Dating-ish by Penny Reid

Title: Dating-ish

Author: Penny Reid

Date of Publication: May 16, 2017

 

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Synopsis

 

There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris:
1) She’s fed up with online dating,
2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and
3) She knows how to knit.

After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of human kind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:

Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?

But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma . . .

As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

 

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Meagan’s 5 Star Review

I know it’s only June, but I’m fairly confident in saying Dating-ish will be my favorite book of 2017. It’s the kind of book that when you try to think about something that could be approved upon you come up with a big fat nothing. If I could take everything I love, mix it up, and package it into one fabulous story – this would be it.

There are a million things that I love about this book so to save time I’m only going to touch on my favorites. First, Science. So. Much. Science. I love a book that not only has a fantastic storyline, but you walk away from it gaining all kinds of new knowledge. If you’re a fan of Penny Reid you know she never disappoints. Dating-ish tackled issues that dealt with how we receive comfort. Can we only find satisfaction in a traditional relationship with a partner? Or could we fill that ache by hiring a stranger to cuddle? What about an AI? When Marie meets Matt for the first time he’s Catfishing her over a dating site. Okay, that may be a little harsh. Matt and his colleague Derek are collecting data through a dating site to help create an “Artifical Intelligence Companion,” or AIC, that would be able to “provide healthy companionship, full of compassion” or what Marie likes to call it, “a sex robot.” Matt and his colleague set up a “deception study” which is a fake profile to attract a certain kind of woman in her thirties so they can observe them and gain feedback to help create the AIC. Yes, it sounds complicated when I say it but trust me, it makes so much more sense when you’re reading the book. Marie, who is a writer, takes Matt’s project and uses it as a jumping board for her new article that questions whether a woman can find the same amount of companionship from an AI or a paid service as compared to a traditional relationship. What does this mean? It means that Marie will visit a professional cuddler, take part in Orgasm Meditation, get dry humped by a professional and hire an escort as her date to her ex-fiance’s engagement party. And if the idea of a woman trying out a professional dry humper in the name of science doesn’t make you want to read this book then I’m sorry, but we can’t be friends.

Okay, now that we talked about all the cool sciencey stuff let’s move on to my next favorite thing – Marie. Oh, Marie, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. She’s a strong, sexy, female character who has an amazing career and doesn’t equate her self-worth with if she does or does not have a boyfriend. Now, of course, Marie would like a partner, and yes she is very hurt when her date with Matt ends up to be an experiment and he basically tells her she’s not special. But not once does she think, “Well my date doesn’t like me so my life is going to end and I’ll never be happy because obviously, I need a man to make me happy.” Nope. Marie takes Matt’s deception study and blackmails him into helping her write her own article. Suck it, Matt. And Marie isn’t the only awesome female character. Her entire knitting circle is filled with smart women who can hold intelligent conversations and crack a joke once and a while. No frustrating weak female characters here. Just a book filled with women who fall into the role model category.

Last, but not least the relationship between Marie and Matt. It should be obvious from the synopsis but in case you missed it, this book is hilarious. With cuddling coaches and dry humping buddies, the situations Marie and Matt find themselves are odd and amazing. After Matt screwed Marie over they form a tentative friendship that quickly grows into them spending as much time together as possible. Because of how they met, neither Matt nor Marie think the other person is interested. Now, this could make the storyline drown in miscommunication drama overload, but somehow Penny Reid creates the perfect mix of funny hijinx and lusty angst-ridden scenes. Remember all that science in the beginning? Well, Matt may be a nerd, but holy hell did he break out of his shell in the bedroom. One of my issues with Reid’s first few books was that the build up to the characters sexcapades almost always ended in a topical, mostly fade to black scenes. I wasn’t expecting explicit erotica, but want the sexual content to match the tone of the book. Thankfully Dating-ish delivered big time and Matt and Marie had some seriously hot sex scenes. Like, seriously hot. So hot. Mmmmm, Matt. Just give me a moment to grab a glass of cold water . . . and we’re good. So yeah, Matt and Marie’s relationship was awesome.

I could go on and on about how much I loved this book (in fact, this is probably the longest review I’ve ever written) but my review can’t do justice to how much I enjoyed Dating-ish. Just read it. Learn some cool stuff, get a new female role model, laugh, swoon, and grab a cold glass of water. Dating-ish is your newest five star read.

meagan

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Excerpt

He was quiet for bit, we both were, and I felt myself relax more and more. His palm took a detour every so often, dutifully skipping my hip and sliding along my side, and then back to my leg. Soon, I was so relaxed I felt drowsy.

I felt fingers in my hair, moving the mass away from my neck with treasuring strokes just before Matt nuzzled the back of my neck, causing goosebumps to scatter over my skin.

“Mmm.” I smiled. “Hey. Jared said no tickling.” My voice sounded sleepy.

“Does this tickle?” Matt asked softly, nuzzling me again. I felt the brush of his lips—not a kiss, a brush—paired with hot breath against the bare skin of my neck and a zing shot straight down my spine, making my toes curl and a sudden hot ache twist in my lower belly.

Oh no.

I knew that ache. I hadn’t felt it because of another person’s touch in quite a long time. Nevertheless, no one ever forgets that ache.

My back arched instinctively, my bottom pressing back against his crotch, and I stiffened. I felt my nipples harden, strain beneath the cotton of my bra. I was now fully awake. No longer drowsy.

Nope.

Not even a little.

Matt stiffened, too. His movements abruptly ceasing.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asked, alarm coating his words, and in the next moment his hand was suspended in the air above me. “Did I touch something I shouldn’t?”

I exhaled a short, nervous laugh, gripped by the urge to sit up.

“No. No. You didn’t.” I moved to the edge of the bed, righting myself, away from Matt, needing distance. “I’m good.” I gathered a silent breath and released it slowly because my pulse was racing.

Crap, Marie. Get a grip. It’s Matt Simmons. Professor Matt. The big kid. Why are you reacting this way?

“Did I . . .” These initial words were hesitant, and a moment of silence stretched before he continued, his tone comically teasing as he finished his thought. “Did I arouse you?”

I snorted, shaking my head, laughing at his silly tone. Turning at the waist to peer at him over my shoulder, Matt was grinning at me, twisting a make-believe mustache between his thumb and forefinger.

But then he stopped.

“I did, didn’t I?” he pushed, his hand dropping. He looked pleased, if not a little amazed.

I sighed, feeling a smidge embarrassed, and nodded. “Actually, yes. That’s a sensitive spot for most women.”

“The back of your neck?” He lifted himself to one elbow, his eyes darting to my neck with keen interest.

“My neck in general, actually.”

“Huh.” Matt frowned thoughtfully. “Where else?”

I pressed my lips together and gave him an incredulous look. “I’m not telling you that.”

“Why not?”

“Matt.”

“What if I needed it for research reasons?”

“Matt.”

“What if I told you it was part of our questionnaire?” He tossed his legs over the side of the bed and stood, walking around to my side and offering me his hand. “You should give me a schematic of your body with the erogenous zones circled and rated.”

“Let me guess, you want them rated on a ten-point scale,” I deadpanned as I accepted his hand, stood, and stepped away to gain some distance and straighten my shirt.

He shrugged, crossing his arms, stalking after me. “Or exponential. I was going to say a Likert scale, but a logarithmic scale works, too.”

Chuckling, appreciative of his attempt to diffuse my embarrassment and awkwardness with the joke, I realized Matt Simmons wasn’t a bad guy. He might even be a good guy, just a little . . . peculiar.

And wants to replace romantic relationships with robots. Best not forget that detail.

Yeah, he’d make an interesting friend.

“Thanks.” I gave him a small smile.

“For what?” His eyes moved between mine.

“For the cuddle. Thanks for the cuddle, Matt.”

“Anytime, Marie.” He grinned down at me, his eyes dancing as he leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime.”

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About the Author 
Penny-Reid

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Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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