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?
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
Loved it and hated it …spoilers below
I love PW books. This is my fourth and I do love them all. However the last two books I’ve read has me hating the male protagonist at times. I loved Carys, she’s strong and independent. Deacon however I loved and hated at the same time. I’m glad when he came back after leaving Carys, she made him earn her trust and Sunny seemed to snuff him off. I understand the trauma he went through. I too went through a similar situation. Loosing a baby after a car accident. However him just leaving her for 4 months with no contact after telling Carys and Sunny he loved them and playing house with them was lame. Yes his past was very traumatizing, loosing a child is something you never get over, but up and leaving after he caused an accident was selfish and that is not how someone acts when they “love” someone. He redeemed himself at the end but I would have a hard time forgiving that fully if someone did that to me. Only after having a heart to heart with dad made him realise he screwed up. Eye roll. And also imo, them running off to Vegas to get married seemed out of place. I know people do that but what was the rush? They live in NYC but traveled all the way to Vegas to marry. Why? Wouldn’t they want Sunny to be part of their wedding? I feel the author didn’t want to write a wedding scene. Just my thoughts. Loved the book at the end but had to knock off a couple of stars just for some things I didn’t agree with.
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.
“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.