Shacking Up by Helena Hunting
Released: May 30, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
Two years ago I read Pucked by Helena Hunting and I liked it a lot – it really made me laugh. I think I read the follow-up to that book but have not tried her again until now. While Pucked is very over-the-top silly (I think the heroine puts a cape of the hero’s peen…if I remember correctly) Shacking Up is more sweet and low-key, with good sexual tension and two likable protagonists. It has a slower pace, and didn’t have me laughing out loud – but that is not a criticism. Just be aware if you are used to her books being a bit more bawdy.
Ruby Scott is a talented singer, dancer and actor – with no employment. Her theater show went bankrupt and Ruby is about to as well. Not wanting to rely on her father for more money, Ruby knows she needs to find a job quickly. At an engagement party for her best friend, Ruby knocks into a man as she is coming out of the bathroom, and as he grabs her so she doesn’t fall over, they share a look, and he kisses her. It’s an amazing kiss – until Ruby remembers she has no idea who this guy is.
This guy is Bancroft Mills, or Bane. From a wealthy family, Bane is a former rugby player who retired after several injuries. He now works for his father’s company and happens to have a bad cold. On a lot of cold medication, and a few drinks at the party, Bane mistakes Ruby for his date – and accidentally kisses the wrong woman. They share an awkward laugh, and go on their way. Bane is just dating this woman to please his mother, and when she storms off after witnessing this kiss, it really doesn’t bother him.
Ruby’s best friend comes up with a plan – Bane has to travel out of the country for five weeks and needs a pet sitter to take care of his beloved ferret and tarantula. Her friend suggests Ruby be this pet sitter, and to live in his apartment to keep an eye on things while he is away. This will give Ruby time to audition and get her life in order. Bane loves this idea, Ruby likes this idea, and she moves in. She falls hard for the ferret, even tolerates Tiny, the tarantula, and finds Bane’s bed, as he is gone, very comfy. They start face-timing and develop a strong friendship, which turns romantic once Bane comes back home.
Bane is what I consider a “good-guy hero.” Even though he starts the book by sticking his tongue down Ruby’s throat without even knowing her, he is such a nice guy. He wants to help Ruby out – he sees her struggling with her auditions. He notices he gave her his horrible cold which doesn’t help when she needs to sing to get a role. He cares about his friends and he loves his ferret so much!! It’s so cute! He does go a bit caveman at times, especially after his romantic feelings cement towards Ruby and she gets attention from other men. He could have cooled it off a bit, but overall he is just a decent guy.
Ruby is a fun heroine. She is passionate about being in theater, and even though she goes through some truly horrible auditions. she doesn’t get too down. Being able to come home to Bane’s luscious apartment, and lay in his bed and day-dream about him doesn’t hurt. Much of this book takes place with Bane and Ruby apart – as he is out of the country for work. But their face time chats gives them time to build a good foundation so when Bane gets home they can get to the nakey parts. Nice chemistry and sexual tension carries the romance until they are in the same country again.
I enjoyed Helena Hunting’s voice in this one! Looking forward to more.