From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.
Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.
I didn’t think he’d call me back.
I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.
Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.
Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.
A complete STANDALONE.
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‘Maybe it’s not really a mistake if you learn from it.’
Sage advice from a teenage boy who didn’t truly understand how much those words would apply to his future self and to his childhood friend who reconnects with him 13 years later due to a drunken impulse to tell him exactly how she feels about what happened all those years ago.
Rana’s errors and Landon’s misjudgments are central to the people they’ve become, and even though their poor judgments aren’t revealed until further into their story, it’s clear that their guarded secrets are game changers and they’re both too scared of ruining what they’ve been building from Rana’s first drunken phone call.
Rana Saloomi is a very intriguing heroine. It’s evident through Penelope Ward’s portrayal of Rana that there are many layers to her personality; Rana has always had issues with her physical appearance, so much so that she took the steps to make changes to her body, but those alterations don’t necessarily give her the self confidence one would suspect and despite her job as a belly dancer, Rana is so far in her head that she’s afraid to show Landon her body’s transformation.
Rana’s perspective of the man Landon is due to where he currently lives as well as how he grew up in Michigan is definitely based on false impressions and they are drastically different from who Landon has become and how his life has gone since the moment he landed in California. Landon’s scars may not be as visible as Rana’s are, but the way he describes his days as well as the vague comments about things that have happened to him allow readers to understand that he’s every bit as damaged as Rana is, and while the reasons behind their self-destructive behavior differ, the impact those situations have on their psyche as well as their views on love and commitment make fully exposing themselves to each other extremely difficult tasks.
The buildup of Rana and Landon’s relationship is perfectly paced due to the dynamics of their situation. A lot has happened to both of them since they saw each other 13 years ago, so not only do they have to get to know the new versions of one another, but they also have to contend with the fact that they live thousands of miles apart and they don’t even know what the other one looks like because they are no longer the teens they once were.
Rana and Landon’s late night exchanges and the way Landon always asks Rana to tell him something funny slowly rebuild the bond that they shared as teenagers, and while, this time, there are more than friendly feelings involved, the physical as well as the emotionally aspects of their relationship can’t be rushed or else insecurities and fears will doom it before anything real can develop.
‘Show me you.’ That’s exactly what Rana and Landon want from each other, but a selfie isn’t exactly what the only thing they had in mind…although how they physically look is part of the intrigue. There are revelations that need to come out and decisions that need to be made, and when they are, it’s interesting to see exactly where Rana’s one drunk dial leads her and Landon despite the years that have passed, the distance between where one another lives, and the secrets that could cause them to lose each other even though they’ve just reunited.
I truly enjoyed Rana and Landon’s story; their second chance story line is unique because of the way they reconnect and the individual demons that have to be slain before any kind of a real relationship can exist. And let me tell you, Rana and Landon’s secrets are doozies and their fears are warranted when it comes to the fallout that they could bring, but it’s also abundantly clear that what’s between them is worth exposing their truths and dealing with the repercussions together.
Be ready for ALL. THE. FEELS. in DRUNK DIAL. I, for one, wasn’t, which made it an overwhelming story but in all the best possible ways.
4.5 Poison Apples
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list sixteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.
Connect with Penelope Ward
Other standalones from Penelope Ward:
Stuck-Up Suit: (co-written with Vi Keeland)