Nov 05

Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward Review


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I’d never forgotten him—a man I’d yet to meet.

Griffin Quinn was my childhood pen pal, the British boy who couldn’t have been more different from me. Over the years, through hundreds of letters, we became best friends, sharing our deepest, darkest secrets and forming a connection I never thought could break.

Until one day it did.

Then, out of the blue, a new letter arrived. A scathing one—one with eight years of pent-up anger. I had no choice but to finally come clean as to why I stopped writing.

Griffin forgave me, and somehow we were able to rekindle our childhood connection. Only now we were adults, and that connection had grown to a spark. Our letters quickly went from fun to flirty to downright dirty, revealing our wildest fantasies. So it only made sense that we would take our relationship to the next level and see each other in person.

Only Griff didn’t want to meet. He asked that I trust him and said it was for the best. But I wanted more—more Griff, in the flesh—so I took a big chance and went looking for him. People have done crazier things for love.

But what I found could change everything.

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I love the collaborative works of Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. Both authors are absolutely fantastic individually, but their co-written books are outstanding—contemporary romance magic. Undoubtedly born from their years of partnership and friendship, their writing styles blend in a very natural, effortlessly feeling way for the reader, and as a result, their words come together impeccably into the addictive, unputdownable stories that they’re known for penning. This writing duo is exceptional, and I simply can’t get enough of their imaginative storytelling.

Dirty Letters is my (new) favorite from Keeland/Ward. A slow-burn, second-chance romance between two seemingly different people who ultimately want the same thing, Luca and Griffin’s heart-tugging romance pulled me in from page one. This story hit me right in the feels, there were so many emotions pummeling me at every turn. The longing for not only each other, but also for their individual circumstances to be different and to find a way to just make it all work out. This relationship was teeming with love and a fair amount of blind faith. Sometimes, though, love and blind faith might not be enough. Despite their soul-deep connection and the sizzling chemistry flowing between them, this was definitely a square peg-round hole scenario. It was heart-breaking and devastating at times, and I felt their desperation as I wept big, fat tears right along with them. But it’s in those deepest, darkest times when someone has a moment of clarity—an epiphany—where everything just snaps into place, and suddenly, it all becomes unmistakably clear. That is the moment when the will finds the way.

This story was just so rich—both in emotion and love, but also technically in the details, development and plotting. Told from dual points of view, the couple rekindles a youthful friendship and budding teen romance through the same means as they began it—handwritten letters. I adored this element of the story because it gave the hero and heroine both the freedom and the opportunity to be honest, vulnerable and frank with each other in an unusual and rare way. The quirky supporting characters rounded everything out, bringing depth and added detail, and elevating this story from a really great one to something truly special. I loved the entire journey, every single mile of tough terrain and smooth sailing. Griffin and Luca’s love story, with all its many ups and downs and highs and lows, was gorgeous, breathtaking and memorable.

Dirty Letters from Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward is a must-read, not-to-be-missed love story about forgiveness, acceptance and love against all odds. They say what comes easy won’t last long, and what lasts long won’t come easy, and Luca and Griffin’s grandly romantic, hard-fought love story is a perfect example of that. Their story captured my attention and swept me right off my feet as my hopeful heart ached and raced for this couple to get their happily ever after. A top favorite read of 2019, Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward gets five smooches from me!

~Danielle Palumbo





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