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How to Knit A Wild Bikini [Mass Market Paperback]

Christie Ridgway

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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hectic, but fun 16 Jun 2008
By H. Grove (errantdreams) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nikki is a chef whose days in the restaurant business are numbered---her bum knee makes it impossible for her to endure the grueling hours on her feet any longer. She lands an opportunity with Jay Buchanan, wealthy playboy. The problem is, he's sworn off women and wants a lesbian personal chef to make sure he won't be tempted to stray from that resolution. Nikki is about to lose her one and only job nibble when, in order to make the neighbor think that he has a new girlfriend, Jay kisses her. She uses the opportunity to introduce herself as his chef and, once the neighbor's gone, to pretend to be the lesbian he was hoping to hire.

I gather there will be follow-on books in the 'Malibu & Ewe' series (that's the name of a central yarn shop), and some of the relationships in this book were used as set-up for later books rather than pay-off in this one. Unfortunately this resulted in some relationships feeling hurried and shallow; there was too much to fit into this one volume.

That said, Christie Ridgway has a knack for uproarious (often scandalous) dialogue and pours plenty of it into How to Knit a Wild Bikini. As Nikki pretends to be a lesbian and Jay pretends to believe her, they have some of the best and most fun lines in the book.

While the side plots did a good job of working certain parallels and complicating the main plot, there were too many side plots and a few too many convenient coincidences. It gave things a rushed and orchestrated feel. Ordinarily that would have bothered me more, but the hilarious dialogue, fun chemistry between the main characters, and so on made up for it. I heartily enjoyed the story, and couldn't put it down once I started!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't think Jay was a tool 8 Nov 2008
By Zeph - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had purchased How to Knit a Wild Bikini before I read the reviews. What I saw multiple times was a mean description of the hero. Since I had already paid for the book I decided what the hell I'll read it anyway. Let's just say I did not expect much. The hero far exceded my low expectations.

Jay Buchanon starts out as one of those rich jerks who we all know exists. He promises the male readers of the successful magazine he owns that he will stay away from women until he finds 'The One'. Nikki Carmichael is a personal chef with a lot of emotional baggage. This witch - an endearment, there is no bipitty bopitty boo in this story - with one blue eye and one green eye will do anything to continue being Jay's stay-at-home chef. Including convince him that she is a lesbian and others that she is his girlfriend.

The side plots are interesting but are better because they are terse (even possibly suck). This book was able to bring me back to reality a bit. The following is what it opened my eyes to - even if temporarily:
-Sometimes two people being so blissfully wrapped up in each other means they neglect their friends and family.
-Even jerks fall in love. Yes, Jay was sometimes crude and sex-obsessed but most guys are.
-We can't always blame negative personality traits on genetics. Yea your dad may have been distant but you can be a loner because it has suited you well in the past.
-More than grandparents become young through their relationships. Nikki is 28 to Jay's 32 and yet it was terribly entertaining to see them act like teenagers. Well, they did have often raunchy sex uncommon in high school but there was that puppy-like love.

So those are the things I liked. What I did not like was:
- Jay seemed to lose some of his charming cockiness. At the end he even seemed a bit mushy.
- I felt like I had accidentally skipped a huge chunck of all three sideplots. None of them were majorly important but if there had been more meat (figuratively) to the stories, it may have reached that unspoken requirement of most romance novels to be 350 + pages. Though maybe that feeling of being left behind was intentional. It was what really hit home the idea of friends and families being neglected.

I probably lost a lot of readers by now but if your still reading then I want to say this was a good book. I liked it and it wasn't as cliche as I was dreading.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute Enough 13 Jun 2008
By Jennifer Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was cute enough. I admit that I picked this up on a Friday night at Target mostly because of the title. I'm a knitter. I like a good romance novel. What's not to like?

It was a cute enough book - oh, I said that already. I think she tried to do too much with one story. The chef gimmick AND the knitting gimmick AND the playboy bachelor AND the faux-lesbian thing AND the mysterious injury AND the emotionally absusive parent AND the rape at a young age AND... you get the picture. Take two, maybe three of these circumstances and flesh them out and you'd have a richer story. But all of them together just became a mishmash of unrealized potential.

And a book with a title like this I kind of expected to have a story centered around, well, knitting. But the shop that the main character "escapes to" (as said on the back of the book), I think she goes to two, maybe three times? But it's not really fleshed out, just more like "then she learned to knit. Other people were there and they were knitting too." As a knitter, I would have loved to see the character get hooked on knitting. As it was written here, she learned to knit mostly because the shop owner told her to, and then she just kind of kept doing it, like it was homework or something. But I think that was the fault of Too Many Plot Elements, like I said above.

All this said, the characters I found the most intriguing were Shanna and Jorge. They needed their own book as they renovated that old house together...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars She's No Rachel Gibson, But Give The Gal A Chance.... 12 Sep 2008
By Christa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first time reading this particular author and I would have to say that although she deserves an honorable mention as a good author that could wind up hooking me for the long haul, she has a ways to go before reaching her full potential. Her breezy, snappy & bold style of writing echoes that of Rachel Gibson who is one of my favorite comedic romance authors of all time. I was entertained by the character of Jay (or Hef Junior as he's known to his friends and former lovers.) I enjoyed the chemistry of Jay and Nikki. I LOL at much of the banter. I felt some of the steam rising from the pages detailing their romantic interludes. I even liked the secondary character of Shanna. The *choke...gasp* Paris Hilton/Tori Spelling of her time. I did find the overall storyline however, to be too "busy", with too many ingredients left unstirred which took away from the overall recipe for success. I'm intrigued enough to pick up the other titles in the Malibu and Ewe series. Intrigued enough to keep faith in this author. She got to first base with this book, but it will take some time and practice to hit a home run that some authors are famous for.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Beach Read ! 7 Aug 2008
By cb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I almost did not read this book because of all the reviews - but it was funny and had some interesting twists and turns. The comments about the knitting not being in the story - it was a meeting place for most of the characters. This story was about Nikki who had a bum knee and needed a personaly chef job - she landed one with Hef Jr aka Jay editor of men's magazine. Jay gets Nikki to pretend to be his girlfriend and she pretends to be gay. The cast of characters will continue - check out her next book Unravel Me due out Nov 4, 2008.
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