Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) by Penny Reid
[Audiobook purchased from Audible]
Synopsis from Goodreads. Full book details here.
There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she’s unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.
Though this book took time for me to really like the characters (and though I never really ended up liking the heroine very much), it most certainly made up for all the initial aggravation toward the end. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series!
My feelings toward the two main characters, Elizabeth and Nico, swayed significantly as I read this book. In the beginning, I didn’t mind Elizabeth, but Nico seemed like a complete jerk. He smoked, he was on a trashy TV show, and he was kind of douchey.
By the time Nico started growing on me, Elizabeth started driving me absolutely insane. I just did not understand her decisions at all. While I don’t always have to agree with a character’s decisions, I at least like to understand their reasoning behind their decisions.
With Elizabeth, at least initially, I just did not get her.
None of these annoyances, however, were enough to keep me from finishing the book, and I think most of that had to do with Nico. Once Nico moved away from the cocky pigheaded persona, I began to fall in love with him enough that I could (somewhat) tolerate Elizabeth continually making poor decisions.
The last quarter of the book redeemed everything for me, though.
Between getting peeks at Quinn (swoon) and Janie, the knitting group’s dynamics, and Elizabeth finally seeing the light — there was so much great stuff happening that the book quickly went from a 3-star rating to a 4-star rating.
Though I have a hard time remembering who is who in the knitting group, I love and envy their friendship dynamic.
I also found it interesting that this book had two different versions of the sex scenes. I’ve never seen a book that did that. I, of course, don’t mind the detail, but I can see how it would be nice for someone who prefers glossing over those scenes.
Audiobook Performance: 4 Stars
This would’ve been a 5-star rating if the reader’s version of Nico’s voice didn’t make me roll my eyes a few times. Her voice acting was fantastic, but Nico’s voice just totally took me out of the story a few times.
Butterfly Rating: 3 Stars
There were definitely butterflies while reading this book, but they weren’t swarming constantly or with great significance.
Re-read Worthiness: 2 Stars
While this book definitely made me want to reread Neanderthal Seeks Human (Book 1), I don’t know that I’ll be reading this one again.
Bookshelf Placement: Maybe
We’ll see how the rest of the series is! If I like most of the books in the series, I’m going to have to buy them all to display!
New Top Book Boyfriend: Nah
Nico most certainly is not my type, and though I can look past that with some characters, I don’t think I could with Nico’s character. It’s not that he isn’t swoony, he definitely is, but he just isn’t quite swoony enough for me.