SHACKING UP by Helena Hunting
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
eBook ISBN: 9781250133328; Price: $3.99
Paperback ISBN: 9781250150479; Price: $15.99
Audio ISBN: 9781427292797; Price: $23.99
Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.
Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.
I received an advanced copy of the book through Netgalley with the promise of an honest review.
I wouldn't call the first meeting between Ruby and Bane a meetcute, but I would call it interesting. A ridiculous case of mistaken identity results in a very sick Bane shoving his tongue down Ruby's throat, coughing on her (Ew!) and getting her extremely sick. Sounds terrible right? But then add on the fact that Ruby's sickness causes a disastrous audition, which then makes her unable to make rent and she gets evicted, and it makes it so much worse.
Needing a place to stay, Ruby's best friend hooks her up with a pet sitting job that could possibly require her to stay on the premises. Sounds perfect right? It seems that way until she realizes that the person in need of a pet sitter is the same person that got her sick! But when Bane finds out what happened he doesn't hesitate to have Ruby move into his place while he is away. He feel terrible about everything that happened and wants to make it right. And that is when the fun really starts!
I LOVED Ruby and Bane. In the beginning they had this fantastic banter that was somewhere between sarcasm and foreplay. While Bane is away, he and Ruby start a text/video chat relationship that takes them both by surprise. Sure, he wants to check up on his pets, but he also finds himself wanting to talk to Ruby as well. But over time the sarcastic banter slowly becomes foreplay and it was fantastic. And in my opinion, that is the best kind of banter. Give me banter masked as foreplay or give me death!
Now it's confession time. This was my first Helena Hunting book. I have most of the Pucked series on my ereader, but I just haven't had the time to read them. So when this book popped up on Netgalley and I saw that it was a standalone, not related to a series, I jumped at the chance to read it. The synopsis cracked me up and it sounded like something that I would definitely enjoy. And I definitely did!
1. Describe Shacking Up using no more than 140 characters (a la Twitter).
Sexy, quirky, with enough sexual tension to light your underwear on fire.
2. Where did you get inspiration for the character’s names, particularly Bancroft aka Bane?
Once I met a police officer (I wasn’t doing anything illegal) who introduced himself as Bancroft. I thought that was his last name, so I sassily introduced myself by my last name as well. Then he corrected me, telling me that his first name was Bancroft, and I felt obviously ridiculous. He was a mammoth man. He practically had to duck through doorways, so I put that one in the name bank for a rainy day. I also thought it was rather hilarious that it could be shortened to Bane—as in the bane of my existence, which we know Bancroft certainly is not. Ruby is a spunky name and I thought reflected the heroine’s fiery personality.
3. Shacking Up is hilarious! How easily does the banter between the characters come for you? Do you ever struggle writing the humor in your books?
With Ruby and Bane the banter came easily because there weren’t a lot of social constraints or limitations for them. At the beginning they’re working under the premise of a business arrangement, so the pressure is off and Ruby isn’t really one to hold back,. Neither is Bane for that matter. I have such a fun time creating off the wall, sometimes sexually tense scenes, especially with these two.
4. Do you ever make yourself laugh when writing a scene?
Yes. I feel weird saying that, but there are times when I’m imagining what is happening as I’m writing and thinking “this is just ridiculous”. My hope is that if I think it’s ridiculous, so will other people, and it will inspire the same reaction. Francesca certainly helped make it a lot easier to fit in fun, light-hearted situations.
5. What inspired Bane’s exotic choice in pets?
Ferrets are freaking adorable, but they are menaces if they’re left to their own devices. They’re also a lot like dogs and cats, but they require a different kind of care, the fact that they’re illegal in NYC also helped. As for Tiny—I think a lot of people would be reluctant to take care of a giant spider, no matter how cool they are as pets. I felt like both of them would be lend for some funny situations.
6. The heroes in your Pucked series are all hockey stars, and Bane in Shacking Up is an ex-rugby player. Is it safe to say you have a thing for athletes?
I guess you could say I have a fascination with athletes. That level of physical fitness takes an extraordinary amount of discipline, plus STAMINA!!! More than just being an athlete, I have an affinity for heroes who show loyalty and determination and who are just as much about brain as brawn.
7. Ruby is a bit of a rebel, defying her family to go after her dreams. What do you love most about her?
I love that despite things not always going her way, she refuses to take the easy way out. Our paths are not always linear and Ruby is very willing to make concessions where she needs to in order to prove to herself and her family that she can attain her goals.
8. Why are Bane and Ruby so perfect for each other?
They’re both very goal oriented people with the same core values. Ruby is a firecracker and Bane needs someone with that level of sass to challenge him. For Ruby, Bane is an inherent caretaker, BUT he tries not to force that care on her which is something she can appreciate.
9. Are there any books or authors you’re really excited about right now?
I’m excited for Ann Marie Walkers BLACK TIE OPTIONAL. I recently devoured Jana Aston’s Grind Me Series and Debra Anastasia is writing the most awesome book right now, and I can’t wait until it’s ready for public consumption.
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