The Assignment by Penelope Ward is a fun, sexy, emotional ride and I loved every second of it. Aspyn and Troy hated each other in high school. He cheated on her friend and she took joy in getting back at him. Now, years later they are forced to spend time together. Aspyn works at the retirement home where Troy’s grandfather lives and she needs to make sure Troy plays by the rules. She didn’t expect to actually start to like him. Troy isn’t happy about Aspyn having to follow him around, but he loves teasing her. And then he starts to like her and can’t stop thinking about her. She still hates him and it becomes important to him that he changes her mind. They both have a past that keeps getting in the way of their future. Could they actually be falling for each other? Can they recognize their fears before their love story has a changes to really start? Oh boy! I couldn’t love Troy more! Yes, he’s a tad cocky, but he’s so funny and really genuine and doesn’t lie to Aspyn. He’s also stupid hot, thoughtful and endearing. Aspyn is living with her own guilt and demons, but she’s strong, independent and fun when she starts to loosen up. This story is one of my favorites from Penelope! Overall, I laughed out loud, swooned and even cried!
The Assignment is Penelope Ward’s newest addictive standalone. I always know when I open one of her books, I won’t want to put it down. That was one-hundred percent true with Aspyn and Troy’s love story. I was hooked from beginning to end.
Aspyn loved her job as the activities director at Horizons, a care home for seniors. She enjoyed fields trips, singalongs, and art classes. What wasn’t in her job description was babysitting the visitors while they took their family out but that was exactly what she was assigned to do in a rare case. She enjoyed her time with Mr. Serrano, she really did but apparently his grandson had an issue with bringing his grandfather back on time or even signing him out. She should had known this assignment was going to be trouble and when she saw him, she knew she in deep. Troy Serrano. Her nemesis from high school. A boy too handsome for his own good. A boy who broke her best friend’s heart. A boy she tried to poison with a donut their senior year. She was so screwed… because now, he was a man who was too hot for his own good, and too cocky as well.
Troy didn’t expect to see her. The girl who hated him in high school. The girl who keyed his car. She was certainly not a girl anymore. She was a woman who wore Goofy scrubs who made his heart beat faster. She was hot and cold with him during their outings but he lived for her laugh. He wanted to prove to her he wasn’t the same guy from high school. He could be trusted. He wanted her sure but that was more important. She was different. He was only in town for a few months so why not become friends then move on? Nothing to lose, right?
Damn, this book is so fucking good! I do love a good enemies-to-lovers story and this one was more than I expected. I, not only fell in love with Aspyn and Troy but also the supporting characters. They are not just in the background. They are important to the story and made it even better. I laughed so hard, teared up a few times, and definitely swooned and got hot and bothered.
P.S. I feel for Aspyn. We are the same eating lifestyle. Blah…lol.
“I’m old, but I’m not blind, kid. You like staring at her ass more than I like McDonald’s ice cream and Sinatra.”
“I can take whatever you’ve got, Serrano,” she said, her eyes glinting.
“Will you ride me? I ain’t too proud to beg.”
Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling
author of contemporary romance.
in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a
television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son,
and beautiful daughter with autism.
million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author
of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen
languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.
Thick as Thieves, an all-new must-read mm romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Lucy Lennox is available now!
Julian: I’ve been in love with my best friend since forever. Okay, fine. Like, kindergarten. It started out platonic, obviously, but then became… nope. Still platonic. The problem is that Parker Ellis has been straight since forever. And that makes it difficult to convince him the two of us are meant to be together. And now there’s no point. All is lost. He’s gone and gotten engaged to his high-school sweetheart which means I have to grin and bear it while pretending to be the happy, supportive best man while he prepares to commit his life to a woman I can’t even fault. She’s great. We’ve all been friends forever. I know he’ll be happy with Erin, just not… just not as happy as he could be with me.
Parker: I’ll admit. Sometimes I press the easy button. Like when Julian Thick had offered me half his sandwich back in grade school after noticing I didn’t have any food. Or when I’d needed a date to homecoming in tenth grade and Erin told me she was it. Or when I’d used the one thing that came easy to me, skiing, to get my college tuition paid for. Or when Erin had showed back up in my life six months ago and told it was time to marry and start a family… But for the first time in my life I’m facing something that’s not at all easy. It’s my wedding weekend and I’ve just been left at the altar. Not only that, but when my best friend whisks me away to drown my sorrows in a snowy cabin in Aster Valley, I accidentally discover Julian’s been keeping secrets. Big secrets. The kind of secrets that lead to hot experimental kisses in front of a blazing fire, tenative physical exploration in a way I’d never imagined before, and the kind of intimate, true confessions I’d never even dreamed of between me and the one person who’s always been my true home. But after twenty-plus years of thinking of Jules as my friend without benefits, is it truly possible to change who we are to each other? There’s no easy button this time, but I’m willing to do the work. I only wonder if Julian is ready to trust I really mean it.
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Thick as Thieves is the fourth book in the Aster Valley series by Lucy Lennox. I can’t even express how much I love this series and every one is my new favorite. They just keep getting better and better. We have known Julian for a while and oh man, I knew his story was going to be good. He’s been in love with his best friend, who is straight, for most of his life. He’s been his person and he’s about to lose him. Parker wasn’t ready for what happened, but it was for the best. Now he can see what he’s been missing for years. Julian is not only his best friend, who he loves, he’s also the love of his life. But he’s been straight (ish) his whole life. Now he just has to convince Julian that he wants to be with him in every way. Julian can’t believe Parker loves him and wants to be with him. He thinks it’s too big a decision to make on the fly, but he knows Parker and he trusts him. Is it possible for Julian to get everything he’s ever wanted? I love these two so much! They are so funny and serious and silly. The best of friends who become lovers. It was emotional and sexy and so much fun! I was literally laughing out loud for most of the book. I loved seeing all my favorites from Aster Valley and meeting new people. Oh, and the surprise character? I yelled when I heard his name! I can’t wait for his story too!
ExcerptPROLOGUE Julian It wasn’t the first time Parker had snuck into my house in the middle of the night, but it was the worst. He was already crying, and his clothes were covered in dirt. I’d left the bathroom light on by accident, and when the sound of the window woke me up, there was enough light for me to make out the smudges on his sweatshirt and debris in his hair. Parker Ellis was awkward at the age of fourteen—tall and scrawny, all elbows and knees—but he was my awkward. “C’mere,” I croaked, opening the covers so he could get warm. I was still half-asleep. Normally, I would have been annoyed at getting my bed dirty, but I could tell how upset he was. As soon as he dove beneath the covers, I dropped the comforter and pulled him in close. He smelled like the cold night air and the dry leaves he’d probably had to wade through to get to my window. “What happened? What’d they do?” Parker’s parents were assholes. They’d been assholes the entire time I’d known him, but it hadn’t been until the last two years of elementary school that he’d started sneaking over to my house when things got really bad. In the beginning, it had been loud parties lasting late into the night. But then his dad had gotten a job with lots of travel. There was less partying, but there was also more neglect. Parker’s mom had gone out with friends instead of having people over. She’d forget to get groceries or feed him dinner. Once my parents had figured out what was happening, they’d given him an open invitation to come to our house for meals anytime. They also knew he spent the night often, but since they had a “no sleepovers on school nights” policy, they simply looked the other way when he snuck in on a weeknight. This had been going on for years, but lately, it had gotten worse. Now that we were in middle school, his parents felt like Parker was old enough to be left home alone overnight, sometimes for weeks at a time. His mom had gotten jealous of his dad’s travel and had insisted on joining him on his trips, leaving Parker on his own in a big empty house with no food and no one to help him with his homework or take him to and from after-school activities. Watching Parker’s parents treat him like shit was the first time I’d realized even a kid from a family with plenty of money could suffer from hunger and neglect. It wasn’t quite enough for anyone to call Child Protective Services and risk putting him in the system, since he was surrounded by families like ours who would take him in and make sure he had what he needed, but it still sucked. “I hate them,” he growled, snuggling in closer to me for warmth. His skin was cold and prickly with goose bumps. “I hate them so fucking much.” We had an important math test tomorrow, and Parker had been over earlier that afternoon so my sister, Hazel, could help both of us with our review homework. He’d walked home right after dinner the way he usually did when he came home with me after school. “What happened?” I asked again. I rubbed his back through his sweatshirt, trying to help him get warm. Hot tears landed on my neck, and his fingers gripped the thin cotton of my T-shirt. “My key didn’t work. I had to crawl around in the bushes to find that rock thing where we keep a hidden one, but that didn’t work either.” He sniffed and took a breath. “So I waited for Mom to get home, but she never came. And then I walked down to the gas station to use their phone to call her. She said she…” His hand clenched tighter, accidentally catching one of the few hairs on my chest. “She changed the locks because she didn’t trust the house cleaners. But she forgot to tell me, and then… and then she left to go to Chicago with a friend at the last minute. She said not to break a window or I’d have to pay for it. But my English homework is in there, and all my clothes, and…” I was so angry, I wanted to punch something. Parker didn’t have any money. We were fourteen. Every dollar he made trying to mow people’s lawns in summer and shovel snow in winter was spent on buying himself food or other things his parents neglected to provide for him, despite all the money they had. “Did you talk to your dad?” He shook his head. “How can he help? He’s in Florida at a conference. I’m just so embarrassed. I’m sorry for coming over again. I tried to sleep on the chair on the front porch, but it’s too cold without a blanket.” I pulled his face out of my neck and held him by the cheeks. “You listen to me, Parker Ellis,” I hissed. “You never, ever need to sleep outside when I have a warm, safe place for you here. Okay? Don’t you dare think you have to stay there alone when you can stay with me. My parents love you. They wouldn’t want you to stay there by yourself, even if you had a key.” He sniffed again. “Yeah, I know. Okay.” I grumbled about his asshole parents while he nestled back against my shoulder. “I like staying with you,” Parker admitted softly a few minutes later. “Everything’s better when I’m with you.”
Meet Lucy Lennox Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s. She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because she is a sucker for a good story.
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