Dating-ish is the second-to-last book in Reid’s Knitting in the City series. It features Marie and brings back a secondary character from Happily Ever Ninja, Fiona’s neighbor Matt. The guy Fiona used to babysit.
Marie is definitely sick of online dating, especially after her latest bad date with a guy named Derek. When she encounters him at her knitting group (he’s there to go running with one of the other men), she discovers his name’s Matt, not Derek. She also learns he’s an academic focusing on creating compassionate AI in the form of a robot. Then he manages to insult her and it looks like it’s impossible they’ll ever connect. But when Marie—a journalist—thinks of a story idea that he can help her with, she effectively forces him to do so.
Thus begins a weird relationship that turns into a kind of weird friendship. Marie’s story idea is a series involving relationship-related robots as well as relationship-related personal services. There are some wild services out there, including cuddling, dry humping, and orgasmic meditation. She and another journalist work on the series, experiencing these services (including escort service but not going as far as prostitution). Meanwhile, she’s also working on the robot stories and getting to know Matt better and better. Eventually, she finds herself totally smitten with him even though he’s told her he isn’t interested. It’s definitely going to be an uphill battle.
The book is full of computer and AI jokes and banter that should make you laugh. Marie and Matt are both complex characters with their own issues to deal with. And the cast of secondary characters, which has grown as the series has progressed, is charming as usual. At the end, we also get a taste and Kat and Dan’s story that book 7 is dedicated to. Overall, Dating-ish is another successful book from Reid that I’m glad I read. Fans of hers will have to read it.