Book Review: Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

Shacking Up by Helena Hunting is a contemporary romance. 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. 
Shacking Up is a romance that made me laugh and cringe in all the right places. There were funny, awkward, and endearing moments through the book. I loved Ruby's character, she wants to be able to prove herself and stand on her own two feet. I can understand her need, as can most adults that might still feel like they are faking it until they make it. I like that while eager to stand on her own feet, is willing and able to laugh at herself along the way. Bancroft is another character doing the best he can in a situation that is not exactly what he was hoping for, and working to make it better. I loved the banter between the two, and the conflicts that they have. I think the larger conflicts about dealing with the expectations of society in general, and parents in particular, made the story more engaging. I found myself smiling or cringing, depending on the action, as I read the book- completely into the story and empathizing with Ruby as she worked through the story. 

Shacking Up is a fun romance with plenty or gloriously awkward moments, and characters that are realistic and engaging. I will be reading more from Hunting.

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