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Publisher's Summary

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she's unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, "benefits" with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth's plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

©2013, 2014 Cipher-Naught (P)2015 Cipher-Naught

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it 💕💕💕

These two are so yummy together ... but so frustrating together as well ... how he’s always know he has loved her but she just takes a little longer to get there .. love it .. definitely worth the read .. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • V
  • 17-08-2016

:)

I love this book and the audio was convenient for the long car drive to and from university :)

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Overly engineered

I almost heard the clunking mechanisms that kept the protagonists apart. It didn't help that the flimsy, poorly explained reasons she kept her distance from Nico seemed to keep changing and were all fairly silly. I didn't feel connected to the main character at all and never really got a sense of who she was. Such a shame, because I really enjoyed the first book in this series.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Stacyc55
  • 19-12-2016

Doesn't measure up

I LOVED Neanderthal seeks human. The story captivated me and I couldn't get enough. I tried to pike this story and it started off promising. But between the weird Italian accents (one person had Italian heritage but wasn't from there had a bad Italian accent) and the story that took FOREVER to go anywhere after hour three, I stopped listening. I have almost four hours left and I just can't bring myself to finish. Glad I got it on sale.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • bookaddict
  • 07-12-2017

Story was good, but the narrator ruined it!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. This sounded like having Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson read the script from When Harry Met Sally.

Any additional comments?

A few hours into the book, I had to stop listening and I bought the kindle version to finish it. Once I did that, it was pretty enjoyable. As suggested by other readers, there were also some problems with the story. But there were also many laugh out loud moments. This is the third book that I have read/listened to by Penny Ried and I think her books need more editing. They are probably too long and could do with fewer internal dialogues of the characters. However, Friends Without Benefits definitely has many Rom-Com moments that will leave you smiling and liking the characters despite their flaws.

Problems:
1a) This biggest issue was the narrator. It makes NO sense that she uses an Italian accent for the main love interest, Nico, who grew up in Iowa! I know Italians living in Italy who have less of an accent than she gives him. Also, the accent she does use is terrible. I really could not keep listening.
1b) This novel should read in a much more light-hearted tone for big chunks of the book. The main character, Elizabeth, is supposed to be known for her sarcasm and Nico is supposed to be a comedian. Both end up sounding like tragic moody characters in some broody new adult vampire romance. When Amanda Ronconi narrates a book, you hear all the sarcasm and laugh at all the jokes. This sounded like having Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson read the script from When Harry Met Sally.
2) Aside from the narration, it was really hard to buy Nico as a shock comic with the heart of a feminist. I'm not saying that it's not possible, but the writing does not do a good job of convincing you that the underwear model turned raunchy feminist comedian is a thing that could exist in the universe. I think that Ried just used this device as a set up for the big finale of the book, which just ends up feeling kind of false and staged as a result. We get a Nico POV in the epilogue and he does sound more like how his character is described, but I found him to be way less likable in it.
3) There are other issues with the writing. As other reviewers pointed out, toward the end of the book, the characters do dumb things (no spoilers, but trust me). Also, an alert for people who care about authenticity. As someone in healthcare, a lot of the medical stuff sounds weird, it's just not the way people in the medical field talk about things - the patient is getting mysterious infusions that only Elizabeth is can administer. The way her residency rotations work is not right. Most people in the medical field will tell you that no doctor (besides an anesthesiologist) ever administered IV therapy. She also gives the impression that the side character who is an Advance Practice Nurse is doing bedside nursing, which is not how things work. If you are willing to suspend your disbelief about Nico's profession and the stilted medical discussions, the book has some good qualities.

On the plus side:
1) The book has many genuinely funny moments that truly caused me to laugh out loud.
2) If you ignore the fact that Nico makes a living as a raunchy comedian, his devotion to Elizabeth and the way he took care of her after a trauma they experienced in their teens will have you all swoony.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Queen Squared
  • 19-12-2017

Silly Protagonist. Subpar Narration.

This book has potential. The idea behind it was a good one, and I was initially really interested. But the combination of mediocre narration and an idiotic protagonist makes this book difficult to like. Elizabeth is supposed to be a smart, successful doctor. But she's pretty darn stupid when it comes to love....not naive, but stupid...exceptionally so. It's pretty much impossible to have any sympathy for her.

The narration really leaves something to be desired. She kind of sounds like a depressed robot.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-11-2017

One Person's Cup of Tea is My Cup of Bitter Coffee

Another disappointing book from Audible's Romance Package. I chose this from there Sweet level collection and got not romance but a tale lust and spineless immature adults. There was more real sweet romance in The Hunger Games series and admirable characters than in this book. This book should not have been listed as Sweet. Audible fail.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • MABJM
  • 28-01-2015

Disappointing

I was looking forward to this book, since I enjoyed the first book in the series "Neanderthal Seeks Human." However, as much as I liked the characters in the first book, I disliked them in the second. The hero is supposed to be a standup comic, but you wouldn't know without constantly being told how funny he is (he never says anything remotely funny). I wanted to ring the necks of both main characters! As far as the narration, why does a man who grew up in the US have an Italian accent?

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • A. Lewis
  • 15-05-2018

Wasn't feeling it.

I have LOVE all of Penny Reid's stories so far... but this one... The story itself was a okay for the most part however Elizabeth was extremely hard to tolerate. She was all over the place and not in a good way. Nico could have done so much better than Elizabeth, the relationship never came together for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah S.
  • 13-05-2018

Shocking narration

This is one of those 'buyer beware' reviews. Everything is wrong with this narration. From the embarrassingly offensive Italian accents to Elizabeth's constantly defeated voice. The medical professionals are ENTIRELY unbelievable, and Elizabeth's workplace decisions and relations are painfully unprofessional and often very stupid. I just couldn't buy her as an intelligent person at all, and she is supposed to be a doctor at 27. It is hard to understand how this book and recording came to be published.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D2niteowl
  • 11-05-2018

Why the accent

This was a good story with too much back and forth. I wasn't completely immersed in to the story as I was with book 1 with Janey and Quinn. I don't really understand why the narrator gave Nico an Italian accent when he was raised and I think born in Iowa. Seriously IOWA!!! it was a surprise to the heroine that he even knew how to speak Italian he even admitted to taking lessons as an adult to speak it fluently. Elizabeth was annoying but lovable and I just wanted to smack Nico. Toward the end it was a struggle to continue to listen not completely because of the story but mostly due to the narrator. Nico was mean to Elizabeth in the end. I didn't like how she accepted it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mickey
  • 18-04-2018

Ouch!

Ok so the first of the book was promising... then it drug on and on and on......! Come on really there is only so much filler someone can before you just put the book down. I really just let it play and came back and knew I hadn’t missed a thing!
The main character Elizabeth I thought was going to be a good smart because of the previous book, but nope! She’s as as dumb as a box of rocks! And whatever the boyfriend not boyfriends name is really? He is not someone I would I want to even write- if I could write- ok so if you “claim your in love with someone and all of a sudden there thrown into the spot light of the media, you would think the first course of action would be is to contact them no he doesn’t! So he kinda fails the whole book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lovey
  • 23-03-2018

I'm with everyone else...

How could the performance have been better?

I listen to books while I'm locked up in an office pushing paper all day. I thought perhaps I missed something when the narrator had some weak Italian accent for the male character, Nico. This is someone who grew up in Iowa. He's also meant to be a famous comedian yet with this performance he's made to sound like he's some slow Goodfella. It doesn't add up. Whoever gave this direction to the narrator was WAY off. Makes me wonder how much input the author has.While it's annoying, I've kept listening because I have the rest of the series in the cue to listen too.

Any additional comments?

This series is a little juvenile but hey, I'm listening to it at work. If I were reading it I'd probably have stopped after the first book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-04-2017

Read Neanderthal Seeks Human instead

I expected to like this book as much as Neanderthal Seeks Human, sadly I didn't. The two main characters became more and more irritating and annoying as the storyline progressed and some of the plot lines were just ridiculous. By the end I just didn't care.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-02-2017

Get over yourself!

Troubled grief riddled child/adulthood story. The internal dialogue in this story went on and on. I know this is how it can be I real life the negatives on repeat in your mind overruling thoughts and reality but my sympathy waned into irritation.
Loved Nick, what a lovely person it's a shame the humour/charisma he's supposed to have didn't translate to the audio book, frankly nothing he said was either funny or witty...
It was very well narrated. I had an issue with him having an Italian accent having lived all of his life in America??? However, her Italian dialogue was unoffensive to listen to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jen
  • 09-01-2017

laughed out loud a lot

Loved it.
another great book in the series. The girls from the knit group made me laugh out loud again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 07-08-2015

Great hero makes this book worth reading

It’s really hard to write a review of this book because I felt annoyed and frustrated at the h for most of the book, but still could not stop listening!

Firstly, I must make a special mention of the narration. It was brilliant. Perfect. With an Italian H, the narrator had her work cut out for her but she managed to make him sound sooooooo sexy. It was probably her narration that kept me listening where perhaps, if I had been reading myself, I may have thrown my kindle at a wall.

The H was fabulous. For once we have a man who was not afraid to freely admit his feelings. The H admits his love early on which is an unusual plot device which could have backfired, but works well. But the h was truly irritating. The death of both her mother and her first love in her teenage years had really twisted her views on love, romance and her ability to have any sort of meaningful relationship. Which was annoying because she was a competent, fully trained ER Doctor. Although by the end of the book she did finally admit she needed therapy, I though that a woman of her intelligence would have come to this realisation a lot sooner. But of course then we would not have had this book, which was, I suppose, about her coming to terms with her past, and acknowledging both her emotional issues, and her inability to deal with them.

I have to mention the brilliant portrayal of the h’s profession. This was the most realistic writing of a career that I have read for a long time. In this story, as an ER Doctor, the h never took time off, never called in sick, was never late for work and, even the day after being shot at, only missed one shift and went to work later that evening because, as we all know, in the real world, as an ER Doctor in an overworked and understaffed profession, if you don’t go to work, people will suffer. Even at the very end of the book she could not suddenly take time off to fix her love life. It had to fit in with her shifts, and her shifts as an ER Doctor ran through the entire book – as they would in real life. I loved this depiction of the time and devotion that comes with being a Doctor in this field, and her adamant determination to go to work regardless of what else was happening in her life made her a lot easier to like, even when she was annoying me with her emotional constipation!

So, although half way through the book I was thinking this would be my last Penny Reid audiobook, by the end of it I was determined to download the rest of the series. Special mention has to go to the epilogue. It was the first time we had the H’s POV and it gave us a true feeling for the intensity of his emotions.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. S. B. Potter
  • 10-04-2015

2nd book

This is my least favourite of the series. Elizabeth is annoying & you just want to hit her. As a character I found her the hardest to like but saying that it is still a good story. The performance is okay except for the Italian accent which I found irritating. There is a fault on this version which means you get the lift scene then the apartment followed by the lift scene again with more detail. It is freaky but doesn't spoil the story.