Book Review | Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

Publication Date: April 15, 2018

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

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about 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.

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.

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.

Hello Penelope Douglas, it’s nice to finally read a book by you. 

“Birthday wishes don’t always come true, so I don’t waste a chance when I blow out a candle.”

I loved this book. I really loved this book. I honestly think I loved everything about this book. The story, plot, characters. This book gave me all the feels. Okay, okay, let me compose myself.

I have heard nonstop good things about Penelope Douglas and this book since I love a good forbidden/taboo/age gap romance. So going into this I had some pretty high expectations. Boy, did this book exceed them.

The romance and age difference felt like it was handled on such a different level than other age gap romances that I’ve read. A lot of other books like this kind of force and put it in your face that this is “a forbidden/age gap romance and don’t forget it”, and while at times this book does that too but it doesn’t shove it in your face. It feels more natural. If that makes sense. The romance and attraction between Jordan and Pike blossomed at a perfect pace, I was in love with them from the first chapter and knew that this was going to be one of those books that will end up being an all time favorite read. This book was delicious and I devoured it up as fast as I could. Hands down, one of my favorite reads of the year so far. If you’re looking for a real steamy and emotional read, this is the book to pick up!


About the Author:

Hi! My name is Penelope Douglas, and I write romance. New adult, erotica, a little contemporary… Really whatever is calling me at the moment. I believe a good writer can spin any story in a way with which you’ll connect, and I endeavor to do just that with every book I write. Not many topics are too taboo for me. I love breaking rules, and I love taking myself out of my comfort zone.

Why is that, you ask?

Well, there is a reason for everything.

I could tell you where I was born, how many siblings I have, or which hobbies I enjoy, but none of that really tells you about someone’s life. Experiences do.

As an adolescent, I was quiet, shy, and afraid. No mistakes could be made, because people would hate me or I’d be alone. So rather than run, I walked. Rather than climb, I kept my feet on the ground. And rather than say “yes,” I always said “no.” And as a result, I didn’t live.

And I still felt disposable, fearful, and alone.

What would they say about me when I was gone? Would I have regrets? Every day that I didn’t blaze a trail swallowed me up.

So I decided I wouldn’t be invisible or waste another second. I left home, went to college, and traveled. I took trains from Atsugi to Tokyo all by myself. I jumped Hiji Falls when others joked I wouldn’t do it. (I did it twice.) I climbed Mt. Fuji, and I moved to New Orleans for graduate school without knowing a single person in the city. I did what I dreamed, and I was a lot happier.

I don’t worry so much anymore, and I don’t let others’ opinions hold me back.

Be yourself, and OWN it. You know what that means? Be loud and proud. Nurture who you are and good things will come. Most importantly, your happiness.

Facts about Me:

  1. I love taboo! I love to read it and write it, although I write non-taboo as well. 
  2. Music is my biggest inspiration. My stories all have playlists, and I am influenced more by music that any other form of art or any other authors.
  3. I need time to give you a story. Good books aren’t written fast, and I often recharge with an occasional standalone in the middle of a series. If you have ideas about how long you think a book should take or what a writer’s schedule should be, I wanted to be upfront about that. In the end, you’ll be happier with a good book rather than a fast one.
  4. I really love the rain. Like, really love it. A lot.
  5. I have a BA in Public Administration from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s in Education from Loyola University New Orleans.
  6. I was a teacher for eight years.
  7. I love road trips. It’s one of my favorite things in the world.
  8. My favorite movies are The Karate Kid and Dead Poets’ Society.
  9. My favorite writers are Erin Morgenstern, Stieg Larsson, and Marie Lu.
  10. I really love scary movies! I rewatch the Halloween franchise every year.
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