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.
3.5 stars — Hello, my name is conflicted. So I was in the middle of reading another series in preparation for Emerald City Author Event when Ms. Reid announced her preorders for the event would be closing soon, and so I panicked and switched to reading this book immediately, b/c I just can’t preorder a book unless I know I’m going to love it. And even though pretty much every friend I know who’s read this book has fallen in love, I wanted to see for myself before committing. I had pretty strong feelings that I was going to love it just as much, even if I’d been conflicted on some of the other Penny Reid reads (which is fun to say) that I’d read to date. Unfortunately I ended up falling to the same conclusion with this one. Ms. Reid’s writing is so close to being something I would love, but somehow each time it falls short for me. It’s like there’s this dissonance between her brain and mine, and it’s just enough to leave me baffled…somewhere caught between entertained and aggravated.
So…where to start? I enjoy the quirkiness of Ms. Reid’s characters, and the neurotic Janie was no exception. She was awkward and…well, just extremely awkward. And in general I found that extremely amusing and endearing (her internal thoughts had me laughing on many occasions). But there were also occasions in which I just found myself confused and frustrated by her instead. And maybe it wasn’t her so much as the writing? I’ll come back to that.
I also enjoyed the cast of colourful knitting group girls, and I will wholeheartedly admit that reading the first chapters of the next 3 books at the back of this book made me want to dive right into each of their stories (which I totes would if I wasn’t such a cheapass and I wasn’t a bit gunshy from this experience).
Quinn unfortunately suffered from me having false expectations for his character. I honestly have NO IDEA where I came up with these impressions, but for some reason I thought he was going to be this super normal average nice guy…so I was epically surprised when he ended up being a billionaire “Wendell” with a bit of an Alpha streak. Now, I have nothing against billionaire playboy heroes….but when you’re expecting one thing and get something else entirely, it affects you no matter how hard you try not to let it (like when you’re expecting Coke, but you drink Root Beer, and so the drink just tastes bad, even though you love Root Beer normally). I can also waffle about alpha heroes, so when I’m expecting something different, then every time he was a bit controlling it rubbed me the wrong way (like stupid things — like him ordering for her).
Their relationship had me conflicted too. There were some things I loved — like how genuinely interested he was in her quirks, and how he interacted with her when she’d start spouting off trivia. They really felt like a good match in those moments. And while I definitely felt some chemistry between them, I kind of wanted more. More of what I’m not sure, but just more… Maybe because she was a bit awkward, and she would always describe her butterfly moments in such clinical ways, I ended up losing a bit of the magic. In the end I just wasn’t sucked in by the romance.
And that brings me to the writing. Sometimes I was delighted by the writing and the way in which Ms. Reid would describe things. And quite frankly, other times I was bored or my brain just wasn’t engaged. I don’t know how many times I would get to the end of a paragraph and not realize what I’d just read and have to go back and reread it very slowly. Now truthfully that could be me. But since it wasn’t happening with my previous book, I have to assume it was my compatibility with this particular book and the writing at least in part. Ms. Reid is very descriptive, and sometimes the flow of words just didn’t work for me.
So I finished the book and initially wanted to rate it 4 stars, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was gravitating towards a higher ranking because I didn’t want to be left out of an exclusive club. Don’t mind me…I’ll just stand here on the outside looking in, wishing my brain worked like so many people I love. QQ