Just Like That by Nicola Rendell Review

Nicola Rendell - Just Like That - cover image

5 Smooches!

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“I bet I can untangle you.”

At an airport baggage claim, Penny Darling looks up from her knotted mess of ear buds to find the sexiest hunk of man she’s ever seen. He’s got a military haircut, a scar through his eyebrow, and he’s rocking a pastel pink dress shirt like only a real man can. But Penny is on a man-free diet so she leaves the airport without succumbing to his delicious double-entendres…or his dreamy dimples.

PI Russ Macklin can’t take his eyes off Penny. As she sashays out of the airport with hips swaying and curls bouncing, he suspects they may share more than just sweltering chemistry. That suitcase she’s rolling along behind her? It looks a lot like his.

Because it is.

When he tracks her down, he holds her bag hostage in exchange for a date. Their night begins with margaritas and ends in urgent care, and Russ proves that Cosmo’s theory about a very particular type of orgasm was oh-so-wrong.

In Penny, Russ finds a small-town sweetheart with a very naughty side. For the first time ever, he’s thinking about picket fences. Penny finds in Russ a loving, caring man who understands the power of massaging showerheads.

But Russ is only in Port Flamingo for a week. They agree it’ll be a fling and nothing more. Because really, they can’t fall ass-over-teakettle in love just like that…

Can they?
Dual POV. No cheating.
Featuring a big drooly dog named Guppy.


This was my second time reading Nicola Rendell’s work, and it was the second time she has blown me away with a fabulous story. Just Like That was ripe with humor, thick with romance and bubbling over with heat. Before I was even done with this book, I’d recommended it four times, and I insisted (it may have been a demand, but whatever) that my best friend read it right away.

“Nobody falls in love just like that.”

Essentially this story is built upon a chance encounter and a spark of instant chemistry. Nothing initially comes of that until fate throws Russ and Penny back together, and they fall in love very quickly. But this is not an insta-love story, and that’s no dig at them; I read more than my fair share of those smutty little gems. It’s just that there was an air of realism here in this story that was impossible to ignore. It was in the clever way that Rendell told the story of Russ and Penny’s whirlwind romance that was convincing and plausible.

“Here lies Penelope Darling, who died of a swoon.”

Russ Macklin was so much more than a stereotypical alpha-male. He was confident, dominant and in charge, but he pulled these things off without being cocky, overbearing or bossy. He knew what he liked and wanted but he also considered Penny and her needs and desires into the equation. He was effortlessly romantic with a passionate side that was intense and demanding, and all of that was wrapped up in a sweet, sexy, dirty-talking, pastel-wearing package. Russ is the epitome of book-boyfriend perfection, and he has rightly earned his spot on my all-time, top favorite heroes list.

“God. This man. How I want this man.”

In addition to a stellar love story, Just Like That packs a hearty humorous punch. Rendell’s sparkling wit is smartly delivered, and this is the kind of comedy that would have kept me entertained even without the romance. Penny was a fantastic heroine, and her dog, Guppy, had the potential to steal the show. The story was fun, the town of Port Flamingo was quirky and interesting, and the secondary characters rounded out this story into one that had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

“You know what I fantasized about? What I’ve always been fantasizing about? You.”

Just Like That was a light-hearted, low angst and highly amusing tale centered around an incredibly hot and sexy love story. This was one of those books that I just did not want to end, but I was left swooning, smiling and satisfied when it did. I absolutely adored everything about Nicola Rendell’s Just Like That, and it gets five smooches from me.

~ Danielle Palumbo