Series: Shacking Up, #4
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A new standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting.
Cosy Felton is great at her job—she knows just how to handle the awkwardness that comes with working at an adult toy store. So when the hottest guy she’s ever seen walks into the shop looking completely overwhelmed, she’s more than happy to turn on the charm and help him purchase all of the items on his list.
Griffin Mills is using his business trip in Las Vegas as a chance to escape the broken pieces of his life in New York City. The last thing he wants is to be put in charge of buying gag gifts for his friend’s bachelor party. Despite being totally out of his element, and mortified by the whole experience, Griffin is pleasantly surprised when he finds himself attracted to the sales girl that helped him.
As skeptical as Cosy may be of Griffin’s motivations, there’s something about him that intrigues her. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas and when real life gets in the way, all bets are off. Filled with hilariously awkward situations and enough sexual chemistry to power Sin City, Making Up is the next standalone in the Shacking Up world.
Making Up was so much fun to read. It had the same feel as Shacking Up or the Pucked series. Basically, it had the over the top humor I’ve come to love from Helena Hunting.
Cosy wasn’t quite a Violet, but she had a quirky sense of humor and self-confidence. I didn’t expect her to be as mature as she was, and I loved that. Her romance with Griffin was adorable from the start.
Griffin came across as slightly uptight, but only because he was wealthy and established. Oh, and like ten years older. The age difference between the two of them was smart. It added this fun aspect to the story. It gave Cosy a way to make Griffin slightly uncomfortable.
The romance between Cosy and Griffin wasn’t quite a slow burn, but things happened slower than I expected. I loved that their relationship had a natural feel to it. Things progressed in a believable fashion and they really got to know each other before diving deeper. There were some predictable parts of their relationship, but there were also some big surprises.
Making Up is the fourth book in the Shacking Up series, but it did feel like a standalone novel. Sure, there were cameos by some previous characters. Their presence wasn’t a walk down memory lane, though. They popped in to help Griffin out and that was it. It was fun to see them, but a reader could totally start the series with this book and be good.
Overall, Making Up was super entertaining and filled with characters I adored. It’s one of my new favorite Helena Hunting books.
About the Author:
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.
Helena Hunting Blog Tour Q&A MAKING UP
- What inspired you to write Making Up?
I’d introduced Griffin in the previous Shacking Up Series novels, Shacking Up and Hooking Up—he was a bit of a mystery for readers because he was talked about, but not really present. I had a very clear picture in my mind of who he was, and the kind of woman who would end up being the perfect fit for him, and it was not his fiancé from the previous books.
2. Introduce us to your main characterGriffin Mills is the oldest of the three Mills brothers. At thirty-three he’s had several very long term relationships and was formerly engaged, but that relationship went up in flames. He’s gorgeous, smart, loves the numbers side of the family business he’s part of—a chain of hotels he’s set to inherit with his brothers. Also, he’s a little awkward, which I love, because there’s nothing quite like a hot guy who doesn’t have all the lines and fumbles a bit when he’s dealing with someone he’s attracted to. It makes for some hilarious banter with his love interest, Cosy Felton. Our heroine is a twenty-two year old who has been a bit of a nomad for most of her life, but is finally finishing school and happens to work at an Adult Toy Store part time. It’s definitely not her favourite job, but it pays the bills. She’s sassy, not much of a planner and definitely more than Griffin bargained for.
- Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?
Just keep writing. Every day put words on the page and surround yourself with positive people who are there to support you. Ask questions, join book groups, be an avid reader and an observer.
- How is Making Up different from your other books?
Making Up has a trope I’ve never really explored or played around with before, so it was a lot of fun to write. While I’ve written age gaps before, it hasn’t been a key part of the storyline, or had a significant impact on how the characters perceive the relationship. Griffin and Cosy are from two very different worlds and balancing their expectations and insecurities was one of my favourite parts of writing their story. Making Up has my signature quirky, sassy heroines and I love writing heroes that are sexy, yet a little awkward. While it’s a light read, there’s some drama, and some heavy baggage, which I think grounds the story and balances out the hilarity.
- I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?
I’ve been so lucky to read so many amazing books this year but I’m going to go with Broken Knight by LJ Shen which releases this August. I love YA/NA romance and angst, and she knows how to deliver both flawlessly.
- Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?
We all need a little escape from our own realities once in a while and Making Up is a fun, sexy romance that’s perfect for the summer. Also, Griffin is hot, and not particularly suave at times. I think we can all appreciate a guy who doesn’t have all the lines, especially if he looks like he should.
- A famous movie producer wants to make your books into movies and they want you to cast your characters from Making Up. Which actors/actresses make the cut?
This is always a fun question and I’ll be 100% honest, I never actually look at actors prior to writing a story because I generally have a picture of the character in my head. But, I went on a Pinterest mission and Alex Morgan (she’s a soccer player, not an actress) would make a fabulous Cosy if she suddenly switched career paths. Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee) is super sassy, and could definitely play up the humor in this story, so she would be a legitimate actress choice. Gabriel Macht has a great smolder and can rock a seriously sexy suit, so I think he’d be great as Griffin.
- Favorite quote or scene you wrote in Making Up?
Making Up is definitely a rom-com with some incredibly hilarious moments, but Griffin has some heavy baggage, which means there are also serious moments, and this is one of my favourites: “Talk to me. Fall apart on me. Show me your weakness so I can give you my strength.”
- What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always loved to write, but finding time was a challenge during university and then afterward I was building a career and we renovated a house down to the studs—which takes up a lot of time and doesn’t leave much of an opportunity for putting down words (but it was an amazing experience). When I gave birth to my daughter she struggled to sleep—or rather stay asleep—and that meant I spent a lot of time awake in the middle of the night. So I started writing again during those late nights, and finally penned my first full novel.
- What is a typical writing day like?
I usually start with a run and then copious amounts of coffee while I manage the administrative side of things—ie emails, social media posts etc. But when I sit down to write I have a playlist I put on repeat, more coffee, sparking water (so I can stay hydrated) and my cat Pumpkin generally lies on top of my closed laptop and supervises me for the day.
- Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?
I listen to the same playlist while I write a novel. So if it takes me two months, then I listen to the same set of songs for two full months. I’ve destroyed A LOT of albums for my husband over the past several years. I just need the background noise, and listening to the radio or unfamiliar songs can be distracting.
- What has been one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a published author?
I’ve only been in the industry for five years and there has been so much change, learning to adjust and adapt and just staying true to your personal goal is really the most important thing I’ve learned. I think when you start out there are just so many unknowns, and taking risks can be scary, but if you don’t take those risks, it’s hard to grow as an author.
- Can you tell us about what’s coming up next after this for you writing wise?
I have one more book in The Shacking Up Series, HANDLE WITH CARE, which releases at the end of August! Griffin’s cousin and best friend, Lincoln Moorehead, is the hero and if you didn’t know, he is also Armstrong’s brother. Lincoln is the polar opposite of Armstrong so it was so fun to write. I can’t wait for people to meet Griffin and Cosy and Lincoln and Wren.
- How can readers connect with you online?
They can connect with me all over social media! (add links)
Amazon → http://amzn.to/1y6OBB7
Twitter → http://bit.ly/HelenaHTwitter
Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/helena.hunting69/
Pinterest → http://bit.ly/1oQYRVN
Bookbub → http://bit.ly/BookBubHH
Facebook Reader Group → http://bit.ly/TheBeaverDenHH