| **Rambling stream of consciousness ahead**
Well, here we are. Another book review that physically pains me to write. I LOVE Penelope Douglas, and I wanted to love this book. I wanted to love this book SO HARD. When I first read this blurb, I felt like Penelope sat down at her desk, cracked her knuckles, and said, “Self? What kind of book does Mo want me to write? How do I check alllll of her boxes?”
And BOOM. Birthday Girl was born. Unfortunately, there were complications in the delivery room. Because your girl did not love this one. And I’m so sad about that. I have loved pretty much everything I’ve read from Penelope thus far, but this book just really missed the mark for me.
The writing is much weaker than I’m used to from Penelope. Editing errors, inconsistencies, and underdeveloped characters kept pulling me out of the story. I felt myself itching to make notes on this one. So.many.notes.
There was also waaaaayyyy too much WTF-ery for my liking. These characters had more mood swings than an undercaffienated menopausal woman. AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THE DAMN DESK. WHHHHHYYYYYYY? WHAT is sexy about that?!?!?!?!?!
I felt like some characters and scenes were there specifically to advance a certain plot point, not because they were developed naturally or central to the story. Like, “well, X needs to happen, so I’ll place Y here to force it all to make sense.” You know the story you’ve heard about parents whose baby who needs a new kidney, so they purposely have another baby so they can get a kidney from him? That’s what this felt like.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some parts that I really enjoyed. I LOVED how Pike & Jordan wanted to take care of each other. I love me a protective man, and Pike was definitely that. Points for Pike. And the last 10-ish percent? Delicious cheesy gooey goodness.
There were definitely some hot scenes that I was TOTALLY here for. I was LIVING for their chemistry at times.
But I wanted to smack people upside the head sometimes, too.
The bones of this story were solid, and if more attention had been paid it, I feel like this is one that could have blown my mind. And I’ll forever be sad that it didn’t.
I will definitely read the next book, however, because I’m still a big fat fan of Penelope Douglas.