Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Release Blitz: The Crush by Penelope Ward

Title: The Crush
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2021


From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone, second-chance story of forbidden love… 

It’s natural to want the one you can’t have. And for as long as I could remember, I’d secretly wanted my brother’s best friend, Jace. 

He was six years older and always treated me like the sister he never had. 

Fast forward a decade. 

We were all in our twenties now. Jace had moved in with my brother, Nathan, and me to help us make ends meet after our parents died. 

It was just the three of us—an odd family dynamic. 

Living under our roof, Jace was as bossy and protective as ever. 

But he certainly didn’t look at me like a sister anymore. That was what made things so complicated. 

I was pretty much hot and bothered twenty-four-seven. 

And he was torn. 

The signs were subtle, at first. Like on movie night, I’d casually rest my leg against his, and he wouldn’t exactly shift away. 

Still, I assumed he would never…go there. 

Nathan would kill us. 

The knowledge of that wasn’t enough to stop the inevitable, though. 

Eventually our slow burn exploded. 

But more than the physical attraction, we’d developed a strong connection. 

We just couldn’t get caught, right? 

That sounded simple. 

Until it wasn’t. 

This is a story of forbidden love, broken trust, and an unexpected second chance.

4 Stars!

Review by Lisa Kane

Farrah Spade lives with her brother Nathan in Palm Creek, Florida. Nathan's best friend, Jace has been the object of Farrah's desires since she was a little kid. He and Nathan are more like brothers than best friends. When Farrah and Nathan's parents are tragically killed, Jace goes away for college. (there's a story there, but I'll let you read all about it yourself)

Absence only made Farrah's heart grow fonder, so when Jace moves back to Florida it's almost impossible for Farrah to stop her crush on him. 

At twenty-seven, Jace was the boy I remembered lusting after, but even bigger and better.

Jace has moved in with Nathan and Farrah to help them out financially. He moved back to Florida to help his dad with his construction business. The six year difference between them doesn't seem so big to Farrah now that she's 21. But Jace has casual girlfriends and Farrah can only sit on the sidelines and eat her heart out. 

But there are subtle changes, weird vibes that Farrah is picking up on. A casual touch between them that seems to linger, Jace's possessiveness when he thinks Farrah is going to meet a date, their legs rubbing against one another while watching TV, even though Jace's girlfriend is in the same room. But is this going anywhere?

Yep, it sure is! One line is crossed and the taboo of giving into the desire for Jace's best friend's little sister is too hard to resist. Nathan is more than a little protective of his relationship with Farrah, with his parents gone, she is his only family. You know it's a matter of time until Jace and Farrah are caught by Nathan. Jace does what he thinks is the right thing, only it's the wrong thing and will affect all their lives. 

Fast forward three years later, Jace's mother has just passed away and he is back in Florida for his father. He has a girlfriend who he has brought back with him. A chance meeting will bring him face to face with Farrah. He hasn't seen her nor Nathan in all that time. Feelings that he pushed way down inside of him, are bubbling up to the surface at seeing her again. 

But some hurts cut deeper than others, and Farrah is on longer the wide eyed, happy go lucky girl she once was, and it's obvious it's because of him. 

"What's done is done. Life goes on. I survived. I've moved on. I don't like being reminded of a time I'd rather forget."


Nathan's life is completely changed and Jace feels like his life is upside down. Farrah is with someone else. Can Jace get back his friendship with Nathan and his relationship with Farrah? 

The Crush is a sweet second chance at love. The story flows from the present to the past and back to the present. It's from both Jace and Farrah's POV's although the three years they were apart are only told by their thoughts, there's no actual accounting for that time. I have to admit, I love angst and I wish this story had a little more roller coaster moments to give my stomach flip flops, but there are some angsty parts, particularly in the past. Nathan is a bit of an ass in the beginning, but you find yourself hoping he will find his own happiness at some point. He's a great big brother and wants the best for Farrah. 

None of the characters is perfect, even the secondary characters are flawed and that makes the story even better. These are people that hurt and bleed and screw up. That colors the blank canvass with a richness that carries the story. Maybe Nathan will get his own story and we can catch up with Farrah and Jace again? 

"Farrah, this didn't turn out anything like it was supposed to, but honestly, has anything we've ever experienced together gone according to plan? That's how we do it."




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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