REVIEW: I Could Never by Penelope Ward


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From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward comes a new forbidden, enemies-to-lovers story…

It all started with an unexpected phone call.

Two years after my fiancé passed away in an accident, his father died suddenly, leaving Brad’s adult, special-needs brother with no one to care for him.

The next thing I knew, I was on a cross-country drive to New Hampshire where I’d be moving in to look after Scottie until I could get him into a group home.

The last thing I ever expected?

I wouldn’t be taking care of him alone.

Josh Mathers, my fiance’s best friend—who also happened to be my sworn enemy—insisted he was the better person for the job. He told me to go back to California, and I told him where he could stick that demand.

Our disdain for each other wasn’t anything new. It dated back to a text I’d accidentally read years ago.

We hated each other. But we both loved Scottie, so neither of us budged.

Now we were living together in a tiny house—with one available bedroom. Thank goodness it was only temporary.

Over time, I realized the broody jerk I thought I knew was different than I’d imagined.

I found myself slowly growing attached to someone I once considered the enemy…and growing attracted to him.

Sure, both of us were guilt-ridden over Brad. We were also two grown people with pent-up frustration toward one another—stuck in a cabin in the woods.

But this was Josh.

I could never.

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I Could Never by Penelope Ward is an exceptional contemporary romance novel that masterfully weaves a complicated enemies-to-lovers romance into a heartwarming and captivating love story. With a seamless blend of emotion, chemistry and character development, Ward delivered a story that me drew me in from the start. Ward’s writing is beautifully evocative, painting vivid scenes that transport me into the characters’ world. The pacing is perfectly balanced and allowed the relationship to develop in a natural and believable way. She incorporated moments of humor and vulnerability with all that emotion, which added layers of authenticity to the characters’ growth and transformation.

Set against a backdrop of shared connections, Penelope Ward introduced readers to new characters who are worlds apart, each harboring their own secrets and motivations. The palpable tension between Josh and Carly created a crackling atmosphere that was electric from the very beginning, and their witty banter and genuine animosity made for a relationship that gradually evolved into something deeper and more meaningful.

With skillful storytelling, well-developed characters and the perfect blend of tension and tenderness, Penelope Ward’s I Could Never was an exceptionally executed and engaging enemies-to-lovers romance. Sizzling chemistry, an addictive storyline, and the slow-burn build-up of the romance made this a page-turning pleasure-to-read. But the emotional depth and authenticity of the characters’ struggles is what truly made their eventual romance all the more rewarding and satisfying. Five smooches from me for I Could Never by Penelope Ward!

~Danielle Palumbo



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