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Knitting in the City #2

Friends Without Benefits

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This is a previously-published edition - ASIN: B00FJJN0WC

Friends Without Benefits can be read as a standalone, is a full length 120k word novel, and is book#2 in the Knitting in the City Series.

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.

424 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 29, 2013

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About the author

Penny Reid

103 books21.1k followers
Sign up for the newsletter of awesome: www.pennyreid.ninja/newsletter

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she writes kissing books. Penny is an obsessive knitter and manages the #OwnVoices-focused mentorship incubator / publishing imprint, Smartypants Romance. She lives in Seattle Washington with her husband, three kids, and dog named Hazel.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pennyreidwriter
Twitter: www.twitter.com/reidromance

Just Released:
October 20, 2022: Folk Around and Find Out, Good Folk: Modern Folktales, Book 2

Upcoming Releases:
December 13, 2022: Drama King, Three Kings Series, Book 2

Currently Working On:
2023: Pride and Dad Jokes, Ideal Man, Book 1

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,381 reviews
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.5k followers
August 16, 2021
eh i wouldn't call this a dnf since i didn't get far enough but the audiobook is too long lol and i didn't feel an instant connection with the characters
Profile Image for Christy.
3,921 reviews33.1k followers
February 9, 2018
4.25 stars!

Love was a choice that I was capable of making just as much as it was a risk I was capable of taking.

One of my ‘reading goals’ this year was to read the back-list of a few of my favorites. Penny Reid was on that list. I’ve read most of her books, but for some reason, I’ve skipped over a few KitC books. What a great time to catch up- right before Dan and Kat’s story comes out! I’m so happy I did. I loved Elizabeth and Nico’s book!

Elizabeth Finney is Janie’s best friend and roommate. She is also a doctor. She’s fun, sarcastic, and loves to knit. One other important thing about Elizabeth- she is NOT looking for love. Every so often, she will find a min and have a bit of fun with him for a while, but that’s all it ever is. She’s never came even close to falling for someone, well, not since she was young.

All of a sudden, a blast from Elizabeth’s past comes to the present. Nico Manganiello. Elizabeth both loved and hated Nico in the past. They had a complicated relationship/friendship. And as much as Elizabeth wants to, it’s hard to fight the attraction they have going.
“Italians who speak Italian should be illegal, or at least come with warning labels—may make your panties explode.”

I loved the banter between Nico and Elizabeth. I love Nico’s unrequited love at first. I just loved it all! Elizabeth is not my favorite or the most relatable heroine in the series (at least for me) but she is REAL and I liked that about her. And Nico was straight up amazing so it was balanced out.

Penny Reid once again slayed it with this book. It’s smart, sexy, quirky, and fun. It even gave me a bit of the feels at times. I laughed out loud, I teared up, and I was left with a bigger brain and a huge smile on my face! I definitely recommend these books if you haven’t read them, and if you enjoy audio books, I absolutely love the narration for this series. Devra Woodward does an excellent job with both Elizabeth, Nico, and the entire knitting clan! I’m looking forward to Sandra’s book, since it has the same narrator!
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,246 followers
October 5, 2015
4.5 Italian stars

“Nothing is more frustrating than being attracted to someone who is a complete jerk – except for maybe also caring about that person despite continued abuses. I was such an idiot.”

 photo friends without benefits.png

Penny Reid just gets better and better with every book I read by her! After finishing a book that didn't work for me, I needed to dive into something I knew I would love, so I turned to my spirit animal Penny Reid. Yes you read that right, Penny Reid is my spirit animal. Go and find your own!

Friends Without Benefits is the story of Elizabeth and Nico. The two of them grew up together, and Nico was a bit of a bully to Elizabeth when they were younger. The loss of a mutual friend in high school leads to emotions Elizabeth didn't expect so she bailed and never contacted Nico again. Now, ten years later, he and his mother walk into the hospital she works at to get Nico's niece on a clinical trial that will help her.

The two have an attraction which Elizabeth fights. But will childhood love prevail? Or will Nico lose the girl he was meant to be with?

 photo fwb 2.png

It's obvious I love Penny Reid and her books. Some I like more than others and this one fits that description. I love the idea that Nico was a lovestruck kid for most of their lives and knew from an early age who his soulmate was. Elizabeth is a tough nut to crack but once someone is in her heart, they are there forever.

Elizabeth is dealing with a bit of loneliness now that her best friend and roommate Janie has found the love of her life. Considering her options lovers wise she is thrown for a loop when Nico reappears. It was perfect timing that he came back into her life because she ended up focusing more on him and his family.

“I wasn’t a hypocrite — well, everyone is a hypocrite, but I was trying hard to be less of one.”

I loved Nico, I loved Elizabeth, Angelica, Rose and more. The angst was deliciously sweet and knitted carefully into the story <--- see what I did there? :P If you are looking for a book that will make you smile, laugh and believe in the power of true love, this is the book for you.

“You can’t tell me that I don’t know you. I see you. I see you better than you see yourself. And everything about you is beautiful.”

Profile Image for Kate Sherwood.
Author 58 books737 followers
January 29, 2016
I forced myself to finish.

I bought this one after reading the first chapter or two of the previous book in the series. After finishing that book I had some reservations, but I charged on.

I wish I hadn't. The heroine is supposed to be smart, but she acts like an idiot. The hero is supposed to be funny, but literally the only way I could tell when he was making an oh-so-hilarious joke rather than just engaging in typical romance-novel banter was that someone would tell him how funny what he just said was. Really?

The heroine is supposed to be strong and determined to be independent. So she allows her boss to mess up her residency rotation and work literally 'round the clock for four full weeks, without saying a word about it. She lets the hero's mom manipulate her. She lets her friends off the hook when they make really controlling, manipulative decisions on her behalf. And of course she lets the hero push her around, including letting him dictate the location of the medical treatment of his niece (and as IF a medical trial wouldn't be conducted under the most controlled conditions possible!). Neither the heroine nor the author seem to think that there's anything wrong with the hero insisting that the treatment happen in an apartment rather than the hospital, then having him corner the heroine in the apartment while he's wearing only underwear and repeatedly refusing to let her leave when she asks.

I do NOT understand what is romantic about ignoring the requests of the person you're supposed to love. I suppose it's kind of justified in this case since the heroine is so clearly a total idiot, but then why keep calling her intelligent?

I found this book REALLY frustrating!
Profile Image for Jen .
804 reviews586 followers
August 9, 2016
4 Twinkly Eyed Stars

“I even miss our conversations that were arguments.”
“They were all arguments.”
“Not all of them.”
“You’re right—sometimes we didn’t talk.”
“I miss those times the most.”

After reading Friends Without Benefits, I’ve decided to start my very own Penny Reid fan club. Only this woman could write a book I absolutely love, despite the fact I didn’t connect with the heroine, Elizabeth, AT ALL. Not even a little bit. For the most part I wanted to bash my head against a wall in frustration.

Lady, you have a flaming hot Italian man in love with you and you deflect for a good majority of the book?

No, honey. I don’t think so.

By the time our gal finally realizes what’s up, my frustration had reached a whole new level and I was seriously contemplating drastic measures.

Lucky for me, Penny Reid has the gift of kickass writing and I ended up thoroughly enjoying this story. Sure, it could’ve been the ultra hot Nico (mount that stallion, Elizabeth!) that saved the book for me, but I’m a sucker for a sweet second chance, unrequited love story and Friends Without Benefits fit the bill beautifully.
Profile Image for Flo.
286 reviews591 followers
October 13, 2015
3.75 **eye twinkling** STARS

“Italians who speak Italian should be illegal, or at least come with warning labels - may make your panties explode.”

Well, that was a delicious combo between second chance romance, friends to enemies to friends - again to lovers story. It’s all very complicated and tragic but also a whole lot of hilarious - Penny Reid style.

Let's talk story...

“You have to know that I’m in love with you, you have to know that I’ve loved you since we were kids, since before I can remember.”

Book two in the Knitting in the City series tells Elizabeth and Nico's story. They were friend growing up, until they grew apart and he became more nemesis than friend. A tragic loss brought them closer together later on and then there was this one time when foe and friend blurred totally out of control.

Today, Elizabeth Finney is a doctor and part of the crazy girl knitting group that makes up this lovable series. She is Janie's (heroine of Neanderthal Seeks Human) best friend and former room mate. Elizabeth leads a very work and knitting oriented life, until one day her new patient's uncle turns out to be none other than Nico Manganiello.

Nico Manganiello. *sigh* 'The Face' is an italian stud, famous comedian, tv personality and he is about to rock an old friend/enemies’ world.

“I don’t want to be fair! I’m not interested in being nice! You’re right. I’m playing games with you and I’m playing dirty because I want you, I need you, to be with you, to hear your voice, your laugh, to hold you, to touch you...”

I really enjoyed this story. Well written, chick-lit goodness, with maybe a little less humour and more drama than the first instalment in the series. On top of that the usual scientific accuracy that comes with a Penny Reid book.

I guess my favourite part would be Nico and his unwavering love and determination. Not to mention those twinkling eyes of his. I did a joined ebook/audiobook 'read' and I have to say the narrator managed to give him one of the most swoon worthy voices. Honestly if you get a chance listen to the book. Nico's voice alone made my 'read/listen'.

Unfortunately for me, Elizabeth wasn't as lovable as dear quirky and random fact loving Janie. Maybe it's because she is more aware of her surroundings, and it makes Elizabeth's awkwardness less cute and more annoying in the long run. She was a tough character, very much influenced by her past and I had a hard time warming up to her, and she is also the reason for my rating.

But that shouldn't keep you from picking this one up. She eventually comes to her senses and the side characters alone make this book a well rounded experience. Just one more thing...you should definitely read the 'open door' love scene. *duh* Hands down and clothes off my favourite scene in the whole book.

Can't wait to read the next instalment in the series. I hear it keeps getting better. ;D

Profile Image for Mo.
1,363 reviews2 followers
March 13, 2014
3.75 stars

The first thing I noticed was that his unshaven stubble from last week had grown into a haphazardly trimmed, close cut beard. And looking like sex on a stick – if sex were Italian and the stick had an unfair amount of charisma – he sauntered to us.

I really enjoyed this one. Another funny, witty book from Penny Reid. Bunch of friends who love to knit together. This was about Elizabeth and Nico. Had been childhood “friends” but parted ways years previously.

Elizabeth doesn’t do relationships. She just hooks up for sex and finishes with a guy a while later…. She feels she had her one true love when she was younger and as her Dad kept telling her… there really was only one true love for a person.

My dad decided to take me to Ireland at the end of the summer …

You know me! Any mention of Ireland or things Irish and I am happy.

”When was the last time you were happy?”

Elizabeth is a successful doctor but is still quite insecure. She meets up with Nico again when he brings his niece into hospital for treatment.

She was really very lovable for a kid

Nico wants Elizabeth. Elizabeth is wary. Don’t want to say too much or quote too much as there are a few funny lines in the book that you are better off experiencing firsthand.

Italians who speak Italian should be illegal, or at least come with warning labels - may make your panties explode.

Loved all the music references too... yeah, you know me and my music. Could have done without the boy bands but, hey, I am a little old for them!!

If you are looking for a good, funny, sweet read, this is it!


Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books408 followers
June 1, 2022
Love Penny Reid to pieces! Elizabeth, our tomboy doctor from book one in the series, is featured here, paired up with a childhood not-quite-crush whom she had a hate-hate thing going on with when she was younger. As in, she was in love with their mutual friend, and when something tragic happened, as they comforted one another, one thing led to another. But the torch Nico has always carried for her is red hot, and that passion really carried off the page. There’s also an insidious stalker storyline going on, and also always, the warm comfort of female friendships with the knitting group. Loved this one!

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
631 reviews5,856 followers
September 3, 2020
For a while it looked like Friends Without Benefits would be a solid 2 stars read. I couldn't connect to the story and was really annoyed at the heroine's attitude. Elizabeth was a side character in Neanderthal Seeks Human & Neanderthal Marries Human and is the best friend of Janie. She's a great friend to Janie and I loved her in the previous books, but couldn't relate to her at all in the first third to half of her own story. If I wouldn't love Nico as much as I did, this would have a lower rating, so the 3 stars are mainly for Nico.

↳ ✧  The plot  ✧

Elizabeth Finney (h) finds herself face to face with her childhood nemesis Nico Manganiello (H) back at the hospital she works at because of his niece who needs treatment. Elizabeth has a hate relationship with Nico, because of how much he teased her when they were younger. Nico was also the best friend of Garrett, her boyfriend, when they were teens. When Garrett died, Elizabeth and Nico bonded over their grief, feelings get mixed up, but ultimately Elizabeth breaks contact with Nico. So seeing Nico after years of no contact is a shock for Elizabeth and their love-hate relationship starts.

↳ ✧  The main characters  ✧

As mentioned, I wasn't a fan of Elizabeth at the beginning. Since Garrett's death, she has put the idea in her head that she's unable to love another person, so her stubbornness to see what's right infront of her is more often than not getting in the way of her and Nico's relationship. It also irked me how judgy she was when it came to the women on Nico's show. Just because they are dancing half naked in his show doesn't mean you have to judge them so harshly duh. It took awhile until I finally got warmed with her characters, but once she got her head out of her ass, the story got so much better. I loved that she went after Nico when she realizes her mistakes. The public grovelling still made a bit icky because ew, but it was fitting to Nico's character and the overall story and didn't affect other people otherwise, therefore I didn't mind it. Not like other public grovellings *cough* Not My Romeo *cough*.

“Italians who speak Italian should be illegal, or at least come with warning labels - may make your panties explode.”

There is somthing incredible hot about men that speak in their native language to their love. And I don't mean when Americans/Britishs/Australians etc speak English 😂 I'm respectfully looking at you @Nico Manganiello and @Christian Allister.
Nica was such a great character I looove him! He's funny (as he should as a comedian just saying) and incredibly charming. He's been in love with Elizabeth since forever and that unrequited love aspect made the story better. He knew exactly how to push Elizabeth's buttons to make her fall in love with him in return, even though that sometimes means playing dirty ;)

I love the banter between Nico and Elizabeth. It was so sweet and funny. How they constantly teased each other.. I love this kind of dynamic between the main characters.

While this book started out pretty meh, it turned out surprisingly well. Not my favorite, but I still had a good time.
Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews892 followers
February 1, 2018

Review @ Vanilla & Spice Books

Penny Reid is the Queen of Smart Romance.b I love her ability to weave scientific facts, Star Trek or Star Wars references and other geeky things that make my nerdy heart shout a happy Yeehaw into her stories.

In Friends Without Benefits we get to know Elizabeth Finney, a pediatric doctor who comes with a lot of emotional baggage. She lost her high school sweetheart to a disease. The guy she grew up with and who was also her late boyfriend's best friend used to bully her. When he, now a successful comedy show host, crashes back into her life he turns it upside down and her inside out, because Nico the bully...seems...nice...kind.

“Nothing is more frustrating than being attracted to someone who is a complete jerk – except for maybe also caring about that person despite continued abuses. I was such an idiot.”

I have to admit I did get a little frustrated with Elizabeth because she kept pushing him away, time and time again, telling him that's why she didn't want to do this. I had to consciously remind myself that Nico used to be a douchewaffle at school and really treated her horribly. It was hard because Nico 2.0 was incredibly sweet and adorable. Furthermore, Elizabeth was really convinced, although misguided, that you can only love once in your life. Admitting being in love with Nico would come with a lot of adjustments to what she thought was true. It also took her forever to see her own worth and let fear rule her for a long time. All of this though was, looking at the big picture, understandable.

I loved Nico for his relentless pursuit of her, for loving her, for keeping trying despite her rebuilding her walls time and again. I loved that he never held back and said out loud pretty much from the beginning that she was IT for him and I never, not one second, had a doubt about that. Nico wasn't above playing games and he kept pushing her until she gave in. His remorse for being a bully at school and the consequences of it, Elizabeth's distrust of him, was so obvious and honest. And when he finally got her? He gave me serious lady parts tingles.

“I don’t want to be fair! I’m not interested in being nice! You’re right. I’m playing games with you and I’m playing dirty because I want you, I need you, to be with you, to hear your voice, your laugh, to hold you, to touch you...”

I don't know how Ms Reid does it but I haven't disliked a single one of her heroes. I loved them all and Nico fits the bill. He was dreamy. I also loved Elizabeth, despite her giving me whiplash. The most hilarious moment was pretty much at the end when Quinn from Neanderthal Seeks Human had to get naked on a tv-show.

I'm slowly making my way through the series. I can't get enough of the author's writing. It's quirky in a way, with all those geek speak and science references, funny and spellbinding. Up next: Love Hacked!

“You have to know that I’m in love with you, you have to know that I’ve loved you since we were kids, since before I can remember.”
Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,547 followers
November 21, 2013

Elizabeth and Nico grew up together, and she remembers him as her greatest tormenter. She was the quiet, skinny, nerdy girl in school and he was the popular, good looking jock that always picked on her. She ended up falling in love with his best friend, and when that friend dies, Nico sneaks into her bedroom window for months, just to comfort her. It showed her a whole new side to him, and it scared her that she could be feeling love for another guy, so she up and left him without a word.

So it's over a decade later now, and Elizabeth and Nico meet again in a hospital room where she treats his niece. Nico reveals that he always had feelings for Elizabeth...he picked on her to get her attention. But Elizabeth has resigned herself to a life of “benefits without friendship” relationships in order to guard her heart. Nico's not satisfied with that, and gives a whole lot of effort to wheedle his way back into her life.

"Nico wasn't interested in me anymore. He also wasn't my type.
He was hot like lava and sexy like cake. Wait...Like lava cake. Yum.
He was annoyingly witty and intelligent.
He was thoughtful and kind to his family.
He was too likeable, too charismatic.
...okay, he was my type. Damn it."

Here's some casting...I got a little caught up searching for Italian men **shrug**
Nico Manganiello

Elizabeth Finney

Penny Reid is such a refreshing voice in contemporary romance. I've read few authors who add such humor and self deprecating characters into a believable romance and still make me love her heroes and heroines. In this case, the sheer randomness of everything about this book made it easy to really fall in to the story and stay there to the end. Nico is a type of talk show host, some kinda sexy talk show host, to be exact, and frequently Jell-O wrestled bikini clad women onscreen. To be blunt, he's a bit of a sex object, which is good because he objectifies a little himself. And don't we all? :D:D

I felt like Elizabeth and Nico's back and forth went on for just a little to long. The last couple of little spats made me want to shove them in the back and yell, "Get on with it already...enough of the drama!" Nico's way of getting the girl was a bit too wishy washy, though it may just be personal preference. I like decisive heroes. And Elizabeth's "one great love per lifetime" routine got old. I loved this line, from one of her friends with regards to her fatalistic attitude toward romance. "What are you, a Disney Princess? Get over yourself!" High fives, girl!!

One thing that made me swoon (aside from the obvious) was Nico's niece Angelica and how she stole Elizabeth's heart, regardless of her obvious discomfort with children.
"Are you my best friend?"
"Yes. I'm your best friend. We're best friends." I smiled at her and my chin wobbled.
This family was going to be the death of me. I decided I needed to knit her more sweaters, maybe some matching hats, as well as some dolls. I also resolved to buy her a doll house...and a real pony."

Have to mention this, because it was my biggest disappointment in the first book. Sex...SEX SEX SEX!!!

No fade to black here. Nope, Reid takes an unusual route and gives you the optional sex chapter (cough, cough, Chapter 22) in case you want to either spare your delicate sensibilities or cave into those lascivious thoughts that you're having about Nico Manganiello. Because, let's face it...

Nico + Elevator + emergency shut off button = something awesome.

"Listen, I wanted to use you - your body - and have sex a few times, maybe weeks, maybe for a few months, hopefully there would be oral involved. But hey, I was willing to accept just the basics - and no butt sex. I don't do that. I've seen enough rectal tears in the ER to last a lifetime. However, just so we're clear, I was never interested in dating you."
He frowned. "You wanted to use me for sex?"
"Like friends with benefits?"
"No. Like benefits with no friends"

This was another hilarious contemporary romance by Penny Reid. She writes cute and clever and witty. I just can't get enough of her. The steam on this was a bit more than her first. I'd say about a three out of five for the heat.
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
August 1, 2019
I love coming back to visit with the Knitting ladies...

This series is one of my very favourites and it has almost become a regular in my re-reads. It's like I can't stay away from Penny Reid's words. I'm not particularly fussy but admit to having a wee bit of a soft spot for the Knitting in the City and Winston Brothes series.

No change to my rating as I'm always left completely satisfied with the story and narration. I will be back for more in the near future.


I saw Dan, Dan The Security Man...

I purposely kept this reread/listen of Friends Without Benefits so that it would be close to the release of Marriage of Inconvenience. I LOVE Penny Reid, I LOVE this series and I LOVE the audios too. Getting to see and hang with Dan, The Security Man, is getting me all excited for his story. My countdown has been activated...

I timed listening perfectly as I was able to finish it on a baking day. Listening to a favourite and making cake and cookies is my idea of heaven. It also helped that I had the house to myself which meant fewer interruptions.

Elizabeth and Nico's love story was not easy and at times I hurt for them both. They have known each other for years without really knowing each other. This time is their right time. They will have to lower their walls and share their thoughts and feelings if they want their HEA.

Devra Woodward does an outstanding job and I enjoyed every moment of this audio.

Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
3,002 reviews1,649 followers
March 21, 2018
This is second in a series and should probably be read in order. I bounced pretty hard off of Neanderthal Seeks Human and just kind of hoped that it wouldn't matter much. Fortunately, that mostly worked out. I mean, you get the couple from that book in this one more than a little. But I was never confused or felt left out or like I was missing important details.

I didn't bounce off of this one like I did the first, though I kind of wish that I had. I spent the first ¾ pretty much hating Elizabeth. Nico was just unusual (and attractive) enough to keep me going, but Elizabeth was a complete loss. You get the backstory pretty early (the best thing Reid did was opening that up early and not being coy about it) so you know more or less what she is reacting to in her relationship with Nico. And that backstory is kind of brilliant and a wonderful source of conflict if handled even a little bit well (but it isn't handled at all well...).

Okay, some specifics. You learn these early, so I'm not tagging this as spoiler. Growing up, Nico's and Elizabeth's families were very close. And you can kind of see that Nico has a huge crush on Elizabeth and is expressing it very, very badly with things that he thinks are teases and that she sees as bullying. It's a little heartbreaking and I have to give Reid credit for conveying that dynamic at the remove of time and through Elizabeth's perspective. Worse, though, is that they're tied together by his best friend, her boyfriend, Garret. And Garret dies of cancer their junior year. And Nico is there for her in a very supportive way afterwards until she freaks and bolts. And even that makes sense because as far as she knows, his hate for her is masked by pity and she's growing . . . fond of him. Anyway, she handles leaving him badly, though not nearly as badly as Nico has treated her for their entire growing up years.

The reason I give all that is because it forms the foundation for what I hated about Elizabeth and loved about Nico. Elizabeth carries a huge load of self-hatred and says, over and over to friends and acquaintances, that she has already had her true love and doesn't want/need more. So she wanders through life using and discarding men, deliberately targeting ones she dislikes for her hookups. So not only is this a load of negative motivation*, but it's about the stupidest justification for it and the dumbest action inspired from it. It has been eleven years and she's still in this dysfunctional spiral of denial, cowardice, and self-justification. And doubles down on it in the face of every input that she's being a stupid coward.

Nico, on the other hand, has obviously grown in the intervening years and is determined not to let her slip from his grasp again. He's up-front about his motivations and even tells her outright that he's still in love with her. And, to her credit, she calls him on the fact that he couldn't possibly be given how long it has been and he doesn't even know the current her. But he persists in fairly clued-in ways that show that he knows who she was and is paying attention to learn who she is now. And I can almost grasp what he sees in her because if you get past the self-hate and cowardice she isn't terrible. So he has all my sympathies and I endured her to spend time with him.

And then the whole thing goes to crap in a giant, flaming crap-bucket. And . And then Reid manipulated things even further to have a stupid grand gesture on Nico's popular comedy show and it was all public and dumb and I hated everybody, but particularly the author for making this so clunky.

So I was at two stars, sometimes higher, sometimes lower (like when Elizabeth ) but mostly steady two stars. And then flaming crap buckets happened and I finished in morbid fascination and horror. So yeah, one star and it earned it.

A note about Steamy: There was explicit sex at the middle of my tolerance. A couple of scenes and I was feeling hopeful because we hadn't gotten to the flaming buckets part of the story, yet...

* Negative Motivations: I kind of hate that the term "negative motivation" isn't widespread, yet. Since it isn't, I'm going to save off this little jag to append to my reviews that feature the term. Jennifer Crusie blogged about it a bit back and it changed how I understand story. The problem with the term is that if you've never heard it before, you'd assume it meant motivations that are harmful or immoral. Not so. What it refers to is motivations not to do something. The thing is that many of us are motivated to not do things for a lot of different, perfectly valid and reasonable, reasons. The problem is that in a story motivations to not do things are a huge drag on the plot—particularly considering the fact that most negative motivations are overcome by the character simply deciding they don't care any more (or, rather, that they do care and are now motivated to do the thing). So not only do you have a counter to action but you also have a situation where to overcome it, all a character has to do is change their mind. Which means eventually, the reader is rooting for the character to get over him/herself already and do the thing we want them to do. Conflict drives story. Conflict between a reader and a main character drives readers away from story.
Profile Image for Michelle [Helen Geek].
1,772 reviews403 followers
July 5, 2014

Overall Rating = 2.5 Stars
Book Cover / Book Blurb / Book Title = 3 / 3 / 3 = 3 Stars
Writer’s Voice = 2 Stars
Character Development = 3 Stars
Story Appreciation = 2 Stars
Worth the Chili = 0 Stars -- [$I got it for FREE on Amazon]
Smexy [HEAT] Rating = Mild
423 pages

Gah! Another one!

Not sure why others liked this so much or maybe why I didn't? I've had this book and the first on my TBR pile for F O R E V E R and needed something different. I was in the mood for some chick-lit fun. This bored me!

What did I like about this one?
1 -- I loved the back story for our main characters. They were protagonists their whole childhood. I liked that.

2 -- Nicco maybe. He seemed a bit weak. He supposedly loved this girl his whole life. His childhood and then their episode in high school and then after. But .. he never searched her out? He tried contacting her right after the one episode, but then gave up. I just didn't buy it. I liked Nicco, but didn't like some of the story that made him.

3 -- Nicco's big Italian family. I liked them, but they weren't part of the majority of the story.

What didn't I like?
1 -- I really didn't like Elizabeth. Just didn't. She even tells you she isn't likeable. And, I didn't.

2 -- Some of the story didn't make sense. I mentioned the whole Nicco thing above as an example of this. I hate when a story has holes for me.

3 -- Where was the humor? Maybe this was another example of a hole. Nicco is a comedian. I saw nothing in his interactions, simple or otherwise, funny or thought provoking. Comedians are VERY smart people. They seem to have a wisdom in their simplest interactions that others just don't. I think it is how they see the world -- their viewfinder. Nicco wasn't that. I liked him, but this was a gap for me.

4 -- The whole knitting group thing just seemed hokey. It didn't play a huge role in the story. Or, rather, an important role in the story.

5 -- Wrap this all up and the book was about 100 or so pages longer than it should have been. Blah. Blah. Blah. And? I like a really long book when it works well. This one didn't.

I probably won't read #1 in the series because this one actually has better ratings. I may think about #3 because I really want to like these books. I REALLY Like Penny. I want to like her books.

Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,976 followers
March 25, 2014
4 Knitted Stars!

Elizabeth and Nico know each other since they were kids and despite being “nemesis” they share a lot of childhood memories together. Especially the night that changed everything and caused them to be apart for the next eleven years.
Now, after all this time they meet again, in order to give Nico’s niece a new medical treatment. Now Elizabeth is a doctor and Nico is “The Face”: the host in a very popular comic show having to deal with the public life.
After all these years, feelings that they thought were buried, surface again. But in what measure, waking up messed-up old feelings is a good idea?


First let me tell you: this was a great book. It was.
But if you’re expecting to be completely perfect as the first in the series, go away. Nico isn’t as good as Quinn (but close) and Elizabeth isn’t as good as Janie (by far!).
Nonetheless, if you, like me, loved the first one, you HAVE to read this.


Rating: 4 Stars.
Storyline: Sweet, romantic and pretty enjoyable. There was one thing that almost ruined the book for me. One specific scene near the end. I like romance scenes as much as the next bookworm, but when said scenes become “grand-gestures” that should be private and the whole world can see and comment, well, I just feel awkwardness. And that is not pleasant.
Writing Style: First person, female POV. Completely addictive and amazingly written. Penny Reid knows how to create wonderful book-worlds.
Character Development: Nico was pretty good, although a little cheesy. (Probably his Italian heritage). Elizabeth was insecure, whiny and despite the few moments I liked her, she annoyed me to no end. The supportive characters were good, as in the first book, and the best parts where definitely whenever Quinn and Janie would appear.
Steam: Some hot moments. Which is definitely an upgrade from the first.
Profile Image for Katerina.
792 reviews266 followers
October 31, 2017
Elizabeth is Janie's best friend, and a valued member of the Knitting Ladies Circle.

I was hesitant with this book because it was a second chance love story. I rarely ever can stand second chance love stories; they make me angry and the angst is always high. For the first sixty percent, I felt really good, like a definite four star rating was on the way — I was whooping at PR for her ability to change my mind. The last forty percent, I back stepped 'cause I didn't it enjoy so much.

Both Nico and Elizabeth have known each other their entire lives after growing up in the same neighbourhood. He relentlessly teased her growing up, and in result of his mean, and spiteful behaviour, —essentially used to disguise a crush and gain her attention — they had a rocky relationship whereby they cared deeply for each other but couldn't stand the other. Elizabeth was never in love with Nico, because she never saw beyond the immediate rude front. She thought he hated her by persisting in making her life a misery. Rather, at 15, she fell for Garrett, who later became Nico's best friend. Garrett died a year later from a rare disease. Nico always felt that Garrett had been Elizabeth's choice, and as a popular student, was with other girls - which Elizabeth never took notice of. It wasn't that Garrett was her choice, simply that Nico was never even an option in her mind. However following Garrett's death, Nico consoled her for four months after, until she lost her virginity to him one night. Elizabeth fled in shame, confusion, hurt and discomfort that she wasn't able to fall in love, that she had feelings. She ignored any contact attempt made by Nico, and when she returned at 18 for senior year, he had already left high school —picked up by a modelling agency. She never realised the extent of his feelings for her believing he tolerated her.

Years later they come face to face at the hospital where Elizabeth works as a resident as Elizabeth will be treating his niece who has cystic fibrosis. Elizabeth's never had long term relationships, preferring casual affairs. Nico is now a famous comedian, and quickly proposes to Elizabeth that they should be friends. Guilt follows her for the way she abandoned him. Soon after, he admits he's always been in love with her, pursuing her and trying his damnedest to convey that to her. I could feel his longing. And his confounded belief that it was unrequited, the hurt he carried.

“And when I saw you in Chicago, even though I thought I was over it, over you—I knew I still . . .” He swallowed. “I’m still in love with you.” I felt the angry hesitation, frustrated indecision in him just before he released my arms. He took a step backward. “I just wanted you to know.” 

It was about her journey back to him. Her hesitancy. Their gravitation. What I found annoying was how Elizabeth thought she was a 'user of men' when she had only slept with four men throughout her entire life including Nico. What kind of message is that?

What bothered me wasn't that Nico dated in the ten years apart, which was more than fine as they both did, but rather Nico fell in love with another. I found it took away from the validity of his love for her, because he claimed been in love with her his "whole life" to the point it ended up feeling like this martyred statement piece. This guilt tripping act of devotion, like he hadn't been sleeping with other girls out of anger and hurt whilst he was in love with her when they were tweens or like he hadn't moved on. Rightfully he had, but he talked as if he hadn't. Her love didn't pre-exist - she wasn't in love with him, he on the other hand was in love with her, yet in the years apart he did fall in love with someone else. I felt like it was wrong because he knew Elizabeth held his heart (even if she didn't know) but he could give it away and love another woman? Share it? Transfer it? Exchange his heart of one woman for another? Pause his unrequited love? Falling in love after you have fallen in love with the one? To me, that wasn't fair. I'm not saying you can't fall in love again, but for me a hero falling in love after falling in love with the heroine gives me reader hives. It tainted a lot of their relationship that I was more than enjoying up until that point. He gave a brief overview of his relationship with girl 2.0. It didn't just make Elizabeth jealous, it made her insecure. I realise my depiction sounds idealistic and a bit naive but that's one of the biggest requirements from romances: one epic love and never falling after you have fallen for the hero/heroine.

Maybe I would read a piece of fiction about falling in love before the protagonist has met the hero/heroine but one hundred percent I wouldn't tolerate in my reading choice material after. It's my extremely picky personal preference. I know he loves her, but the whole yearning thing/ pity party he had going on... Once I got the full back story, it did have me rolling my eyes because I wasn't all that swayed by it anymore. The only reason I wasn't so mad was because... well, she loved Garrett in her tween years and that must have been really hard for Nico. However, the fact he didn't immediately come back after she was hurt physically and emotionally by one of his stalkers —at that point when she needed support regardless of their relationship status was horrible and cowardly and so wrong. He wasn't a funny comedian either.

They patch things up, get their HEA, but I was still grumbling. I thought he could have done better at the end.

Least favourite book of the series so far in my opinion.
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,340 reviews101 followers
March 2, 2018
Man, I wish I had more than 5 stars for this book! Penny Reid is a genius with romantic comedies!! She never, NEVER lets me down!
Elizabeth had her heart broken very young and has tried to protect it since then. But she soon learns that the ladies of the knitting group have already helped her to open her heart again.
I love these women and how they always have each others backs.
So when Nico comes back into her life the overworked, completely driven doctor takes the time to fall in love.
I love that Penny Reid includes the POV of the men in the epilogue. I always miss their voices throughout the book, so I'm so glad to hear their thoughts.
Also, the "closed door" or "open door" sex scene is fun. It's like a "choose your own adventure" story. Lol!
Great book!! Great series! Now on to the next one. Thank you, Penny Reid!!

Reread 2/2018- I still love this series! I really, really want to learn to knit!
Profile Image for Dee Montoya.
942 reviews587 followers
January 20, 2014
***** 5+++ Fun-Freaking-tastic Stars *****

Are you looking for a good time? Well- look no further because Friends Without Benefits is it!
You will laugh, dance to Nsync and the BSB in your panties, swoon over sexy Italian phrases and will probably want to take up knitting after you are done reading this book.

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FWB: An Unrequited Romance is book number two of the Knitting in the City series. In this one we learn about Elizabeth Finney ; she is a twenty six year old Medical Doctor, funny, sarcastic and believes a person is suppose to fall in love only once in their whole life. Her first love was Garret, he died of cancer when he was sixteen leaving her hopeless and further contributing to her already strong abandonment issues. His best friend was Elizabeth's neighbor and also the bane of her existence. Nico Manganiello was always looking for ways to make Elizabeth miserable but when they are both mourning the death of Garret they found comfort in each other, but after one passionate night Elizabeth leaves town for a year, running away from the unfamiliar feelings she's having for Nico and when she comes back feeling guilty for ditching him finds he is now gone.

Eleven years later fate will bring them back together and sparks instantly ignite...Nico is determine to get the "one that got away", and Elizabeth is having a hard time resisting the hotness of Nico "The Face" Moretti (he is now a famous Hollywood actor/comedian) and his larger than life charming attitude. Her friends will help her sort through all the crazy/ sexy and cool events that will make her re-evaluate her entire believe system; will she have the courage to give love another try?

"It doesn't matter how much you avoid it, love finds you. Love will hunt you down, throw you over it's shoulder, pull you kicking and screaming caveman style by the hair, and bludgeon you with its love club until you submit. It's the most relentless force in the Universe. There is no where you can run-"

This books have the ability to make anyone who reads them giddy and feel hopeful about all things love. The writing is smart and witty and every single character in the story is refreshing and incredibly unique. I found myself reading each word slowly and carefully and afraid to blink because I didn't want to miss a thing, I just wanted the happy and warm feelings this book provided me with to last forever. So Ladies and Gentleman please do yourself a solid a go read Neanderthal seeks Human and Friends Without Benefits and experience and share the awesomeness...

My favorites songs from this book were:

*Criminal By Fiona Apple
*My best Friend's girl by The Cars
*One Love By U2
*Save Me The Last Dance By The Drifters

Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,066 followers
October 2, 2013
4.5 quirky stars!!

This is live on Amazon folks!! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F...

If you've read Neanderthal Seeks Human then you'll know that Penny Reid has the pulse on the quirky and humorous. Friends Without Benefits, like its predecessor, is a funny, sweet and yes, quirky read.

Our heroine, Elizabeth is Janie's (from NSH) best friend. She and Nicolo "If Sex were Italian and Stick had an Unfair Amount of Charisma" Manganiello grew up together. They have a complicated history together which involved Elizabeth giving Nico the V-card. When they met again, Elizabeth is 26 and Nico is 27. She's now an MD working through her residency while he's known as the Face. A former underwear model turned stand-up comedian with his own comedy show. This book is basically them working through untangling their complicated history and dealing with their hang-ups.

Elizabeth Finney...

Nicknamed as Skinney Finney by Nico, is still an insecure little girl despite being a successful doctor. Her complicated history with Nico and the death of her mother made her wary of relationships. She never thought of herself as someone who deserves to be happy so she sabotage her own relationships or shall I say her own hapiness.

Gah! She frustrated me to no end. She was funny and annoying at the same time. I wanted to hate her but I can't. For someone so smart, she can be a little dense when it comes to love. Thank God, she surrounded herself with great friends, who really made her see how wrong she was. And when she finally admitted to herself and Nico about her feelings and her fears, I was like...

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Now Nico...

Yes, he is hot. He's also funny and very sweet. He's been in love with Elizabeth since they were kids and he dealt with his feelings like any boy at his age would...he teased her mercilessly. The teasing took a turn for the worst when Elizabeth, thinking that Nico dislikes her, fell in love with Nico's best friend Garrett. See? I told you their history was complicated.

Back to Nico.

He made the story for me. He's not as alpha as Quinn. He's more beta actually than alpha but he still made me swoon. I mean, who wouldn't swoon at a guy who gives the girl a mix tape (well, it's actually a CD but whatever), filled with songs that tells her how he feels for her. Swooon! I mean, the songs he chose for her were just so sweet and so heartbreaking. The best part was when Elizabeth realized that there was more to the CD than just random songs and that he was trying to tell her something was beautiful.

The writing is as quirky as the characters themselves. I was chuckling the entire time I was reading it. I mentally "aww-ing" through all the sweet scenes and that epilogue. And of course, I learned some very important new words that should be added to dictionaries anywhere and some great words of wisdom from Elizabeth's friends.

- complisult = (compliment + insult)
- machismo asshattery = self-explanatory.
- Nicabeth or Elizaco = Hollywood couple names for Elizabeth and Nico.

Boy Bands are sent by God to aid women of all ages in their quest to avoid reality, but specifically to trick young women into believing that males think about topics other than sex.

“Elizabeth Finney, you are extraordinary. And for heaven’s sake, no one ever works through all their issues. Perfection is the definition of boring.”

“When did the boy with a premature ejaculation problem arrive to the party? I’ll give you a hint, he came too early.”

“Greg and I fall in and out of love constantly, depending on what time of the month it is, how much sleep I’ve gotten, how the kids are behaving, and whether he’s done the dishes within the last three days.”

So if you're in the mood for some quirky romance this book might just be for you.


ARC is kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sadie.
411 reviews25 followers
November 10, 2013
First off this book is soooooo slow. I really don't want my books to move at the same pace as life. That's called boring.

Also, I couldn't get beyond three things:

1. Really? The hero has a show where everyone has to be naked? And it's popular and "smart"?

2. The heroine really thinks she's a horrible person? On the evidence of basically nothing?

3. Really? They're never on the same page? And for no reason? I hate when I feel like I can see the author pulling strings and laughingly shouting, "Dance, puppets! Dance!"
Profile Image for FMABookReviews.
635 reviews394 followers
December 5, 2015
4.5 “twinkling, hot-lava, sexy cake, sex-on-a-stick” Stars!

Friends wo Benefits

That Chapter!!! If you read it, you know the “one”. “Chapter 22” was the sexiest, most romantic chapter I have read in a very long time. It was extremely romantic and incredibly sexy, in its purist structure, it had me swooning, and then it was so damn hot, and sensual that I was fanning myself.

Admittedly, I have read this series out of order. Which for my OCD self, is a HUGE NO, NO! BUT, in the case of this series, no stress was caused, and with each book, I felt like I was reading about my friends!

Friends without Benefits is an enemies (albeit one-sided) to lovers story. Nico and Elizabeth’s mothers were best friends so they have known each other their whole lives. As they grew up, Nico acted as any adolescent male did when they cared about a girl; he tormented, teased and acted like a jerk. Elizabeth felt like any adolescent female would; she thought he hated her.

Elizabeth was in love with a boy when she was 16 years old. Then tragedy hit and she became consumed with the thought that she had lost her ONE TRUE LOVE. She believed that you only fell in love once in your life, that there was only ONE person out there for you. So she lived her life thinking she would never marry, never have children, never fall in love again.

Nico had always been in love with Elizabeth. When she moved at the age of 17 without any warning or communication, he was devastated. He knew Elizabeth was his TRUE LOVE. The one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. But she was gone. Nico moved on with his life, he became a famous comedian, he had other relationships, but no one captured his heart the way Elizabeth had.

❝You have to know that I’m in love with you, you have to know that I’ve loved you since we were kids, since before I can remember.❞

They see each other again in the E.R. where she is a doctor and where he is bringing in his niece. When Elizabeth is assigned to Amelia’s case, she freaks out. She suffers from guilt about the way she left Nico, and because she has never talked with him about it. Now, she has to face him on a daily basis.

Nico couldn’t be more thrilled to get a chance with Elizabeth again. He pursues her with his sexiness and let me just say, this Italian Stallion is s.e.x.y! Their chemistry in this book had me swooning, smiling and fanning myself all at once. When he speaks to her in Italian ...omg--fireworks!!

She fought him, pushed him away, he pursued her, pushed her toward him, and played with her, because he loved her and didn’t want her to forget it.

❝I don’t want to be fair! I’m not interested in being nice! You’re right. I’m playing games with you and I’m playing dirty because I want you, I need you, to be with you, to hear your voice, your laugh, to hold you, to touch you…❞

Thud! That was when Nico stole my heart!

As with every couple written by Penny Reid, I fell in love with Nico and Elizabeth. Together, they were perfect. I loved their humor, tension, their love, and their sexy conversations.

❝Oh, and Elizabeth?❞
❝What are you wearing?❞
❝Uh, my pajamas. Why?❞
❝What do they look like?❞
He was a dirty bird. Two could play at this game. ❝Actually…❞ I stretched. ❝I’m naked.❞
This statement was met with silence. I opened my eyes, stared at the ceiling. ❝Nico, Are you still there?❞
❝Yep.❞ His voice sounded strained.
I laugh lightly. ❝Are you okay?❞
❝Oh, me? Yeah. I’m great. I was just thinking about the fact that we’re wearing matching outfits.❞

While I loved the entire book, my favorite chapters were 22 and the Epilogue. I could reread them again and again and not tire of them!

So, why not 5 stars? I did have a ‘slight’ problem with Elizabeth’s continuous self-deprecation. I understood where she was coming from, I understood her fears and her doubts. I just didn’t want to read so much about it in her internal dialogue. But when she began to accept herself and Nico’s love for her, I couldn’t help but love Elizabeth. She pulled it together and fought for what she wanted. Which is a good thing, because I wanted to slap her! I mean, come on he was Freaking Nico!!

I highly recommend this book and series, or hell, for that matter anything that Penny Reid writes.

Penny’s Playlist:

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Profile Image for Antonella.
3,468 reviews472 followers
February 26, 2023
after rereading I'm giving this 4⭐
this is my third rereading and this time as audio
Elizabeth is a great side character but as the heroine, she gets a little bit annoying and I had to force myself to continue
old review

So yes I admit I had a boy band phase. Sometimes during early teens. And my drug of choice was Backstreet Boys. They just couldn't quit playing games with my heart. Hihihihi... And the heroine in this book sure loves the boy bands.

This is Elizabeth's book. She is smart, pretty, loyal, kind, funny. She is a prankster. She doesn't let a lot of people in, maybe even doesn't like that many people. But if you are loved by her then you are her people forever. Everybody should have a friend like Elizabeth.

Nico is her childhood friend/enemy. They grow up together in a small town. Last time they saw each other was eleven years ago. And all it takes is Highschool reunion to stir some serious romance. There never was more fun to dig through old times. Through in the mix a stalker, some Italian family drama, and my favorite knitters, well there right there is some awesome book you guys.

Oh and don't let me forget all the Italian dirty talk... Cosi bouno.

And last but not least THE PANTY DANCE.... underwear dancing...free therapy tip. Right there. Thank you, Penny Reid.

This was an emotional read. Some serious family losses, first love... But still, I love this, and truly this entire series is such a feel-good read.

So put some music on...get down to your underwear and dance...

Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,389 reviews1,992 followers
August 6, 2017
Get it here:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Another amazing addition to this series. Elizabeth was the character that came off as super confident in the first book, but in her own story we get to see the vulnerable and unsure side to her. I really liked that we got see her when she wasn't completely sure of what she wanted and I admired how she kept herself together when all she wanted to do was fall apart. Nico was just what this group of knitters needed, and definitely what Elizabeth needed. I loved how he was only amused by Elizabeth trying to push him away, and didn't actually let her intimidate him. They made one hell of a couple and I look forward to seeing more of them in the upcoming books.
Profile Image for Tweebs♥️ .
184 reviews836 followers
March 17, 2018
{slides $5}

someone find me a guy like Nico or just find me Nico himself :)
Profile Image for Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog).
958 reviews452 followers
January 22, 2017
3.5 stars

Penny Reid is known for her witty romances. It’s what drew me to her work initially and keeps me coming back for more. Her Knitting in the City series is an excellent example of her clever storytelling. Each book details the life of one of the ladies in an eccentric knitting group. While quite enjoyable, Friends Without Benefits lacks some of the whimsical spirit I anticipated.

This is Elizabeth’s story. She has blossomed from a scrawny, insecure teenager who was bullied, into a desirable, successful doctor. Unfortunately, experiencing a great loss at a young age has caused her to seek superficial relationships. Circumstances bring her face to face with her former childhood friend turned arch enemy, Nico Maganiello.

He’s now a famous, arrogant, and super hot Italian who is known for his panty-melting charisma and his hit comedy talk show. For Nico, Elizabeth is the one who got away, and he’s determined to win her over. She is cautious and hesitant to be friends, let alone bump uglies. Eventually, Elizabeth can’t help but succumb to his charms so she agrees to a friends without benefits relationship.

So far, so good with the plot, but then it’s like the air is let out of a balloon as the story takes on a more serious tone. I understand Elizabeth’s reluctance to risk her heart, but her persistent stubbornness remains long after Nico proves his trustworthiness. It becomes unreasonably tedious. Additionally, the concentration on Elizabeth’s loneliness is a bit of a downer.

The humor is sporadic, and I missed the lively, feel-good vibe that’s so abundant previous books. However, I loved the adventures of the ladies in the knitting circle. I can always count on them for an injection of fun craziness. There are other entertaining supporting characters who are either completely lovable or incredibly despicable. A dramatic side plot is also quite engaging.

I’m pretty sure Penny Reid is incapable of writing a bad story, and Friends Without Benefits is a pleasant read overall that I definitely recommend. I suspect I would have appreciated it even more had I not assumed it would be a total laugh out loud comedy.

Recommended for fans of:
Hot men speaking Italian
Doctors and romance

Reading Frenzy Book Blog
Profile Image for Starr (AKA Starrfish) Rivers.
974 reviews294 followers
July 20, 2019
This one was better than #7. I felt the couple's chemistry and intensity (I LOVE intense emotions!). The plot wasn't too convoluted...

It's just I don't really like the heroine (Elizabeth) all that much. I get why she is the way she is. But if she were a guy, I still wouldn't like her. I understand that sometimes ppl do selfish, cruel things - like use other ppl for sex. It def happens in real life. And both men and women do it.

I just don't like reading about it in my TRUE LOVE romances. I don't like how Elizabeth hurts Nico so much. There's no cheating, don't get me wrong. But there was planned boinking without any care or emotions, WHILE the MCs are clearly in love with each other. She couldn't go through with it, but he found out about her plans...

On the other side, I don't like that Nico has basically been a man whore all his life, before AND after their interlude as teenagers. Every time he says "it was just the once" with yet another girl, I'm like - DICK!!!

So I didn't like either character as much as I was hoping to like them.

But that isn't the only reason I take off 2 stars. There's less humor and wit in this one. My fave is still #3. It was soooo smart and funny and interesting.

This one was just OK.
Profile Image for Didi.
865 reviews287 followers
October 31, 2013
What can I say that will give justice to this superbly phenomenal book??!!


This is the second book in the Knitting in the City series, but can be read as a standalone like it's forerunner, Neanderthal Seeks Human. I'm reading that one soon. Both are HEA's and speaking for the former, fantastic!

It was laugh-out-loud hilarious! literally barking out laughter like a banshee! And we're not talking silly humour, no, it was witty, intelligent and extremely rapid-fire sleek. I've never laughed that much and been brought to tears within the same paragraph so suddenly.

The characters were all lovable, especially Elizabeth and Nico, of course. Nico was an alpha who'd suffered inrequited love for most of his life. He'd grown up with Elizabeth. He'd behaved like all young, inexperienced males do: stupidly. And instead of winning over the love as his life as a teenager, he lost her. Twice.

But as an adult, Nico has matured, and finally seeing Elizabeth for the first time in 11 years brought all that angsty love back. Elizabeth is now a resident in her last year of medicine. A chance encounter where she works brings Nico, her nemesis, back into the fray. She's been enlisted to treat Nico's neice with a new research drug for Cystic Fibrosis, and battling her past experiences with Nico, she relents.

There are some seriously swoon-worthy revelations on Nico's part that had me clutching my heart. The way Elizabeth remembers their past is in no way how Nico recollects it. I loved their interactions and ability to surprise one another. They took chemistry to a whole new level!

The secondary characters were incredible. Elizabeth's friends were what every female dreams of. They were supportive, lovable and completely loyal. Even her co-workers at the hospital provided some entertainment.

The only thing I have to mention that didn't jive with me was Elizabeth's take on love. She felt that everyone is capable of one great love. Only one. This skewed view of the world stunted her reaction to Nico for a large part of the book. I couldn't relate to that misconception at all. It seemed almost impossible that a person could even think that way, immature even. I know it also had to do with what her father had told her, but still. Despite that, this was amazing. Even with that part I didn't like I LOVED THIS. It's not even a beef with the story, more like a disagreement with the heroine.

And Nico's vulnerability? WOW. THE MAN WAS MAGICAL.

***" He was the only person I'd ever met who could swagger while standing still."***

I also loved the way Elizabeth spoke. Her inner thoughts were gut-busting funny!

***" I loved waking up in his arms. It was like Christmas and Easter and my birthday and winning the lottery and learning that I could live inside a rainbow without the tradeoff of being a leprechaun. My mind was blown. This was real."***

Seriously one of my favourites for 2013, one of my favourites. Period.


This is book 2 in the 'Knitting in the City' series but can be read as a standalone, and gives us an HEA.
Profile Image for mich.
651 reviews234 followers
September 5, 2019
2.5 stars

I liked Elizabeth but she was super frustrating and annoyed me a lot (I don't understand why I liked her?)

Nico was okay until he wasn't. ...omg this book was so stupid the more I'm thinking about it as I write this. But it passed the time fine and I was in the mood for a chick lit kinda read and this mostly fit the bill and it made me lol here and there.

I just realized that I'm reading this out of order (I skipped book one I guess? Janie & Quinn?) but I already started Sandra's book (LOVE Sandra) so I guess I'll backtrack later.

(This whole series is on KU right now BTW)
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