You know I love Penny Reid like most people love coffee in the morning or their vibrator at night. Or in the morning, you do you. Literally. Either way, I am an unabashed fangirl who is fortunate enough that I am given advanced copies of her books, which is good, because if she didn’t, I’d be forced to get really stalkery, and read over her shoulder, and everyone hates that. So, as per usual, I’m pumped. Dating-ish was also SUPER easy to pick a recipe for, because Boston Cream Pie comes up more than once. However, since I’m a vegan, and my daughter is allergic to dairy, I spun it up and made Boston Cream Pie Chia Pudding, and I swear, it’s freaking delicious.
There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She’s fed up with online dating, 2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.
After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:
Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler.
Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach.
Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation!
Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?
But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different–and crazier–solution to her dilemma . . .
As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?
This book, guys. It’s like Penny is a secretory vesicle at my cell’s surface, she was just waiting on my signal to write me the perfect book at the perfect time. When I first read this book, I NEEDED a laugh. I was nose-deep in feeling sorry for myself in academic hell, and here comes a nerdy scientist to make me laugh and act like the water to my calcium oxide–hot.
This book hits all the perfect notes for the unconventional romance reader, it’s not a bout a woman who needs a man, rather a woman who understands the value in a relationship. It’s not about some guy who think’s he’s G-d’s gift just looking to put it in a lady, and it’s so full of heart you’d think it was a specimen bucket.
Matt is the hottest nerd I’ve ever read — and I’ve read many books wherein the male interest is a nerd. They turn my crank. TBH, I don’t think I could be interested in someone if they couldn’t truly geek out about something. But Matt is a nerd in the truest sense of the word.
Gary Oldham as Sirius Black really, really, turns my crank.
But poor, poor Marie accidentally really and truly hurls him over the cliff into the friend zone. She’s hilarious and smart, and a great ambiverted character, but she sometimes trips over her own words when trying to relay what she’s feeling into coherent spoken text. Which, of course, we all do. But it’s especially concerning to Marie when she does this because she is a writer — like a real, live, writer, for a living. Words are her currency, and they seem to fail her when it comes to Matt. It’s like she’s got a weird Matt-shaped buffer in front of her mental microphone that ends up making her sound like the grownups in the Charlie Brown cartoons.
One of the funniest parts of this story dealt with, well, parts. Matt is researching artificial intelligence as a way to eschew the natural human condition of loneliness by providing a robotic substitute, and Marie clings onto this same idea in her own writing about proxy partnerships that gain the user a measure of comfort lacking in their own life. At one point, they learn about platonic-for pay-cuddling. Professional cuddlers. Which is an actual thing. As is orgasm meditation. As is ladyflower massage. (Which is absolutely legal. It’s tantric couples’ massage, and it’s absolutely a thing in NYC. Basically, some dude/lady…use your imagination. ) As is…professional dry humping. Which if you confused it with dry cleaning in a Yelp search after tequila, may disappoint you, or make you REALLLLLY happy.
Anyway, this aspect of the story provides some of the best lines of the whole book, like this gem:
I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard reading a romance novel. What Penny Reid does with Dating-ish is what Stephen Colbert does with The Late Show; she makes something that is so smart and sharp so universally appealing and hilarious that you don’t realize you’ve just learned something new. It’s uncanny.
Dating-ish is a hilarious navigation through the tricky world of love, that will delight readers as much for the wit as for the heat and fun, and will enchant all as the characters find their unusual connection through a roll in the Hayes.
Five Stars!Hot nerds with @reidromance and BOSTON CREAM PIE!! Click To Tweet
Now, for the chia pudding.
Marie is an expert at Boston Cream Pie. Which, is almost impossible to veganize. Also, it’s really unhealthy. And I’m trying to not be really unhealthy. So I wanted to hit all the notes of the cake, without the problematic processed sugars and flours. Enter the Boston Cream Pie Chia Pudding. No, Boston cream pie chia pudding isn’t a true substitute for the original, but it is damn fine.
Boston Cream Pie Chia Pudding
What Goes In?
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (carton not can)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- the seeds of one vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- 4 oz extra dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp boiling hot coffee
- combine all pudding ingredients together and refrigerate
- melt chocolate and oil in double boiler on low
- slowly stir in coffee
- let come to room temp
- top pudding with chocolate and nuts
- serves 2