Review: “Neanderthal Seeks Human” by Penny Reid

Thumbs up for Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. Romance.

I am terribly conflicted about this book. To be clear, I enjoyed it overall and will try other books by the author. Penny Reid writes what she bills as “smart romances,” and yes, she is both very smart and very funny – I bookmarked many pages that made me laugh out loud, mostly pertaining to the heroine Janie’s hilarious habit of running off at the mouth about trivial facts when stressed. But I also, well, skimmed a bit. I don’t mind sex in books but when there’s page after page of unrequited lusting I start to tune out and flip till I find the sex or…better still…some dialogue. Also problematic: romances and I have a hard fail when it comes to the phenomenon of the “alpha male”; any man who tries to order dinner for me will earn himself the pleasure of footing the bill and never seeing me after the dessert spoons hit the plate. As the person who recommended Reid’s books to me rightfully said, the epilogue makes the hero Quinn’s internal motivations more sympathetic. My question is, could we have traded some of the smouldering, growling, and lusting, for a couple of earlier chapters from his point of view? Because he came off bossy and manipulative (albeit foolish, not evil), and let me tell you what I don’t find sexy. I’m so sorry, Ms. Reid, you’re really a very good writer, I’m just the worst romance reader ever.

It was my turn to sigh; I couldn’t think of anything to say. Well, more accurately, I couldn’t think of anything to say related to our topic of conversation, but I could think of plenty of things to say about the climate of New Guinea or the prehistoric ancestors of the African secretary bird.

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