The Anti-Boyfriend by Penelope Ward

“Tell me to stay.”
A tear rolled down my cheek as I whispered, “Stay.”

HOLY SQUEEEEEEEE!!!! I just finished reading this GORGEOUS book in one sitting! Honestly, I wasn’t even planning to read a book this afternoon but I had this book on my TBR list and I just decided to read the first few pages to see if it was the right book for my mood-of-the-moment and OHHH MY GOSH I was so hooked from the beginning of this story that I literally kept flipping pages right until the very end of the book!!

You guys!!!!! THE SWOOOON!!!! THE ANGST!!! THE FEELS!!!! This book had it all!

The story is an unexpected friends-to-lovers romance about single mom and her sexy neighbor and I think my favorite thing about this book was that the timeline and pacing felt SO believable!! There was no insta-love, but at the same time I totally FELT their connection and everything about the way their relationship developed and evolved just made so much sense!

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

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?

This book starts off with a misunderstanding. A “wallbanger” style situation where the heroine’s hot neighbor’s nightly antics keeping her from getting any sleep but when she works up the courage to mention it to him, she doesn’t expect him to be so understanding or for a friendship to develop out of that awkward conversation…

“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…”
“Can’t exactly crank up a song when a baby is sleeping.”
His smile fades. “See? That goes to show how clueless I am. Clueless and so sorry… 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…
Deacon grimaced. “Mrs. Winsbanger loves me.”

This book also had just the right amount of angst. It was totally an inevitable will-they-wont-they romantic situation and AHHHHH!!! The payoff was INTENSE! When they finally gave in — OH MY SWOON you guys!!

Oh my F-R-E-A-K-I-N-G swoon!!!!!

He leaned his forehead on mine, his breathing intensified… “Tell me to stay.”
A tear rolled down my cheek as I whispered, “Stay.”

infant, I didn’t appreciate it.Penelope Ward has been a go-to author for me for many years. Many of her books land on my top favorites list. I feel like she has a really great way of telling storie that makes you care deeply for the characters, understand where they’re coming from, and get fully immersed in the story. Her stories often have a great balance of romance and angst and this is definitely one of my new favorite books!

This was exactly the type of sexy, swoony, angsty love story I was searching for! I absolutely loved everything about this book and highly recommend it to all fans of romance!