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Publisher Description

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

At first, my neighbor Deacon frustrated me.

Sure, he was great-looking and friendly.

But our walls were thin, and on occasion, he’d bring women to his place and keep me awake while he “entertained” them.

As a single mother to an infant, I didn’t appreciate it.

So, finally it was my turn. 

When my daughter wouldn’t stop wailing one night, Mr. Manwhore came knocking on my door.

Miraculously, at the sound of his voice, Sunny stopped crying. And when he held her…she eventually fell asleep in his arms.

Deacon was rough on the exterior, but apparently on the inside? Mr. Single-and-Ready-to-Mingle was a baby whisperer.

After that night, we became friends.

He’d go for coffee runs. Come over to chat. Normal friend stuff.

But over time, our conversations ran deeper. We got closer.

Until one night we crossed the line.

Our friendship turned into a complicated mess.

I’d gone and fallen for a guy who’d sworn off commitment and kids.

I knew Deacon was starting to care for me too, even though Sunny and I didn’t fit into any plan he’d ever imagined for himself.

He was wrong for me—so wrong that I’d dubbed him the “anti-boyfriend.”

Then why did I wish more than anything that I could be the one woman to change him?

August 31
Penelope Ward Books, Inc.
Penelope Ward Books, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Noah closson ,

The anti boyfriend

The best book I have read in awhile. So much heart and so funny and loving at the same time. Couldn’t stop until I was finished. Loved everything about it. It’s a must read.

A huge Fan,
Michelle in California

thismanmustbestopped ,


I usually love Ward’s books. But the dialogue and the POV inner monologue was just so stilted and unrealistic that it continually pulled me out of the story, and I reluctantly decided to DNF.

For example:
“Thank you for sharing all this with me.” This conversation had changed the way I viewed people with special needs.

I find it pretty implausible that a 29 year old man raised in the Midwest would respond with “Thank you for sharing. Only my friends who have grown up in California and had therapists speak that way.

And it’s certainly plausible that a one-minute conversation or testimonial would *begin* to change the way an individual thinks about a group of people. However, it is a very trite, implausible and reductive “telling not showing” narration for a character to immediately observe that his viewpoint has changed for all individuals with special needs.

Don’t get me started about a text conversation between a 24 year old and a 29 year old that includes:

Deacon: How’s the first day of training?
Carys: It’s going great. I’m so glad I was able to make it. I have a lot to learn. But I’m feeling optimistic that I can handle it.

Sigh. It is very nice to have a plot about a sweet single mother and a hot single guy who’s not an alpha-hole, but this needs a reality check.

Nessa-RJ ,

Very sweet story

I loved the story of this book. It was a great depiction of how we limit our lives based on our own faults. Just the right amount of steamy!!

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