Genres: Contemporary, Romantic comedy
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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 (less)
Happy Wednesday, and welcome to the Happily Ever Ninja tour! There’s an excerpt, my review, and a giveaway, so get going…
“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.”
I’ve been wanting to read a Penny Reid story for awhile now, so when Happily Ever Ninja came up for review, I was all over it. Resisting a romance with the word “ninja” in it was just not happening. To make it even better, the prequel was included (Ninja at First Sight), which is how the characters met. I highly recommend reading Ninja at First Sight first. It’s soooooo fun, so good. A 5 star read for me. PLUS IT’S FREE RIGHT NOW!! You don’t want to miss how Fiona meets Greg, and I have to go into Ninja at First Sight before moving on to Happily Ever Ninja.
Fiona is a former Olympic aspirant (gymnastics), her goals derailed by cancer. She survived, and now is determined to experience the life she missed out on while training for the Olympics by escaping her mother’s clutches and moving several states away to attend college. I love Fiona. She’s down to earth, insightful, and both wise and naïve. I loved going through new experiences with her, her reactions and how she dealt with them. She’s a lovely person all around.
Then there’s Greg. I want a Greg. He’s jaded, honorable, super-smart and freakin’ funny. Add on a faint English accent and *swoon*. Here’s one of his first conversations with Fiona, which had me nodding. Yes. Oh, yes. He gets it.
“I think men will always be arrested on some level by the idea of owning their spouse, of completely possessing the woman they love, of having her unquestioning trust and obedience and admiration. But most importantly, of actually being a man that deserves it all. And I think women—though they are loathe to admit it—fundamentally want to be possessed.”
“People are discarded all the time. But if you truly own her, own her heart, if she is truly yours, abandoned to you, you cannot discard her. She is where she belongs, hence the ownership.”
Greg challenges Fiona just as much as she challenges him. Their romance is fast, fierce, and so sweet. I was definitely not ready for Ninja at First Sight to end…which takes me to Happily Ever Ninja.
HEN takes off years later. Fiona and Greg are married with two kids, and life is H-E-C-T-I-C. Anyone married with kids will totally relate, but I’m again so happy I read NAFS first. A story full of every day normal stress is a lot harder to dive in to, at least for me. Being invested in the characters already definitely kept me going. Fiona is single-parenting it while Greg is off for months at a time working, so it’s rough. Yet, there’s so much humor going on that it’s impossible not to laugh, and when Greg comes home? Oh yeah. I love the two of them together, but at the same time, their marriage is in a rough spot. They have some issues to work out.
I love seeing stories with married couples, how they keep the romance going through the everyday trials of life. I adored the undying love between Greg and Fiona, how they still challenged each other after years of marriage and made each other better people. I had one little quibble, which took the story down a half star for me, and that is the complete reversal mid-way through, a “where the hell did that come from?” twist that had my head spinning. Once I got my mind wrapped around it, I got back into the flow of things, but I wish there would have been some hint, some heads-up before the story took that direction. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed Greg and Fiona’s mid-life journey. There are hysterical moments, unexpected action, a killer group of knitting friends I wouldn’t mind hanging out with, and a lasting love that goes above and beyond. If you like humorous contemporary romance, don’t miss these! I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the Knitting in the City series.
What do a cynical former Marine and a sheltered former Olympic contender have in common?
He has a girlfriend and she’s never been kissed.
He’s sullenly sarcastic and she’s earnestly empathetic.
He can’t stop thinking about her.
She knows she should keep her distance.
Nevertheless, when opposites attract the results may be unexpected, but they’re also undeniably magnetic.
‘Ninja at First Sight’ is a standalone, prequel novella (for book 5 of the Knitting in the City Series, ‘Happily Ever Ninja’) and is 40k words.
This novella is the expanded origin story for Greg and Fiona. The first 16k words of this novella are from the short scenes included in ‘Scenes from the City’, which is no longer for sale.
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.