Happily married to her college sweetheart, Poppy lived a blessed life with the husband of her dreams. Then everything changed. She is no longer a wife. She is no longer the envy of her single friends. Now, people look at her with pity as they whisper a single word behind her back.
Years after her husband’s tragic death, years of pain and sorrow and wishing for the life she’ll never get back, Poppy decides to finish Jamie’s birthday list. She’ll do the things he wanted to most. Because maybe, just maybe, if she can complete his list, she can start to live again.
Poppy expects going through the birthday list will be hard. She expects it to hurt. But what she doesn’t expect is Cole. Could the man who delivered the news of her husband’s death and shattered her heart be the one to help her put it back together again?
Turning to the door, I smiled, ready to greet my late-evening customer, but faltered as the door closed behind him.
Cole Goodman was walking my way.
My belly dipped as I took him in. His aviator sunglasses were perched on top of his chocolate-brown hair. A black polo stretched across his broad shoulders and pulled tight across his muscled arms. His pale-blue jeans molded to his Herculean thighs before draping down to his black, square-toed boots. The leather belt on Cole’s trim waist held both a shining badge and a holstered gun.
Cole smiled and locked his light-green eyes on mine as he crossed the room.
His straight, white teeth made my breath hitch—something that had happened last night more times than I wanted to admit.
Molly, who had turned around from her seat to greet our customer, spun around so her back was to Cole. Her cheeks flushed as she whispered, “Wow.”
Wow was right.
Cole Goodman was—simply put—gorgeous.
He could give a woman a speeding ticket and get a thank-you in return. He inspired women to attempt push-ups in a karate class just for the chance to watch him sweat through his gi. Cole made grown women blush like teenagers and giggle in corners, like those girls at the dojo last night.
I’ve been hearing fantastic things about Devney Perry for a while now, and I’ve been anxious to give one of her books a try. When I was given the chance to read and review The Birthday List, I didn’t hesitate and as predicted, this book was everything.
I was already tore up and crying as I finished the prologue, and I knew that by the time I was finished, my heart would be crushed. We’re first introduced to Poppy Maysen and her husband Jamie, right before their one year wedding anniversary. Before they are able to celebrate, Jamie is killed and Poppy is left a widow. The bulk of the story takes place five years after Jamie’s death. Poppy has been going through the motions of life, but hasn’t really been living. The reappearance of Cole, the officer who stayed with her the night of Jamies’s death has awoken something inside her, and it might just help her to heal.
I think one of Devney Perry’s greatest strengths is her character development and writing. Poppy is strong, resilient, and despite all odds being stacked against her, a fighter. Her character is completely flushed out, and never once did I question if her motives and actions were true to character. Poppy’s character pulled me into the story and found her way into my soul. I adored her, and admired her for all she had faced in her young life.
Cole and Poppy’s story is a story of forgiveness and growth. I loved Cole for his patience, strength, and determination. His love and carefulness with and for Poppy was heartbreaking and encouraging that love truly can conquer all.
This Birthday List is already on my list of top reads for the year, and I cannot wait to go back and see what other gems Devney has for me to read!
Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.
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