SHACKING UP – Helena Hunting
St. Martin's
ISBN: 978-1-250-19966-9
December 2018
Romantic Comedy

New York City – Present Day

Aspiring actress Ruby Scott is at the engagement party of her best friend, Amie, trying hard not to drink too much because she has an important audition tomorrow. While Ruby grew up among the rich, she is considered a rebel because she's not working for her father. Before she leaves, she runs into the restroom and overhears a couple of women gossiping. One of their subjects is one of the women's date; she's hoping he'll invite her back to his place. Coming out of the restroom into the dark hallway, Ruby runs smack into a man…who promptly kisses her thoroughly. He thought she was someone else (his gossiping date in the restroom) and he is very sick. He apologizes but Ruby can't forget what a hot kisser he is.

The next day, Ruby wakes up sick. She caught the man's illness. During the audition, she loses her stomach contents…and the chance for the job. Then, she comes home to find out she's about to lose her apartment because her father has stopped paying the rent for her. With no job and no place to go, Ruby is introduced to Amie's fiancé's best friend, Bancroft Mills, who is going out of the country for several weeks and needs someone to watch his pets. Turns out, Bancroft was the hot kisser who gave Ruby his germs. Since he ends up feeling bad for what happened, he offers her the job…and she gets to live in his swanky apartment while he's gone.

What follows in the next few weeks in SHACKING UP is Ruby and Bancroft engaging in some sexy “phone entertainment” that soon has them attracted to each other. He has some unusual pets (I won't spoil it for you because you'll have to read this tale to find out) and Ruby isn't sure at first if she can handle one of the “pets.” Heck, she isn't sure at first if she can handle Bancroft. Their introduction is sizzling hot but their romance slowly builds. Ruby's acting jobs are few and far between, so she has learned to skimp and save, including in the opening chapter where she's stealing some of the party's appetizers to take home. She also has no filter and readers will chuckle at some of the things she thinks and says.

Bancroft is used to his mother throwing women at him, and his date at the party was no exception. Because he works for his father, he has to play “nice” with these women or face censure. After he gets to know Ruby, he realizes that he can't wait to get home so that he can get her into his bed. She certainly has been tempting him! Bancroft is at times a “fuddy-duddy” but he also has a bit of a wild streak in him. While they seem so different, Ruby and Bancroft are actually a lot alike…in and out of bed.

SHACKING UP is a sexy romance told from the first person point of view of both Ruby and Bancroft. As they continue to banter on their video calls while he's gone, the more sexually frustrated they become. When they finally hit the sheets, it's a whirlwind of hot lust and a big relief. But can hot sex lead to a happily-ever-after for them? Ruby wants her independence, while Bancroft represents the world that she doesn't want to be a part of. Will they find a way to make it work? Find out for yourself in the cute and sexy SHACKING UP.

Patti Fischer