Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

Posted May 17, 2020 by Kate

Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny ReidCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby, #3), Motion (Laws of Physics, #1; Hypothesis, #2.1), Space (Laws of Physics, #2; Hypothesis, #2.2)
Series: Knitting in the City #1
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Source: Libby (My Library app)

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.
After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store.
To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan—aka Sir McHotpants—witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn to make her an offer she can't refuse.
New York Times Bestselling Author Penny Reid’s debut novel!★ AAR top 100 romances of all time ★
Neanderthal Seeks Human is book #1 in the Knitting in the City series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the misadventures and exploits of seven friends in Chicago, all members of the same knitting group.

I should start by saying that Penny Reid is one of my favorite authors! You see a lot of SmaryPants Romance ARCs from me… and that’s all her. (To clarify: SmartyPants Romance is an umbrella and a collaboration between authors, started by Penny Reid. The idea is that other authors write in her world, in her town of Green Valley or characters that were characters in her original books. (My reviews | The website)

So yes, I absolutely adore Penny Reid. She writes books featuring often nerdy characters or dorky characters with nerdy tendencies. The first book in her Knitting in the City series (which follows a knitting club – think of their knitting club as your mother’s book club: knitting is not a requirement) set in Chicago.

Honestly, I love this delightfully hilarious romantic comedy! It features a romance between a socially awkward woman and a sexy man who absolutely mystifies her, and sports an engaging storyline and witty dialogue that had me in stitches… even with it being a reread! 

It follows Janie Morris, who just broke up with her cheating boyfriend and who just lost her job (via her boyfriend’s dad, the jerk) and is being escorted out of the building by the really cute security guard. After a series of further unfortunate events, the security guard (Quinn) offers to get her an interview for his security company as an accountant. See, you can tell with only a few moments in her presence that Janie is exceptionally intelligent, especially since when nervous, she tends to tell you all about random facts that may or may not have anything to do with present circumstances or conversation. And Quinn? He makes her nervous. 

“Why are you so afraid?”
“Because I’m not thinking about the fiber content in the stain-resistant carpet… It means my brain finds you more interesting than all the really interesting trivial facts I could be contemplating or researching at present.”
“His answering smile was leisurely and measured. “I think that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.” 

Janie is honestly one of my favorite heroine’s in the series. I can’t necessarily relate to the trivial floodgates that often burst forth when she’s nervous or anxious (although I do find them very amusing), but because she’s so sincere. Janie is not an outwardly emotional person, but she does feel an incredible amount, and I think that’s why. One part in particular: “…I found myself attempting to ignore the sudden, uncomfortable, yet omnipresent self-awareness that was alternatively giving me goosebumps and making my neck hot.” Can’t you just imagine yourself in an awkward situation where you feel that painfully self-aware? 

Janie’s relatable because we all have a bit of Janie in us. She’s highly intelligent, practical, utterly unique, eccentric, and unexpected in many ways, but Penny Reid portrayed her little foibles and kernels of anxiety so well, that even as different as I am from Janie, I was putting myself in her situation for most of the book. I kind of “read myself in,” which I do quite a bit, but I felt that very keenly here. 

I just want to be Janie’s friend, is that too much to ask? She values her friends highly and is quirky, hilarious and so random that I can’t help but love her! She’s absolutely adorable. When Janie and Quinn start working together… things get a little tricky and panicky. They form a kind of friendship first, which I always love to see in my characters, but they’re clearly so taken with the other. 

“God, Quinn, you have no idea how permanent I’d like this to be. I’d like us to be Twinkies and cockroaches, death and taxes.”

I love this series… mostly because of Knit Night and the ladies that attend. They really support each other and their nights are sacred – Janie was so ready and excited for her first night with Quinn… but she refused to go right away because knit night (and her friends) came first and that is super freaking cool. They’re a rambunctious group of women and are so!! much!! fun!! that I always leave this book wanting to pick up some yarn (not that I’d know what to do with it) and join them. 

But Janie and Quinn? :) I absolutely love Quinn, especially how he values and appreciates Janie for being who she is. There’s a twist that you’ll be quick to catch… but Janie’s pretty obvious, so the possibilities of it go right over her head. Which only makes things more fun for us! She’s pretty taken with him, and had never been a girl to go cuckoo for cocoa puffs for a guy before. But Quinn… he’s different.

 This book has all the ingredients for a book that I love: a workplace romance, a friends-to-lovers relationship, and it’s a rom-com. Janie and Quinn’s relationship was really fun to watch grow, with all the humor and laugh-out-loud moments that are typical of the rom-com genre, but I was smiling nonstop with this fantastically unique heroine and a very sexy alpha hero. It’s (and they are) smart, endearing and so, so entertaining! I can’t wait to continue my reread of the series with the next lady from Knit Night :) 

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Have you read a Penny Reid book? What are some of your favorite workplace romances? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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