The Knitting in the City series is one that I've really enjoyed so far. Love Hacked is the third book, following up on Neanderthal Seeks Human and Friends Without Benefits. As with the other books in the series, this story is about one of the girls in a knitting club and her search for love. In this case, the girl in question is twenty-eight-year-old Sandra, who despite having a date every other Friday night, hasn't had a kiss in two years. That would be because she manages to make all of her dates cry, which obviously doesn't bode well for kisses. The thing is, Sandra is a therapist, and she can't seem to quite get away from that, not even on her dates. So when yet another date ends in disaster, Sandra settles in to enjoy her butter chicken on her own...only to find Alex, the very hot waiter she's been eyeballing for two years, sitting at her table with her.
Sandra thinks Alex is smokin' hot, but he's younger than her. A lot younger. She's twenty-eight, and she estimates him at being twenty-two or twenty-three, which, as she points out, means that there's really a gulf of experience between them. But Sandra isn't entirely opposed to a fling with a younger man...except Alex doesn't seem to want a fling. He wants something more serious. But he's clearly hiding things, lots of things, like why he's being followed by FBI agents and why he and Sandra can't talk in public. It's all very, very strange. Oh, and Alex doesn't really seem to have any sense of how to behave around people either. He can go from being super sweet to super weird to super aggressive, all within a few blinks of the eye.
Honestly, Alex's weird behavior is the part that concerned me the most about this book. The age-gap raised my eyebrows at first, but I've definitely seen weirder, and I don't think an age-gap is something that can't be overcome. But the way that Alex was so secretive and passive-aggressive at times raised a lot of red flags for me. That is what I could not put up with in a relationship, not his hacking background and time in prison and all the other stuff. The way he acted sometimes... Sandra was a saint for putting up with him, and honestly I'm not sure that she should have.
But, as with the other stories, we get to see about the other girls in the club and where they are, and we even learn something about the mysterious Fiona, she who knows how to stab men with knitting needles! Reid also did another thing I think was very good for this, and that is that she just went for it with the sex scenes. In the first book, she faded to black, which was fine. In the second, she did this weird thing where she included a "fade to black" version and a "non-fade to black" version, with a note about what was going on a the top of each chapter, and it was very jarring to the reading experience. She did away with that this time and just went all in, which I think was a smart solution. Fading to black worked with Janie because she was so much more self-conscious, but Sandra was all in for the physical aspects of the relationship from the beginning, so I think this worked better for her. Also, Alex is (gasp!) a virgin! So we get to see how Sandra, who is very much not a virgin, deals with that. It was an interesting perspective flip, and I think Reid did it really well.
Honestly, this book had a lot going for it, and I really enjoyed it...but Alex's sometimes sociopathic behavior just lingers there in the back of my mind, bugging me and telling me that I probably shouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did, leaving me to give this book...
3.5 stars out of 5.