Whenever I hear someone say, “Forbidden romance novel,” my ears perk up and I am immediately in search mode for any and all information about the book in question. It was as if Birthday Girl was calling my name, taunting me with all of its potential for a butterfly-inducing angst fest.
Birthday Girl had me right from the beginning. I was pulled into the story from the first moment that Jordan and Pike met. He ended up being a kind, friendly diversion to an otherwise disappointing night for Jordan. Their meeting was completely innocent, but their connection and spark was undeniable. Too bad Jordan was already in a relationship, and even worse that Pike was her boyfriend’s father. I could feel my own cheeks heat up when they discovered that little nugget of news. Awkward.
It was impossible not to feel for Jordan. She was a young woman who had dreams and goals and plenty of ambition, but she was down on her luck, taken for granted by her boyfriend, and in need of money and a place to stay. When Pike offers Cole and Jordan a room in his house, the only thing he’s expecting in return is a helping hand with the daily chores, and the possibility of repairing his strained, tenuous relationship with Cole. Pike ends up getting a bit more than he bargained for with his new housemates. Jordan is pulling her weight and Cole's in the chore department, but her presence in his house has made him feel things for her that he knows he shouldn’t. Her company has made his house feel like more of a home than it ever has, and he finds himself looking forward to coming home and finding her there. Uh oh!
While Birthday Girl does have angst and some gut-wrenching emotion, Pike and Jordan’s relationship was a slow burn. Despite their immediate attraction, they developed a friendship. They simply filled a void in each other’s life. They were well aware of the nature of their relationship, their age difference, and the repercussions that could come if they let their relationship go any further, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Penelope Douglas made me want it for them, too!
Birthday Girl was addictive, tension-filled, and a guilty little pleasure that I enjoyed from beginning to end.