Jan 14 2016 2:00pm

First Look: Penny Reid’s Happily Ever Ninja (January 19, 2016)

Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

Penny Reid 
Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City #5)
Caped Publishing / January 19, 2016 / $14.99 print, $4.99 digital

From the USA Today Best Selling Author of ‘Truth or Beard’ 

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. 

Except… not. 

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

The review copy of Penny Reid’s Happily Ever Ninja, arrived with an email saying, “I hope you enjoy. But it’s understandable if you don’t, because this book is truly odd.” I have to admit that I was a little curious. Just what makes Happily Ever Ninja so odd?

It’s a romance revolving around a couple that has been married for 14 years, they’ve even got the obligatory kids.  They’re not on the cusp of divorce and no one has cheated.  It’s not about the cute meeting, the sexual tension and the uncertainty. It’s about soul mates ever after. This is different to the other books in Penny’s Knitting in the City series.

Fiona is an ex-CIA field agent. She is motherly, warm, and wise.  She’s independent and direct. Fiona is the friend you want to call whenever you have a problem. Fiona’s husband Greg isn’t a potential book boyfriend - he’s book husband material (is that a thing?). He has a sexy British accent, a dry sarcastic sense of humor and he’s the ultimate feminist, insisting on treating their son and daughter the same, and refusing to raise their daughter all pink and princessey.

Greg and Fiona are in a routine. Their particular pattern of matrimony:

We’d been doing this dance for fourteen years: voluntarily leaving each other, then coming back together after a prolonged period.

Greg travels for his job, but he always returns to Fiona. They deal with the mighty task of raising children together. It’s can be mundane.

Marriage with children is a study in delayed everything – delayed conversation, delayed resolutions, and delayed gratification.

 Sometimes they fight about the dishwasher. Because even soulmates argue about the dishwasher. They have inside jokes. There are lots of conversations. And sex. Apparently married couples also have sex.

The narrative takes an interesting turn, with well executed elements of suspense, kidnappings, a dangerous trek through the jungle while trying to elude a criminal enterprise. It’s the awesomeness of that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie movie Mr and Mrs Smith, which I love, despite my lifelong place on Team Jennifer.  Throughout the action, the core of the story is always the genuine partnership between Greg and Fiona.

My heart keeps discovering new ways to love you.

This isn’t a wacky suspense book. It’s still about marriage. Penny ruminates a lot on the state of marriage: 

Each marriage is a living thing, just as complex as the two individuals within it.

I’m not married. But I suspect that this is a book that married readers will particularly enjoy. Interspersed through the novels are excerpts from letters written between real married couples. They’re funny and heartbreaking and sweet.

Happily Ever Ninja was the first book I read in 2016 and it may well be my favorite. It is very obvious that Penny is as wise as her character Fiona. Her books are so smart. This isn’t an odd book, but it might be a brave book, the truth about the reality of marriage (give or take a wild chase through the jungle). It was refreshing, genuine, funny and so very insightful.


Learn more about or order a copy of Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid, available on January 19, 2016:  

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes



Jane Kriel, lover of chocolate and all things Sweet Valley High.


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