SHACKING UP by Helena Hunting
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
eBook ISBN: 9781250133328; Price: $3.99
Paperback ISBN: 9781250150479; Price: $15.99
Audio ISBN: 9781427292797; Price: $23.99
4.5 F*ck Me, Love Me CROWNS
I really love this new series from Helena Hunting! While Shacking Up deviates in tone from her most notable Pucked series, it is reminiscent of her tone in The Librarian Principle, which was my first read from Helena Hunting. Shacking Up still has all the fun and romance we have come to expect from this author, but the often crazy humor is a tad more subdued, only showing glimpses throughout the story and highlighting the actual relationship a new world created by one of my favorites.
Shacking Up follows Bancroft and Ruby who are from the same world, the wealthy, who are motivated by their parents who want them to marry for money and notoriety. Ruby and Bane, though, are nothing like the people in this world, although they can play the game. The fact that these two grew up in the world of the wealthy and both chose different paths makes them incredibly suited for each other. Unlike other romances, a considerable amount of the time is spent away from each other, and I only mention this to say it doesn’t matter. The chemistry between these two is still as potent through other forms of the communication. Getting to see the flirting and the want develop over time makes readers fall in love with these two as individuals and a potential couple. Of course Bane has some alpha tendencies, but I love that he isn’t awful like the other men readers meet in the book. Just like Bane, Ruby is completely different from the elite women she is a part of. Her humor, her desire to stand on her own two feet, and her passion for her career make her a fantastic heroine. I really couldn’t haven’t enjoyed these two characters more.
This story is well paced, giving the characters and the readers time to meet and fall for each other. They, along with Bane, become enamored with Ruby and vice versa. They fun though really begins as the time Bane returns home approaches. Readers will also enjoy that Helena Hunting gives readers more than just a romance with Ruby’s personal plot line, exemplifying a person’s need to feel independent and to be able to stand on their own. It resonated with me as a reader, and I’m sure it would with most other female readers as well.
Shacking Up is a fantastic read. Light and romantic, with Helena’s signature humor popping in through the character of Ruby. I truly love this first book, and I’m excited to see where she takes us next.
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.
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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.
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.