential in the whole scheme of things.

Bottom line is: I loved this book. Definitely a 5-star book. I therefore conclude: I shouldn’t read books from the same series back-to-back, lest I become too involved again in the lives and personalities of fictional characters, created by writing geniuses such as Ms. Reid.

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