Review: Just Like That by Nicola Rendell


Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Ardent PRose in exchange for an honest review.

“Did you get injured when you fell off the Man Wagon? Because I could hear you from my house. Through my earplugs...
I get up on my tiptoes and study him over my patio wall. The bulge in his boxer briefs, his abs. His face.
…Annnnd the pillow over my head...”
It started with an accidental theft, moved to an accidental poisoning, and ended with him sleeping on my porch. And yet, it was absolutely perfect from strange start to even stranger finish. I had a Cosmo-debunking orgasm, and I haven’t laughed so hard on a date…ever.
…Annnnd my white noise machine.”
Coming back down onto the soles of my feet, I look her in the eye and take a long, grassy-tasting gulp. “Annnnnd hashtag sorry-not-sorry.”

Russ Macklin is in Port Flamingo, Florida for a job, but one look at Penny Darling and her tangled earbuds and the private investigator couldn't help but offer to help her out. One case of luggage swapping later, and Russ and Penny seem to be fated to be together. Whether it be one night or the entire week that Russ will be in Penny's hometown, these two can't get enough of each other. But Russ isn't being totally honest about who he is and why he's there. He's there to dig up dirt on the beloved mayor, but once Penny's on his radar, all he wants is to do dirty things with and to her. What may have started out as nothing more than a no-strings fling has quickly become something more, but what hope is there for them once Russ has to return to Boston and leaves his Penny behind?

Just Like That is only my second Nicola Rendell read, but damn, how I've fallen in love with this woman's storytelling! I seriously need more if in my life. She's given readers a hilarious, hearty, and heavenly love story with a male main character that you can't help but swoon over, a female main character you wish were your real-life friend, and a possessive, territorial, garbage bag-fearing dog that reminds me of my own furry, four-legged baby boy (minus the garbage bag phobia). There were a couple of points in the book that I snort-laughed and a couple more where I laughed for a full minute or two. In terms of the comedy alone, this was already one hell of a winner.
But then, this isn't just a comedy, is it? The author more than satisfied the romance-reading bookaholic in me, too. 

From the awww-inducingly cutesy to the toe-curlingly steamy, Russell Thomas Macklin and Penelope Eloise Darling now rank among my favorite fictional couples. Add to their love story that of how to deal with someone wanting to take down the entire town of Port Flamingo plus the quirky inhabitants--from the weed-pulling mayor to Russ's weed-smoking aunt--and you've got yourself a hot read that was a hoot to peruse. Nicola Rendell is quickly becoming one of my go-to authors, and she gets bonus points for having main characters who are closer to my age (Penny is in her mid-thirties and Russ is in his early forties). Just like the book before it, Just Like That easily makes it on my list of best rom-com reads of the year. I'm giving Russ, Penny, Guppy, and the offbeat gang five-plus stars.  ♥

Date Read: 12 April 2017

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