Reviews

EXCERPT REVEAL – The Anti-Boyfriend by Penelope Ward

Title: The Anti-Boyfriend
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 31, 2020

Blurb

From New York Times bestselling author
Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.
At first,
my neighbor Deacon frustrated me.
Sure, he
was great-looking and friendly.
But our
walls were thin, and on occasion, he’d bring women to his place and keep me
awake while he “entertained” them.
As a single
mother to an infant, I didn’t appreciate it.
So, finally
it was my turn.
When my
daughter wouldn’t stop wailing one night, Mr. Manwhore came knocking on my
door.

Miraculously,
at the sound of his voice, Sunny stopped crying. And when he held her…she
eventually fell asleep in his arms.
Deacon was
rough on the exterior, but apparently on the inside? Mr.
Single-and-Ready-to-Mingle was a baby whisperer.
After that
night, we became friends.
He’d go for
coffee runs. Come over to chat. Normal friend stuff.
But over
time, our conversations ran deeper. We got closer.
Until one
night we crossed the line.
Our
friendship turned into a complicated mess.
I’d gone
and fallen for a guy who’d sworn off commitment and kids.
I knew
Deacon was starting to care for me too, even though Sunny and I didn’t fit into
any plan he’d ever imagined for himself.
He was
wrong for me—so wrong that I’d dubbed him the “anti-boyfriend.”
Then why
did I wish more than anything that I could be the one woman to change him?

Pre-order Links

Excerpt

Copyright © 2020
By Penelope Ward
Today, just as I got back to my door, Deacon was exiting his apartment.
“Oh, hey, Carys-Like-Paris. How goes it?” He flashed a wide smile.
When people ask me my name, for some stupid reason, I sometimes answer,
“Carys, like Paris,” particularly when I’m nervous. That was the case the first
time I met Deacon.
A whiff of his amazing smell put my body on alert. He looked handsome as
always. Today he wore a camel-colored suede coat with a shearling collar. His
blue eyes, which stood out against his tanned skin, glimmered under the
fluorescent lights overhead, which also brought out the copper tint to his
otherwise medium-brown hair. He was at least six-foot-two—a beanstalk to my
five-foot-four self.
This was my opportunity to bring up last night. But now that he was right
here, towering over me, his musky smell saturating the air, I seemed to have
lost the words. Still, I was determined to speak up now or never.
My heartbeat accelerated. Here
goes.
Still out of breath from my sprint up the stairs, I said, “Well,
honestly, in answer to your question… I’d love to say I’m doing great, but I
had a hard time getting to sleep last night. So, I’ve been better.”
He frowned. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Actually, it’s sort of your fault.”
Deacon’s forehead crinkled. “My fault?”
“Yeah. I don’t know if you realize this, but your bed is right up against
mine, on the opposite side of the wall. Your…interactions…last night woke me up, and I had a hard time getting
back to sleep.”
Boom.
There.
Said it.
Deacon closed his eyes momentarily. “Shit. I’m sorry. I didn’t know you
were right behind me.”
“Yeah. It’s basically like I’m…right there.”
“Well, that was rude of me. I should’ve invited you to join.”
What? It felt
like all my blood rushed to my head.
He held out his palms. “I’m kidding. Bad sense of humor comes out when I
feel awkward, I guess.”
Slipping a piece of my hair behind my ear, I brushed off his comment. “I
know you’re kidding.”
“Totally kidding.” He smiled. “But I’ll try to be more considerate now
that I know you can hear everything. You should’ve said something.”
I tilted my head. “How exactly would that have worked? Barging in on two
naked people? That’s why I’m saying something now.”
“Solid point. But I take it last night wasn’t the first time you
overheard things?”
I looked down at my feet. “No, it wasn’t.”
“You could’ve banged on the wall or something.”
“I’m not one to rudely interrupt someone’s…personal happenings. I just
wanted you to be aware of the situation. We don’t need to discuss it further.”
“Maybe we should come up with a code.”
“What do you mean?”
“Like, If I’m disturbing your peace, you play a song and crank it up to
send me a message.” He snapped his fingers. “Something ironic like ‘The Sounds
of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel.”
“Can’t exactly crank up a song when a baby is sleeping.”
His smile faded. “See? That goes to show you how clueless I am. Clueless
and so sorry, Carys. Truly. I’ll try not to let it happen again.”
“It better not, fuckboy!” a voice shouted from behind one of the
apartment doors.
Deacon and I turned around in unison. I noticed Mrs. Winsbanger’s door
move across the hall. The old lady must have been listening in. She lived
alone, and I often spotted her peeking out her door, spying on people.
Deacon grimaced. “Mrs. Winsbanger loves me.”
“Apparently I’m not the only one who overheard things last night,” I
said.
His face turned red. His embarrassment was a bit surprising. I’d expected
him to be more cocky.
“I’ll move my bed to the other side of the room. That should help.”
“Well, that would be nice, if it’s not too much trouble.”
“It’s not.”
Happy to have the conversation over with, I let out a long breath. “Okay,
well, I’ll let you get going.”
He didn’t budge and seemed to be examining my face. “You okay?”
“Yeah. Why?”
“You seem frazzled.”
Well, yeah. I didn’t
get good sleep, I’m trying to get things done in possibly the only hour of the
day I have free, and we just had the most awkward conversation EVER.
“This is just me—my life. I have what could be barely more than an hour
to eat my lunch and have some quiet time before my daughter wakes up from her
nap.”
“Ah.” He scratched his chin. “How old is she now?”
“Six months.”
Deacon knew I was a single mom. He’d run into me one day and helped me
bring groceries in while I tried to juggle Sunny and her stroller.
I was just about to head back inside my apartment when his voice stopped
me.
“Do you need anything?”
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