Blog Tour: Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City #5) by Penny Reid - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
From the USA Today Best Selling Author of ‘Truth or Beard’
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.
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
Happily Ever Ninja was not what I was expecting from this book. I know Penny said it was very different, but I still wasn't expecting what I got from this story. Not necessarily because of what happened, but because of how I felt about the characters while reading. After reading Ninja at First Sight I was soooo excited for this book. I fell in love with Greg and Fiona in their prequel story, I thought Greg was going to be so much fun, they would have some hilarious adventures, it would just be nice to see a story of a couple who is already in love without the drama rama. Fiona would be completely awesome, she won't let Greg get away with anything, they both just went really well together at NaFS. So I was expecting this to be such a fun read.
Now before I go on about the story I must say that I think this is some of the authors best writing to date. The story just felt so real. Sure Fiona is a ninja, but I felt like she was also my real life friend. These characters just felt like people I know. It was just so realistic. Not that characters from other books don't feel real, but they don't usually feel like people I know and am friends with. Greg and Fiona feel like my real life friends. It was....I don't know that I have ever had that before. Usually they are my fictional besties, they feel like real people, just not anyone I would ever meet. I don't know. Usually they are people I wish I knew, people I want to be bff with, but am not. I was amazed by that. Bravo Penny. The writing in this book was superb.
Now since the writing was so real, everything felt like it was actually happening to people I care about, and it made me really sad. This book was so depressing for me. And what makes me even more sad is that so many people will read this and see themselves in the story. Will see this is as true love. I know that this is "normal" for a lot of people. That depresses me as for me this is not true love. It made me sad to think that people actually have relationships like this because my relationship with my husband is nothing like what was shown. And I want everyone to have what I have because it is awesome.
Man I am glad I am not Fiona. If I were I don't think I could have put up with Greg and this situation for as long as she does. I think most people won't be upset with it, but to me it is all kinds of not good. Fiona is slowly disappearing and she can't even talk to Greg about it. Their lack of communication kills me. It is not good, not good at all. It just felt so real, so like this is my actual real life friend telling me about what has been going on in her life and it just depressed me. I love my husband and am glad that we never fight, never have issues, never get angry with each other, we are just happy together. I know most people I encounter seem to think my relationship is odd (for example I have had people tell me it is not healthy to never fight on more than one occasion, but it is not that we are holding things in it is just that we don't have anything to fight about) or maybe that I am not being completely truthful. But I couldn't be in a relationship like Fiona and Greg have and be happy. And I am not willing to be unhappy, especially not as unhappy as Fiona is for as long as she has been and not do something to change it. I want people to have what I have instead. I mean why wouldn't you want to just be happy and completely in love years later? I really did get lucky with my husband as he is amazing. Anyways back to the story.
My biggest surprise with this story, besides Fiona just fading away, was how much I disliked Greg. Where he was fun and humorous in NAFS, he felt like such a jerk in this one. By the end of the story I just thought he is that guy that I would put up with because my friend is with them, but I would never want to hang out with them one on one. Really I wouldn't want to be around them at all, but I would do it for the friend. It is crazy as I loved him in NAFS. I remember reading one section of the book beforehand, or about one of the off color joking things Greg says, and at the time I thought it was fun. Even now looking back at an excerpt from the book I find it humorous what he says and does. But in the context of the story I was just like no! This is wrong! You are such a jerk! Crazy. And the way he just doesn't let Fiona help out when needed, when he puts his feelings above hers again and again and again, that just made me angry. He just disregards what she thinks, feels, and says again and again as what he wants just trumps what she does. I get that he didn't want her to get hurt or anything, but geez louis! She is a freaking ninja spy she can handle herself. And in some of the situations she is probably better than you, but yet your bullheaded stubborn caveman guy must keep girl safe bs made things worse. Oh I was angry with him at times. Fiona is bad ass. She doesn't need a guy to tell her what to do or to protect her.
I know this all sounds bad, but I did enjoy the story. Probably because of how real it felt. For as much as it depressed me and as much as I didn't like Greg, for as much as I felt bad for Fiona and like maybe their love is one of those just because you love someone doesn't mean you should be with them situations, I enjoyed reading it. It is one of those books that lets me see a glimpse into someone else's life, and because it was so realistic it was fascinating to me. Sure Fiona is a ninja, totally bad ass, but it still felt like she was one of my friends. Like I caught a glimpse into my good friends life when I am not around. There are some "crazy" things that happen, that all could happen in real life, but most likely not to people I know, and yet I still thought she was my real life friend. I just can't get over that. Overall a very interesting read. Most readers will love it I am sure, especially if you are already familiar with the author. For me it didn't have as many zany, fun adventures like I was expecting. It was just a bit of a downer, but that is not always a bad thing. Really I love depressing reads, and this was one of those. Really a good book and I think most people will love it.
*Note: I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
“What are you doing?”
“What do you think I’m doing?” He unbuttoned his pants and unzipped them.
Perhaps it didn’t make any sense, but I didn’t want Greg to see me naked. Not when I was still furious with him. Not when he was angry with me. Even though we’d been together for eighteen years, married for fourteen, and made two children together, when we were arguing I didn’t like the vulnerability of bare skin.
“Oh, no. No, no, no.” I sat forward in the tub, hiding my nakedness. “We haven’t talked through everything yet. I’m angry with you, and I know you’re still upset with me.”
He shrugged. “Then we’ll have angry intercourse.”
“We’re not having intercourse.”
“Then I’ll give you angry cunnilingus.”
Damn him, but that made me laugh.
Greg’s eyebrows bounced once on his forehead and he grinned, his pants falling to the ground.
“I don’t want any of your angry oral sex, thank you very much.” I crossed my arms over my chest, endeavoring to keep my expression stern . . . and failing.
“Of course you do. Angry oral sex is the best kind of oral sex. And we are so rarely angry with each other. We should take advantage of this opportunity.” His thumbs hooked into his boxers with the intent of pulling them down.
“Do not take off your boxers.”
Greg didn’t remove his boxers, but he didn’t withdraw the threat of his thumbs either.
“You know, I’ve heard it’s a good idea to fight while naked. I think I read that in a very important medical text book written by Albert Einstein’s cousin, Dr. Olga Einstein.”
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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