Monday, 22 January 2018

Book & Audiobook Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human and Neanderthal Marries Human by Penny Reid

Oh, Knitting in the City women, how do I love thee, let me try and explain… Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series is one of my very favourites.  After countless rereads and re-listens, I am gearing up for the final book in this series. 

Marriage of Inconvenience, Book 7, and the final book in the Knitting in the City series releases on 6 March, 2018.

In the lead up, I will be reviewing each book in the series. And it goes without saying that I will also be revisiting these books.

Neanderthal Seeks Human 

About the book:  

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.

My Thoughts:

I have read Neanderthal Seeks Human countless times. I have listened to Neanderthal Seeks Human countless times. Whenever I need a feel-good and inspiring book, I head straight for the Knitting in the City series. Shamefully I have never bothered to review this book and I am here to rectify that error.

I first read this book in November, 2014. I have no idea what prompted me to read it but I enjoyed it so much I bought every other book in the series the following day.
I think what I loved about it initially was that it seemed so different to the romances I had been reading at the time. This was something new and exciting and something I could relate to.

The top three things about this book for me are Janie, Janie and Quinn together, and all the wonderful women in the knitting group.

Janie is without a doubt awkward. Some of her idiosyncrasies will likely lead people to thinking she’s strange but I disagree. I find her incredibly grounded and a person who gives a large amount of forethought to her actions.

Janie thinks. A lot. And it’s this internal monologue of hers that makes me identify with her. I often have random thoughts on many unrelated topics but Janie manages to elevate it to an art I can only admire.

When she meets master-manipulator Quinn, he is figuratively knocked off his feet. He is attracted, intrigued, disconcerted, and confused. Quinn knows women – Janie being an exception - but he knows nothing about relationships with women. And his attempts to understand Janie and get to know her have him doing all sorts of things he never has before. And yes, many times it’s because he’s never had to make an effort. On paper it may seem Quinn holds the power but it’s Janie who shines a light on the chinks in his armour and makes him vulnerable.

As Janie and Quinn skirt around each other, in the background we are introduced to Janie’s knitting group. This wonderful group of women are incredibly supportive of each other both in word and deed… knitting needles aren’t just for knitting you know. *insert winky face*. Their individual personalities shine through and each woman’s story features in later books.

Overall what makes this book a favourite of mine is that along with the romance, I get a book that makes me think and a book that educates me. These might not be things that appeal to everyone but the closet nerd inside me is forever grateful for Neanderthal Seeks Human.

And a note about the audio version: Penny Reid does a great job in finding narrators that I believe bring the characters to life. Jennifer Grace does an excellent job in bringing Janie to life. Her male voice is not overly deep but I like it because when he talks to Janie I imagine he is always talking in a gentler tone to her. Each supporting character has their own voice and I was never lost about who was speaking.


Neanderthal Marries Human

About the Book:

There are three things you should know about Quinn Sullivan: 1) He is madly in love with Janie Morris, 2) He’s not above playing dirty to get what (or who) he wants, and 3) He doesn’t know how to knit.

After just five months of dating Janie, Quinn—former Wendell and unapologetic autocrat—is ready to propose marriage. In fact, he’s more than ready. If it were up to Quinn, he would efficiently propose, marry, and beget Janie with child all in the same day—thereby avoiding the drama and angst that accompanies the four stages of pre-matrimony: engagement, meeting the parents, bachelor/bachelorette party, and overblown, superfluous wedding day traditions. But Janie, much to Quinn’s dismay, tosses a wrench in his efficacious endeavors and challenges him to prove his devotion by going through the matrimonial motions, no matter how minute and mundane.

Will Quinn last until the wedding day? Or will he yield to his tyrant impulses?

Regardless, one thing is for certain, Quinn Sullivan will have to learn to expect the Spanish Inquisition (i.e. the unexpected) if he plans to have and keep Janie Morris as his wife.

My Thoughts:

This book is definitely for the Janie and Quinn fans.  

After managing to thwart Bostonian thugs, inept lawyers and scheming sisters in Neanderthal Seeks Human, Janie and Quinn are living together and learning how to blend their lives. Quinn’s marriage proposal comes early in the book and frankly, it needs to win an award for the most unique marriage proposal in the history of, well, marriage proposals.

The book culminates in Janie and Quinn’s  wedding but in the lead up we are treated to a lot of fun and laughter as the knitting group get up to all manner of shenanigans.
There is also a serious thread running through the book as Janie and Quinn learn some important lessons: What it means to have a wedding versus be married; the role of family in all its forms and the importance of forgiveness.

And if all this isn’t enough, we get an entire book of Janie and Quinn being in love and expressing that love in all manner of ways.

A note about the audio: Jennifer Grace again does a great job of portraying Janie. There’s an English character in the first chapter whose accent falls short but this is the only blip and it occurs at the start only. I enjoyed Sebastian York’s portrayal as Quinn. He has a deep voice but his Janie voice is good. Both narrators do a great job of conveying the emotions of the characters.

About Penny

Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling 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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