REVIEW: Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas



He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.


I was a little nervous to read this book because it was a forbidden romance with the heroine’s boyfriend’s dad, but I have been on a forbidden romance kick so I had to try it. Plus SO many people told me to read it because they thought it was AMAZING! They were right on the money.

Birthday Girl opens up with Jordan meeting a mysterious, older man at the movie theatre that she shares an inexplicable connection with. Lo and behold he ends up being connected to her in the last way that she expected. Jordan and her boyfriend, Cole, are living together and trying to make ends meet. However, Cole keeps drinking away their money and making bad decisions, which causes them to get evicted from their apartment. This is how they end up living with Cole’s dad (aka mysterious, older man), Pike, for the time being while they get back on their feet. The only thing they have to do in exchange is do come of the cooking and cleaning around the house. Jordan is determined to go above and beyond to make sure they are pulling their weight because she does not want to come off as a freeloader. However, while she is running around like a crazy woman to clean the house on top of work and school, Cole is out more than he is home and won’t pull his own weight. This leaves Pike and Jordan sharing meals, watching movies, and getting to know each other. What’s the worst that can happen?

I really really loved this book. It was a slow burn romance that kept you reading to find out when things would explode. The characters were great and had some fantastic depth to them and the story flowed seamlessly. Cheating is a hard limit for me about 70% of the time, but this was that 30% that I am okay with. Nothing truly happens between the main hero and heroine until after things go south with Cole, which I appreciated. Society likes to tell us what is right and what is wrong. A 19 year age gap where the heroine dated the hero’s son first is one of those things that society is going to look down on no matter how much the couple is in love. I hate that because Jordan and Pike are truly soulmates and they make sense once you get to know them.

Jordan is an extremely strong character who has been constantly disappointed by people her whole life. Her mom, dad, bastard of an ex from high school, Cole…the list goes on and on. She has learned to rely only on herself and just wants to make her own safe home where she can be herself. I greatly admired Jordan’s strength in this book because she knew her own mind. With all of these disappointments, she has had to grow up fast and finds herself miles away from the lives people her age are living. I loved her quirky love of 80s music and cassette tapes, how she faced her fears in a pool, and made sure to make a wish upon every candle that she burned out. She was a beautiful soul who deserved her happiness.

Pike was another amazing character. I can usually tell you if I liked one character more than the other, but I truly loved both of them equally in this book. Pike had to grow up fast when he knocked up his ex when he was 18. No sacrifice was too great to make sure Cole had everything he needed growing up. I was so sad for Pike when Cole started pulling away from him due to the lies his ex told their son. I just wanted to hug Pike because he fully accepted spending the rest of his life alone. He fought like hell to make sure he did not fall for Jordan, but some things are too strong to fight. Pike is a man who will sacrifice his own happiness for those he loves, and he will do anything to make sure Jordan’s dreams come true.

This book had me swooning from the beginning to the end and it was beautiful. Jordan and Pike are definitely one of my new favorite couples. I highly recommend this book to those who love: age gaps, forbidden romance, and extremely strong characters.

Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars!


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