Sunday, 3 January 2016

Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City #5) by Penny Reid - ARC Review

Released: 19th January 2016.


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.

Except… not.

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

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2015

For followers of How I Met Your Mother they will remember the famous line from the show that "nothing good happens after 2am"... well I'm here to tell you they were wrong, you see last night while plagued by a case of insomnia I decided to pick up a book, at 2am, thinking soon enough my eyes would grow tired and I would finally fall asleep...I did grow tired, I fell asleep with my kindle clutched tightly to my chest and a smile on my face... at 4.30am.

I've been a long time fan of Penny Reid's work, her words have always had an incredible impact on my heart, her characters are always quirky, her stories always veer from the stereotypical romance, and Happily Ever Ninja was certainly no different, wrapped up in this wild ride of drama and angst and suspense was a story that I encourage anyone who's ever questioned their life choices to read.

"You're becoming invisible under the weight of unhappiness."

Fiona and Greg have created a life many would envy, they have a nice home, two healthy, happy, well adjusted young children, they have great loving and supportive friends, and after over a decade together Fi and Greg still look at each other the way they did when they first fell in love, their insatiable need for each other is still there, their sex life still rocking, the only problem is that Greg's career means that he is away for months at a time. Long distance relationships aren't new to them though, their relationship was built on a foundation of loving each other from a distance, it's was what it was, there was no point in complaining about things you couldn't change.

Happily Ever Ninja captured my attention immediately, and while Fiona recounts the hardships of living a semi single parent existence, struggling under the strain of being the sole provider for emotional stability in her young children's lives, to be the PTA mom she thinks her kids deserve, the role of Super Mom and Super Wife and Super Friend and...well you get it, Fi is juggling a whole world of balls right now, and the exhaustion and fatigue of that mentally is enough to bring someone to their knees, and if I'm honest I think the reason this book struck a chord so heavily is because so many of us have felt the need to wear each of those aforementioned capes, to be everything to everyone. Reid isn't done there though, she takes the reader on a action packed, adrenaline fuelled adventure, one I wasn't ready for, I expected a story about a couple weathering that stage of indifference in their marriage, where they took stock of their lives and decided if this was what they always wanted, instead I got both.

"Tell me the truth. Are you happy? With us? With kids and a wife..."
 "That's like asking me, 'Are you happy your heart beats?'"

Reid weaves a story of jungle trails, and weapons and criminal empires and clandestine operations, that left me on the edge of my seat begging for more, I was thrown into an episode of Covert Affairs and I was breathless with anticipation, I was hooked watching everything transpire, but more than anything I felt a kinship to Fiona, because I've felt some of those same things, regardless of the setting the hero of this story was very much their marriage. Life is tough, marriage is hard, it's a choice you make every single day to be present and to be an active member of it, it's about communication, it's about putting your dirty socks in the hamper, it's wiping down the counter after making a sandwich, it's still wanting to get naked with your partner despite the stretch marks and extra pounds, it's feeling wanted and needed, it's asking for help, it's sharing the load, marriage is so much more than just lofty ideals of loving the other person until death do us part, it's more than grand gestures on Valentine's Day, it's making a commitment every day of every week of every year and being willing to your partner what do we do now, where do we go from here?? I'm not ashamed to admit that I had forgotten that, that reading Happily Ever Ninja left me with tears in my eyes at times because I desperately needed to be reminded that standing before God and forsaking all others, was not code for making sure the house was perfectly clean, or the Mr's shirts were ironed or dinner was 5 star feast, my commitment to my husband was to be present in my marriage, to put us first, to build a life with him.

 My heart keeps discovering new ways to love you."

Reid takes the reader on a fantastical journey, filled with kick arse hero's and heroine's, with snappy one liners, sharp wit, and a sense of quirk I've come to expect from her books, but more than that, Reid reminded me that life is what you make it, it's the people you surround yourself with and it's you believing in yourself enough to say I deserve this, I deserve you.

Purchase Links:
Amazon AU:
Amazon UK:
Amazon CA:

Read Ninja at First Sight: An Origin Story:

About Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is a part time author of romantic fiction. When she's not immersed in penning smart romances she works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to two diminutive adults (boy-8 and girl-5), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Please feel free to drop her a line. She'd be happy to hijack your thoughts! You can find her on her blog or email her: pennreid at gmail dot com

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