Goodreads TBR:

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 NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.


Unpredictable…that’s what I’ve always loved about Helena Hunting’s characters and the situations she places them in…there’s just something about Hunting’s off-kilter humor and her ability to revel in the untoward that makes her stories unbelievably entertaining and a pleasure to read, and with the way that her newest release, Shacking Up, begins, readers won’t be able to read fast enough in order to see what happens after the hero and heroine’s not so stellar first encounter!

Readers will definitely be able to relate to Ruby Scott’s unlucky streak and her need to do things on her own, regardless of her family’s money and social standing. I think that’s what endeared me to Ruby from the start of the story – she didn’t want to be the “pampered rich bitch”…she wouldn’t sacrifice her creativity or her dignity regardless of how much easier it would be to go back home to her father’s company and resolve to live in the world she was raised in – a world she can no longer stand. Her Broadway dreams are her guiding light, which means there’s no place in her life for the snobbery of her upper class family because they see her endeavors as futile and unbecoming of a woman in her societal position.

After 7 years of playing professional rugby, Bancroft Mills aka “Awesome Kisser” is forced to take his rightful place in his father’s company, and even if it’s a position he reluctantly agrees to, he has no other choice. But like Ruby, Bancroft doesn’t act like the world owes him anything just because of the family he was born into, and while it might be because he worked his ass off to accomplish his goals as a professional athlete, he knows the kind of dedication and hard work required to be successful, which is exactly what he plans to be in his new role…as much as his father will let him.

Ruby and Bancroft’s “relationship” evolves quickly after their first interaction, and while it’s definitely an unconventional situation they find themselves in…what they’ve worked out allows them to feel settled and to get to know one another on a level they never would have had the opportunity to experience if they wouldn’t have agreed to their “business” transaction.

Shacking Up is definitely a slow burn romance due to a number of factors, but Helena Hunting’s build up clearly illustrates that the chemistry between Ruby and Bancroft as well as their developing feelings for one another are headed in the right direction, so when they finally have a chance to experience each other, the foundation they built leading up to anything sexual makes it that much more amazing and worthwhile.

I definitely enjoyed Ruby and Bancroft’s story and I loved Ruby’s rating scale for Bancroft and how he gained/lost points based on his comments and actions…I did find some of Ruby’s internal monologues a bit excessive, but I also understood why there were so many of them due to the nature of her relationship with Bancroft for 5 weeks. I guess I’m just used to Helena Hunting’s writing as an indie author, and because Shacking Up is traditionally published, some of the feel of the book didn’t quite resonate with me because I was looking for more of Hunting’s colorful dialogue and off the cuff situations. Regardless of a few issues, though, I loved Hunting’s characterization of both Ruby and Bancroft and their aversion to high society and all of its fakery, and I am looking forward to more characters from this world.

3.5/4 Poison Apples

Listen to chapter one on audio:

Read Chapter one:

Read an excerpt on Goodreads:

About the Author


NYT 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.

Connect with Helena




Facebook Fan group:


Never miss an update! Subscribe to Helena’s mailing list:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.