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 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.
This book had me immediately with the sexy stranger’s drunken kiss and snarky date. It showed immediately that things were going to get a little weird and that weird is the last thing Ruby Scott needs right now, but that she’s one easygoing chick who’s going to roll with it. Even she has her breaking point though and Bancroft “Bane” Mills hit it when his surprise (and surprisingly hot) kiss gave her a nasty cold that cost her a big role. Shortly after bombing the audition, Ruby finds out she has five days to be out of her apartment since she’s been evicted so things just keep getting worse.
Luckily for Ruby, her BFF’s fiancé is Bane’s cousin and her closest pal, Amelie, has a plan to keep Ruby off the streets and under a roof, at least for the time being. Bane is going away on business for five weeks and needs a pet-sitter for his illegal ferret, so he can’t go the traditional route or he risks losing his beloved Francesca. Amelie has agreed to care for his pets while he’s gone, but suggests Ruby stay there to care for them. Bane agrees immediately because he feels terrible that he cost Ruby the role she had her heart set on. The two have wicked chemistry and immediately hit it off but he’s gone for over a month, so they don’t get to do much about it.
This is a slow-burn romance because they flirted and teased and danced around it, but the attraction was admitted on both sides yet there was an ocean between them. Ruby’s insecure because of the pressure to join her father’s company and his criticism of her career choice in theater. That makes a bit prickly when it comes to Bane’s generosity and lavish gifts. She won’t be bought or kept and pushes him away as a result. Bane’s just confused because he’s a genuinely considerate person who wants to make her life easier and would never want her to feel obligated to him in any way.
They have issues to deal with if they want to make this work, the biggest one being a serious lack of communication. They both make assumptions, leading to rash decisions that could be avoided if only they’d talk to one another first but it’s a great story. Ruby and Bane are both likeable characters and I was happy to see their HEA. She’s sassy and determined and fiercely independent. He’s loving and sweet and wants to take care of the people he loves. The supporting characters were interesting so I can’t wait to see how their stories unfold in the rest of the series. This book is lighthearted and funny, I’d definitely read it again.
Shacking Up series