Friday, January 5, 2018

REVIEW/RELEASE BLITZ: Stud in the Stacks by Pippa Grant

TGenre: Sexy Romantic Comedy
 Release Date: January 5, 2018


When it comes to women, I know what they want. And all day long, I give it to them. Dark, broody, and sexy? You got it. Need to laugh? I’m your guy. Desperate for something to put you in the mood? You’ve come to the right place, kitten.

Every morning when my library opens, there’s a line around the block, the ladies flocking to me in need of their next book boyfriend. I’m that dude. The one who knows his way around the romance section. And if you think that hasn’t gotten me plenty of action over the years, you’d be wrong.

But I've made a few miscalculations, and now my reputation has my job in danger. If I can’t prove to my boss that I’m more than a playboy who recommends romance in the hopes of getting some hanky panky in the stacks, I can kiss my job goodbye.

Stud in the Stacks is a sexy, hilarious, sometimes embarrassing romantic comedy told in both points of view, complete with tacos, romance novel love, and unicorn parties with no cheating or cliffhangers.

~Book Review~
3 Stars

Librarian Knox Moretti has a love for reading. That extends to romance novels and playing hero in his real life. Parker Elliot is in need of a hot date for her high school reunion. When she sets her sights on Knox, she doesn’t realize they’ve met before. But then neither does he.

This story started out really cute. I thought I might never watch The Lion King the same way again. But that’s okay, because the new imagery is much….hotter. Knox was likable from the start. His narration was light-hearted and witty and despite the suggestion of a cocky womanizer from the blurb, he’s really quite the catch.

On that note, the blurb is a little misleading (and I’m referring to the complete one that came with the cover reveal, not the cut off one on GR). I was pleasantly surprised that Knox was an all round good guy, but on the downside, Parker wasn’t what I expected.

This was the biggest issue I struggled with—Parker.  See there’s the perception she has of herself and the one Knox has of her. Knox is more than intrigued about her and that doesn’t waiver when he remembers her from the past. But Parker is incredibly awkward and insecure in her POV.  I get that we don’t always see ourselves the same way others see us, but with Parker it was hard to reconcile the two selves, and eventually how she saw herself is what won out as my take on her character.
“…I’m awkward as a sheltered teenager.”
I’ll admit, even from the start I enjoyed Knox’s chapters more than Parker’s. But then I thought maybe Parker just had layers that needed to evolve and be revealed and then she’d be a more likable character. But after a while, it was hard not to see Parker as a dorky, clumsy, insecure, annoying, weak twit who had no finesse and left lousy impressions.

Yep, I’m not going to mince words; I closed the book still not liking her!  Her clumsy and awkwardness was over the top, and despite her insistence in the beginning that she had changed since high school, she continued to prove that she not only hadn’t but that it was more pathetic as an adult.

I was constantly distracted by her age after it’s established that she’s older than Knox who early on confirms he’s thirty. Parker never seemed very mature. This is a woman with two (yes 2) master’s degrees and fifteen years working experience and yet she worries that she’s not cut out for her recent job promotion. How insecure is that?  When she and Knox are caught making out by his mother and grandmother they behave even more oddly for a 30 year old man and woman “pushing forty.”  [Spoiler alert: It’s later finally confirmed she’s 38.] 

In addition, her reasons for not wanting kids pointed strongly at her need for therapy. Don’t take that the wrong way, I’m not saying a woman who doesn’t want kids needs therapy; I’m saying her reasons for not wanting them suggested she had bigger issues. In other words if you think your life is too big of a mess and you’re almost forty, maybe it’s time you get your life together and get to the root of your troubles.  And Knox, being the gem of this book that he was, even acknowledged this more than once.
“Because for a fling, we’re perfect. Long-term, though, we’d have issues.”

Knox secures his place as a book boyfriend. He’s an intelligent, good-hearted, easy going, down-to-earth, good looking man who didn’t take himself or life too seriously. (And I totally agree with him on Titanic.)

Sadly though Knox’s very valid intuitions that they weren’t compatible all got swept aside in the name of romance. I was so disappointed in Knox because he deserved better. His one downfall was that he tosses aside all his rational concerns every time they have an intimate encounter, and for a while I was convinced it was his sex brain not his heart or his head making the decisions.  Because all the things Knox starts to think doesn’t matter really does matter. It’s easy to brush aside incompatibilities when you’re falling in love. I guess he was a true romantic because he convinced himself they were meant for a happily ever after even when (IMO) she wasn’t the one.

This is a scenario where opposites didn’t make a good match. From Knox being great with kids and Parker never wanting to have them to Knox enjoying his blog for fun and Parker forcing a business out of it, I couldn’t have been more convinced that Knox could have done so much better than Parker. Not only that, but Parker’s life was set up to suit Parker and she was set in her ways.  Parker wanted a no strings man, but with all the benefits of a relationship. Nothing that transpired convinced me that she would realistically change or compromise or that they would make it in the long haul.

I do give kudos for the story avoiding the clichéd OW drama with Lila. She was a pleasant turn of events. There are also some nice messages regarding the value in reading romance.  Told via Knox and Parker’s alternating first person POV, I adored Knox but wish this Tarzan would have kept looking for his Jane.
“Parker Elliot. I don’t get it.”
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Even though it’s been six years since I stripped for a roomful of women, I’m pleased to report my loincloth still fits in all the right places. Tad more snug in front than I remember, but if I had to grow, might as well be in the junk. I give the elastic one last test as the producer signals that I’m up. Spider-Man gives me a fist bump. Thor smacks my ass. They’re the last two bachelors going up on the block after me in tonight’s superhero-themed auction. There are some who might say Tarzan isn’t a superhero, but Jane would beg to differ.
And I fucking own this costume.
Plus, if no one else bids on me, my Nana’s right up front, ready to throw down the hundred bucks I slipped her before the show. I’m hoping for a little higher than that though. Batman just went for a cool five grand.
Batman was a dick, which I assume my Nana didn’t know when she started the bidding on him. A grade-A, condescending asshat who thought just because he had a few million bucks in the bank, he could call people gay like that’s an insult and take a metaphorical shit on my favorite books.
I fucking want to beat Batman. 

Pippa Grant is a stay-at-home mom and housewife who loves to escape into sexy, funny stories way more than she likes perpetually cleaning toothpaste out of sinks and off toilet handles. When she’s not reading, writing, sleeping, or trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, she’s fantasizing about chocolate chip cookies.


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