Author: Penny Reid

The Cad and the Co-ed by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

The Cad and the Co-ed by L.H. Cosway and Penny ReidThe Cad and the Co-Ed by L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid
Series: Rugby #3
Published by Amazon Digital Services on February 12th 2017
Pages: 337
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

THE CADBryan Leech is a cad. Or, he *was* a cad.No one is quite certain.Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-EDEilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLANBryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

A one-night stand goes awry as the cad takes it up with the co-ed and forgets it soon after, thanks to the constant drunkenness that pretty much blots out his short-term memory for eternity. Five years later, the cad has become the old codger who rails at loud parties disturbing his rest (complete with the housecoat, reading glasses, a mug of mint tea and a book about birds in Britain and Europe) and is so desperately reformed that I couldn’t help but find the whole turnover hilarious.

“The Cad and the Co-Ed” is as endearing as the preceding book and a pretty much angst-free read to boot, only that it takes place quite some time in the future after Sean’s story. The characters are likeable and so real as they pretty much act like the adults I expected them to be; I loved Eilish from the start and the honesty and maturity that she shows throughout the book by not shying away from the difficult decisions, just as I found Bryan’s entire personality change, well, rather amusing in some parts and touching in others.

Yet there’re also some solemn insights into alcoholism, slack parenting and emotionally manipulative relatives just as the authors seem to show, rather adamantly, that navigating this minefield would be enough conflict on its own without the false need to create any more storms in a teacup for the pairing in question. And *that* is something I can definitely appreciate.

If there’s a reason to single out this series for, it would probably be the unexpected slaps of humour and sass accompanied by the stinging realness of emotion that come my way each time I read about the antics that the characters get up to – testament to the stylish and polished writing of the dynamic duo of L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid.

five-stars

The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway

The Player and the Pixie by L.H. CoswayThe Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid
Series: Rugby #2
Published by Smashwords Edition on April 12th 2016
Pages: 326
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby. As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone.His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?

Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.


Sean Cassidy is an insensitive arse. Yet shockingly, a redeemable one, especially when the world is viewed through his skewed lens of snobbery until we realise the discrepancy between the front he presents and the man he can be…while managing to be an arse at the same time. His match, even more shockingly so, is a mini-Fitzpatrick, or rather, his arch-nemesis’s sister, whose quirks and compulsive shop-lifting behaviour somehow manages to draw out the person he wants to be.Yet tying their relationship together is the incredible idea that Sean the player is actually horrendous in bed in every way possible, which Lucy discovers to her chagrin.

That combination, characterisation-wise, is intoxicating, when all I could do was clutch my sides in hilarity as I was hit by wave after wave of unexpected (and funny!) dialogue interspersed with some poignant revelations and showings about human nature that were oddly moving.

L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid work over the stereotypical tropes of the player male and the frigid female in this book and I was immediately enthralled, swept along for the ride that got me angry when bedtime rolled around because I had to put the book down. And that could only be a good thing, because this is going straight into one of my favourites right now.

five-stars

Capture by Penny Reid

Capture by Penny ReidCapture by Penny Reid
Series: Elements of Chemistry #3
Published by Cipher-Naught on May 8th 2015
Pages: 234
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

One week. Manhattan apartment. Super-hot ex-boyfriend.
…What’s the worst that could happen?
It’s been nine months since Kaitlyn Parker has seen or heard from Martin Sandeke—nine months and five stages of matter. She’s lived through the worst of first-love heartbreak, and is most certainly stronger (and less likely to hide in science cabinets) than ever before.
But now Martin is back. And he wants to be friends. But he’s sending mixed signals to the Bunsen burner in Kaitlyn’s pants.
Will Martin re-capture Kaitlyn’s heart? Can Kaitlyn and Martin ever be just friends? Or, despite an abundance of chemistry, are some bonds just too unstable to endure?

A nine-month period of separation can evidently do wonders. Because it seems as though Kaitlyn and Martin have nearly undergone personality changes, the latter more glaringly so, to the point where I almost don’t recognise this polished, intense and earnest young man who has suddenly replaced the classless act that had been wandering around angry and cynical in the first two books. Just who is this Martin and why am I so riveted by him?

Change, as I’d suspected at the end of the second book, isn’t too bad, because this separation has done both Kaitlyn and Martin worlds of good and in the process, made them characters I now know I’ll have a very hard time saying goodbye to.


While ‘Capture’ lacked the snarky, off-centre, cute-geek feel of the first installment, it is easily the most polished gem of the three books, having left the juvenile grounds of college shenanigans behind and plunged into a world where feelings and decisions hold more gravity than they did in the first two. I like Martin for what he has become and got a little frustrated with Kaitlyn’s cluelessness, but seeing these two assured people become who they have in that time apart is quite the priceless treasure to be left with.

four-stars

Heat by Penny Reid

Heat by Penny ReidHeat by Penny Reid
Series: Elements of Chemistry #2
Published by Smashwords Edition on April 19th 2015
Pages: 188
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Four days left.Private beach (…and boat).Not so invisible girl.And maybe less of a jerk-faced bully than originally thought.
What’s the worst (or the best) that could happen?
Kaitlyn is finding life outside of the science cabinet of obscurity to be quite illuminating …and so are her pants.
When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin—previously known as the jerk-faced bully—Sandeke, she places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can’t help but also give her heart.
But how will the world beyond the sanctuary of their newfound connection react to their relationship? Soon senators, chinless billionaires, and elements beyond Martin and Kaitlyn’s control want to weigh in on the young couple’s future.
Navigating the chaotic inferno of new love might be more than Kaitlyn bargained for, and much, much more than her trust—or her heart—can handle.

Quite literally a next-sentence continuation from Penny Reid’s first installment, ‘Heat’ continues the burgeoning saga between Kaitlyn and Martin, pretty much encapsulating the physical evolution of their relationship. I hadn’t expected much more, but there were smaller hints about more abstract ideas that I liked in this story: the power of words and their nuances (in a conversation Kaitlyn points out the use of ‘fuck’ and ‘making love’) in particular.

But the hard choices and angst that come in the latter part of ‘Heat’ were what I thought were necessarily ‘evils’, so to speak, shedding light on Kaitlyn’s maturity – that still outpaces Martin’s by far. I’m reminded why I still can’t like Martin at all, despite the good reasons we’ve been given for his hard and loose but revenge-driven behaviour: that character growth that Kaitlyn experiences somehow passes him by and at the end of the book, I felt that Martin remains the manipulative guy who would love only when conditions suit his purposes. My respect for Kaitlyn on the other hand, grew for her ability for wanting to work things out rationally, despite the constant accusation of her lack of emotion and other insecurities.

Now, onto part 3.

three-stars

Attraction by Penny Reid

Attraction by Penny ReidAttraction by Penny Reid
Series: Elements of Chemistry #1
Published by Smashwords Edition on April 6th 2015
Pages: 161
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

One week.Private beach.Invisible girl.Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.
Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family's billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

The uniqueness of Kaitlyn Parker’s shenanigans – in that dorky, geeky but endearing manner – is the sparkling highlight of Penny Reid’s writing. Told wholly in her bizarre, out-of-the-world perspectives that frame all the events in this story, I simply turned the pages because I couldn’t wait to read just what funny and unexpected things she’d say.

But my unhappy rating really, reflects the questionable male lead of Martin Sandeke, who isn’t above using sex and desire – the basest and most likely the most unreliable of measurements – to act on his inexplicable attraction to Kaitlyn. Damaged and not above using people (and women) for his purposes, I simply thought Martin was a classless and self-centred act. Crassly dangling his vast sexual experience in front of her was an absolute turn-off for me, and much of the book – and beyond – felt like he was simply manipulating her with behaviour that her logical mind can’t handle, especially in sexual matters.

Nonetheless, it’s a short-read and one that ends on an unsatisfactory note, intended as a NA/drama series of sorts. Thankfully, the next 2 volumes are well within reach, even though I’ve got this gut feeling that it isn’t going to end well, if the trajectory of both Kaitlyn and Martin’s skewed relationship continues the way I think it will.

three-stars