There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.
But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.
However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.
When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?
This is a full length, 100k word novel, and is the 5th book in the Knitting in the City Series. All books in the series can be read as a standalone except book #1.5
I often think of 2015 as the year I became obsessed with all things Penny Reid. After discovering Neanderthal Seeks Human in January, I spent the remainder of the year devouring most of her books. She has quickly earned a spot as a favorite author and an automatic one-click. She has a unique style and sense of humor that calls to me like few authors have. I was elated after learning Fiona and Greg would have their own storyline, as they have been a favorite of mine throughout the Knitting in the City Series. While this book can be read as a stand alone, you really need to read the novella, Ninja at First Sight to get the full backstory. (It’s currently FREE on e-retailers). For all my excitement, I was also a little nervous since authors tend to stay away from writing about married couples and the high and lows of daily life. This book was everything and nothing I expected, which is exactly what you usually get with Penny Reid.
Each marriage is a living thing, just as complex as the two individuals within it.
Each chapter in this book features real letters sent to Penny Reid from her readers. This was one of my favorite aspects of this book; some are funny, others are heartfelt, and they all represent everyday love. This book resonated with me on many levels; as a wife and mother who spent the first seven years of marriage in a situation similar to Fiona and Greg. I felt her pain and stress in being in love with your husband but rarely seeing him, and all the adjustments and sacrifices it entails. The book is told mainly from Fiona’s point of view, but I relished in the few chapters that belonged to Greg. Being in his head was quite the experience and reliving their early days from his prospective was fascinating. Of course, being a Penny Reid book there is no short supply of humor and bizarre antics. I was laughing one moment and nodding in agreement in the next, as Fiona and Greg battle the daily ups and downs of marriage and children. While there are some anxious moments, the banter and chemistry is captivating.
“You’re ridiculous.” And I loved that he replied as expected. “It’s pronounced remarkable, darling”
It just wouldn’t be Penny Reid without some interesting and unforeseen aspects. Not to be too ninja like, but I think the less you know about those events of the book, the better. Rest assured despite featuring a married couple, this book is anything from boring or ordinary. It also serves as a testament to readers everywhere that authors can create sexy, humorous, and entertaining books about married people. There are also plenty of appearances from the entire Knitting cast, and it was fun catching up with everyone. I can’t wait to read whatever Penny Reid writes next!
I tucked my fingers under her chin and lifted her face to mine, stealing a kiss; true distress clawed at my chest, traveled like a spike down my spine. I didn’t want to guess, or entertain any possibilities. Inevitably, my mind always jumped to the worst possible conclusion whenever I saw her inexplicably sad (i.e. brain tumor).
Even so, I attempted to keep my tone level and calm. “What could be too important for the greeting card aisle? It’s the perfect place to tell me anything and everything. There’s likely a card we can buy afterward for the occasion.”
She huffed a laugh, laughed a bit more, and then began crying again.
Her laughter was a good sign, so I went with it.
“Let’s see . . .” I shuffled us both to the rack and plucked a greeting card from it. “You tell me if this one describes your situation.” I cleared my throat and began to read, “Dear Brother, Many blessings on your fortieth birthday. May your girlfriend bring home that hot girl she works with and suggest a three-way.”
Fiona began laughing in earnest, burying her face against my chest.
I returned the original card, walked us a few steps farther down the aisle, and selected another card at random. “Here’s another. Dear Friend, Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I am so lucky to have you in my life, especially after that time I hit you with my car and salted the earth around your house.
I cracked a smile as I grabbed another card. She was laughing so hard she could barely breathe.
“Dear Co-worker, Get well soon. Sorry about the scorpions in your bed. And the leprosy. And the chlamydia.”
“Stop! I can’t- I can’t breathe.” Fiona gripped the front of my shirt as though she needed my solid frame to remain upright.
I took one more step and picked a new card. “Dear Dad, Happy Father’s Day. I know I’m not your favorite child, but I hope you will . . . you will . . .” I stopped reading because Fiona had stopped laughing.
In fact, she’d grown eerily still, though her fists remained anchored in my shirt. I don’t think she was even breathing.
She released an audible exhale—as though bracing herself—and titled her head back. New tears shone in her eyes and she looked . . . emotional.
Not sad. Not worried or scared. Just emotional.
And I knew.
“I’m going to be a dad,” I said.
She nodded, her mouth wanting to smile but her eyes betraying the disordered chaos of her thoughts.
I had no idea what she was thinking.
I had no idea what I was thinking.
But I felt like I’d just been punched, slapped across the face. And it felt scary. And good.
I felt like I was the king of the universe, the luckiest man alive.
I felt panic, because I didn’t know how to be a dad, at least not the kind I wanted to be.
I felt a bizarre surge of pride, of accomplishment.
I felt a heady wave of possessiveness, for this woman I loved, for the child we’d made. I felt responsible.
But I did not feel burdened.
And I knew nothing would ever be the same.
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SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.