How to Knit a Wild Bikini by Christie Ridgway
Series: Malibu and Ewe #1
Also in this series: Unravel Me, Dirty Sexy Knitting
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 3rd 2008
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
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AN IRRESISTIBLE READ (SUSAN WIGGS) from Berkley's newest bestselling author.
The beachside knitting shop Malibu & Ewe is the perfect place for L.A.'s hip young crowd to enjoy colorful yarn and intimate conversation. For personal chef Nikki Carmichael, it could be the softest place to land if her new job falls through. Working for magazine writer Jay Buchanan has come with some strange conditions—like pretending to be his girlfriend. As for Jay, he finds himself drawn to the kitchen, where he's intrigued by his sexy cook's ability to withstand the heat between them. And now he thinks it's time to turn up the flames.
hat she went into this expecting a light comedy. When I got this novel I was expecting the same thing: A light, quick summer read, but the story had more depth than I originally thought it was going to and though it was a quick read it really packed a punch. Since she did a great job of outlining the plot, I’ll just skip right into my review.
Jay is the quintessential playboy: different woman every night, happy bachelor life. I had him pegged from the beginning as somewhat shallow and even a bit callous. But really he wasn’t. He showed surprising insight and more emotional depth than I expected. I loved that he was the one who caved in and admitted his feelings first (even if only to himself).
Nikki was…different. Here’s the thing with Nikki: She had, not necessarily a tragic past, but a somewhat lonely one filled with bad decisions. I understood that. I understood her refusal to get close to people, especially her new boss. But understanding didn’t really help me warm up to her. On the other hand, I never really disliked her, either. I sympathized with her at times and felt for her, but I wasn’t overwhelmed with feelings one way or the other. I do think she took the whole, “I don’t need anyone” thing a little too far, but I didn’t hate her. I guess what I’m saying is I couldn’t really work up any emotion about her at all. I’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
I really enjoyed the secondary characters. Jay’s niece (who was staying with him for the summer) was especially intriguing, and as this is the first book in a new series I hope we see more from her as time goes on. I loved Cassandra, the owner of the yarn shop Malibu and Ewe. And her landlord was someone I want to know more about…soon. Shanna, Jay’s next door neighbor and most recent one-night-stand provided an additional story I thought balanced things out.
I really like that Ridgway didn’t shy away from talking about and facing deeper issues with this novel. Teen sex, rape, sexual intimidation, artificial insemination, suicide. What I thought was going to be a fun summer read instead really touched me and made me think. I highly recommend this one, but don’t go into it like I did.
4.5 out of 5