This caught me on the right day, in the right mood, and I was woefully unprepared for how FANTASTIC it was going to be. I’ve been meaning to check out this new-to-me author, and this seemed like the perfect place to jump in. It’s a spinoff from a series, the start of something new, and the community aspect was pretty stellar. But the incredibly swoonworthy, soft, and strong hero steals the show here – he’s a man who has been slowly courting his girl for the last three years, steadfast and determined to finally make it out of the friend zone. It only takes one trip to her neighborhood to change everything, and I loved how he embraced every moment. It’s not often that I read about a guy who is SO genuinely good; patient, loving, and out to prove that he is worthy of trust. There are tons of heartfelt family moments that made my chest squeeze with emotion, as well as a resilient heroine and a friends to lovers romance that’s tender, angsty, swoony, and HOT all at once. It’s the kind of read that kept me on my toes, and it felt wholly unique. And wholly engaging. I devoured it in one sitting, and I am eager for more love stories revolving around this tight-knit community – I loved it!
The story follows Penny (42), a single mom of three whose life is overwhelming. Every day is a marathon of cleaning up other people’s messes, and she’s exhausted just trying to make it by. But every Wednesday she has a cup of coffee with Dillon (39), a co-worker who has become a friend. And while Dillon has made his interest clear on several occasions, Penny hasn’t been able to seriously entertain the idea. Dillon has no concept of just how chaotic her life is, and Penny is confident that he would be out the door as soon as he saw her everyday reality. Even a great guy like Dillon has his limits, so Penny has no intention of dragging him into her life… no matter how much she might like to. But when Dillon gives one of Penny’s kids a ride home and ends up stranded there until the snow clears, he sees the chaos in all of its glory. And he doesn’t run.
I love a broody, grumpy hero as much as the next girl, but sometimes it’s exceedingly refreshing to read about a GOOD guy. A warm, friendly, lovable, and endearing man who discovers that he has a protective streak only once he’s found his family. Dillon does everything he can to be a great role model to Penny’s kids, since he knows they haven’t had a lot of that in their lives. The story tackles some heavy topics like an abusive, alcoholic father, and does it in a way that is so mature and uplifting. I had butterflies from all of the sweet, tender moments, but there’s also a spicy, intimate love story at the heart of this as well. There are some fan-worthy moments of heat and sexual tension, and I loved that both characters felt real and authentic. Dillon might’ve been an absolute unicorn of a book boyfriend, but he has his own reasons for being drawn in by Penny’s family. The fact that Dillon knew he needed to work for the privilege of being a part of Penny’s family was pretty phenomenal, honestly. He cherished the opportunity, and didn’t waste it. I loved the found family aspect. This was a richer, more multi-faceted read than I could’ve anticipated, and I truly did love the whole thing.
My name is Penny Mulligan and my life is a mess.
After a disastrous marriage that left me with three perfect, rowdy boys and an ex-husband whose middle name might as well be Trouble, I’ve got more than enough testosterone in my life. I’m absolutely not getting involved with anyone.
Besides, at the end of the day when I collapse into bed, I’m too exhausted to think sexy thoughts. Except maybe about the one man who makes my life just a little easier…Mr. Wednesday, a.k.a. Dillon Henry.
Handsome, charming, thoughtful—the man is fantasy material.
And not just because he brings me my favorite coffee every Wednesday when he meets with my boss.
I’ll be ready to date again…someday…maybe after my boys are in college and I finally have the energy to think about myself. For now, I’m content to stick to my late-night fantasies about a certain coffee-bringing, suit-wearing flirt.
At least, that’s what I tell myself until Dillon Freaking Henry shows up on my doorstep in my hometown, demanding that I let him out of the friend zone.
He’s not intimidated by the fact that I’m a package deal or that my calendar is chaos or that my ex is a monumental pain in the…neck. Nope. Dillon is determined to change my mind.
Part of me almost hopes he can.
About the Author:
Avery Maxwell is an American contemporary romance novelist specializing in emotionally driven characters who bring love, chaos, heat, and a side of angst to every story she writes. She grew up in a tiny Vermont town with one flashing light and four stop signs. If you look closely enough, you can often find similarities between her small hometown and the stories she creates.
Avery now lives in North Carolina with her husband, four mini-humans, and two puppies. She fills her days with carpools and sporting events while using her nights to create stories that are impossible to put down.
When Avery isn’t on mom-duty or busy writing, you can find her at a concert or snuggling on the couch with a glass of wine and her very own Prince Charming.
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This book really was fantastic! Thanks for the review. Would not have known about it otherwise.
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I’m glad you loved it too, it was so good! It’s from Lucy Score’s husband’s publishing company, so I’ve been meaning to check out this author. Definitely gave me Score vibes too, in a way.