Monday, February 24, 2020

Review: Just One Year by Penelope Ward

The beginning of my sophomore year in college was off to a rough start.
On the first day of orientation, I had an altercation with an infuriating British dude in a campus bathroom.
(The ladies’ room was out of order. So, I used the men’s room. Don’t judge.)
I got home later that night and realized that the foreign student we were expecting to rent a room in my parents’ house was allergic to our cat.
So, the spare room went to someone else: Caleb—the British guy from the men’s room.
And so it began…my love-hate story with Caleb Yates. Or was it hate-love in that order?

The guy knew how to push every one of my buttons.
Sometimes I’d email him to express my aggravation and disdain.
He’d actually rewrite my own words and send them back to me.
That was the type of infuriating person Caleb was.
So frustrating.
Sometimes incredibly funny and endearingly sweet.
And hot.

He eventually grew on me, and Caleb soon became one of my best friends that year.
Too bad he was headed back to England soon, so nothing could happen between us—for so many reasons.
I definitely couldn't fall in love with him, especially since all we had was just one year.

4 stars
Review by Lisa Kane

Sometimes I need a romance where the characters are not fully adult, but not teenagers. Teagan is an introvert, keeping to herself even while living with her dad, stepmom and half sister. But she's always felt like the outsider, never quite part of the family. Her stepmother, Maura, has a tendency to host students to live in their rambling, very large house. At the last minute, the Chinese exchange student scheduled to live with them for the next year, is out due to his allergy to the family cat and is replaced by Caleb, a hot British student.

Caleb and Teagan's first encounter really stinks. (in more ways than one!) When they meet again, Teagan's guard is up and she's rather chilly in her reception of Caleb. Eventually the two find they have things in common. (one being a love for S'mores-who doesn't love the gooey sweet treat?)

But Caleb is close mouthed about his private life. It's obvious he has a less than ideal personal life, but what else is he hiding? Now this is Penelope Ward so expect some heart shattering. Especially when it seems that things may be getting serious with these two. Hear that sound? That's the plop of the other shoe dropping.

I wouldn't say Just One Year is dripping with angst. There's enough to make you catch your breath a few times, but not enough to throw your Kindle.

The story develops at a nice, even pace. There are just the right amount of secondary characters to add some color to the canvas, but not too many that things become a blur. Having both POV's keeps things interesting and their dual thoughts fill in the blanks. Just when I would be wondering what the motivation was for a particular action, the next chapter would be written from that character's POV. I might not always have agreed with their actions, but at the very least, I understood why they took the actions they did.

I wouldn't mind a future book featuring either Shelley or another female youngster (no spoilers here!) I think it would be fun to catch up with all the characters and these two are a hoot!

Apple Books
Google Play

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up 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.
With over two 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.

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The Day He Came Back:
When August Ends:
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Love Online:
Gentleman Nine:
Drunk Dial:
Mack Daddy:
Stepbrother Dearest:
Neighbor Dearest:
Jaded and Tyed (A novelette):
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Jake Undone (Jake #1):
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My Skylar:
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Rebel Heir (Rush, Book 1):
Rebel Heart (Rush, Book 2):
Cocky Bastard:
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British Bedmate:
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