Tuesday, May 30, 2017


SHACKING UP by Helena Hunting
SMP Swerve

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

When I see a new book from Helena Hunting I know 3 things-I'm going to want to read it, that it will have hot sex and that I'll laugh. This book definitely held true on those accounts. The first chapter pulled me in and I didn't stop reading until I'd finished.

I will say the way our hero and heroine meet is unique...and fun. I shook my head at first and chuckled to myself. Of course, I immediately felt for Ruby after. This was not ideal for her in any way, and she was already having a rough night BUT, given the circumstances? I would have responded the same way.

I liked these characters. I'm always fascinated with characters in the Arts so that was a nice bonus here. I thought the author did a great job with misconceptions with that lifestyle and what it takes to constantly put yourself out there for rejection.

Ruby and Bancroft definitely have chemistry. It's right there from the start, and even though there are circumstances that prevent them from acting on it physically, you feel it. There's plenty of flirty banter between these two-something I think this author does incredibly well in general. I will say I wish we had a bit more time of them actually together, but that's just me.

This book had some sexy times in it-and I expect that from this author. I LOVED these two together and how they acted together. Bancroft has a way with words that I just couldn't get enough of.

I liked the supporting characters in this book-and I'm interested to see if we'll ever get the story behind Ruby's best friend. This book had me laughing and the sexy times were scorching as I've come to expect. I would recommend this book and look forward to the author's next story.

Ruby and Bancroft were fun.  And, this is no surprise as Helena Hunting is fun, and her books are always fun.  Hot, flirty, sexy and fun.

This was no exception.  I liked the meeting at the beginning, the case of mistaken identity that results in nothing less than the plague.  You relate.  Did she get sick a little fast?  Maybe, I am not sure, I am not a doctor...but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter.  Bancroft is the "Bane" of her existence, a nice guy, and in the position to help Ruby out of the mess he is partially responsible for.

I liked the idea that they meet, have an attraction, and then are separated by his being out of the country on business.  I liked that this became a roommate/pet sitter relationship but with a twist that made it feel different. It also made it fun, and made it feel like you were reading a book that was a little bit different than other similar titles.

Oddly, this is where it also made the pacing of their romantic, in person, relationship seem a little fast too me. And, I get it, there was flirting over the phone and Face Time, so there was a connection. But, their relationship seemed to move very quickly when they were together, which left the beginning of the book and the end of it feel like they moved differently.

This was the only issue I had with the book, and it was charming overall.  I definitely recommend this title.


Shacking Up Blog Tour: Author Q&A

1. Describe Shacking Up using no more than 140 characters (a la Twitter).
Sexy, quirky, with enough sexual tension to light your underwear on fire. 
2. Where did you get inspiration for the character’s names, particularly Bancroft aka Bane?
Once I met a police officer (I wasn’t doing anything illegal) who introduced himself as Bancroft. I thought that was his last name, so I sassily introduced myself by my last name as well. Then he corrected me, telling me that his first name was Bancroft, and I felt obviously ridiculous. He was a mammoth man. He practically had to duck through doorways, so I put that one in the name bank for a rainy day. I also thought it was rather hilarious that it could be shortened to Bane—as in the bane of my existence, which we know Bancroft certainly is not. Ruby is a spunky name and I thought reflected the heroine’s fiery personality.
3. Shacking Up is hilarious! How easily does the banter between the characters come for you? Do you ever struggle writing the humor in your books?
With Ruby and Bane the banter came easily because there weren’t a lot of social constraints or limitations for them. At the beginning they’re working under the premise of a business arrangement, so the pressure is off and Ruby isn’t really one to hold back,. Neither is Bane for that matter. I have such a fun time creating off the wall, sometimes sexually tense scenes, especially with these two.
4. Do you ever make yourself laugh when writing a scene?
Yes. I feel weird saying that, but there are times when I’m imagining what is happening as I’m writing and thinking “this is just ridiculous”. My hope is that if I think it’s ridiculous, so will other people, and it will inspire the same reaction. Francesca certainly helped make it a lot easier to fit in fun, light-hearted situations.
5. What inspired Bane’s exotic choice in pets?
Ferrets are freaking adorable, but they are menaces if they’re left to their own devices. They’re also a lot like dogs and cats, but they require a different kind of care, the fact that they’re illegal in NYC also helped. As for Tiny—I think a lot of people would be reluctant to take care of a giant spider, no matter how cool they are as pets. I felt like both of them would be lend for some funny situations.

6. The heroes in your Pucked series are all hockey stars, and Bane in Shacking Up is an ex-rugby player. Is it safe to say you have a thing for athletes?

I guess you could say I have a fascination with athletes. That level of physical fitness takes an extraordinary amount of discipline, plus STAMINA!!! More than just being an athlete, I have an affinity for heroes who show loyalty and determination and who are just as much about brain as brawn.

7. Ruby is a bit of a rebel, defying her family to go after her dreams. What do you love most about her?

I love that despite things not always going her way, she refuses to take the easy way out. Our paths are not always linear and Ruby is very willing to make concessions where she needs to in order to prove to herself and her family that she can attain her goals.

8. Why are Bane and Ruby so perfect for each other?

They’re both very goal oriented people with the same core values. Ruby is a firecracker and Bane needs someone with that level of sass to challenge him. For Ruby, Bane is an inherent caretaker, BUT he tries not to force that care on her which is something she can appreciate.

9. Are there any books or authors you’re really excited about right now?

I’m excited for Ann Marie Walkers BLACK TIE OPTIONAL. I recently devoured Jana Aston’s Grind Me Series and Debra Anastasia is writing the most awesome book right now, and I can’t wait until it’s ready for public consumption.

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Author Links

Twitter: @HelenaHunting

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