Aug 19

The Day He Came Back by Penelope Ward Review


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From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

It was the summer of my life.
I’d met the guy of my dreams.
Unfortunately, he was the son of my uppity employer—and very much off-limits.
But Gavin was a rebel. He knew his mother would disown him if she found out about us; in his eyes, we just had to be careful.
He never treated me as his mother did—like hired help.
Instead, Gavin put me on a pedestal and loved me harder than I’d ever been loved in my life.

What a summer it was.
Until it all ended—badly.

I was never supposed to see Gavin again.
That didn’t stop me from thinking about him every day for ten years.
I knew little about his life now, just that he was an entrepreneur living an ocean away.

When a twist of fate had me working again in the very place our love affair started a decade earlier, I knew it was only a matter of time before I might see him again.
But I wasn’t prepared.
What if he hated me?
What if he loved someone else now?
I wasn’t prepared for all the unknowns.

And most of all, I wasn’t prepared for today to be the day he came back.

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The Day He Came Back is an emotional, angsty second-chance romance from Penelope Ward. Right from the start, Gavin and Raven’s story hooked me in, and I had a hard time putting it down. Packed with the sweet, tender first love feels, the first half of the story is full of all the excitement of young love, genuine connection and new attraction. These two fell fast, hard and deep. But despite all the common ground they found, they came from very different worlds. Raven was the hired help at Gavin’s family’s estate, and his mother makes is crystal clear that Raven has no place in Gavin’s life.

Gavin isn’t only rebelling against the control his mother is attempting to exude over his life, he really cares about Raven, and he’s never felt this way before. They start sneaking around, and their time together only deepens their feelings for each other. Life is often cruel, though, and Raven is forced to make an unimaginable choice that shatters both of their young hearts.

Ten years later Raven is back at Gavin’s family’s estate as his father’s caregiver who is suffering from dementia. A surprise visit brings the biggest surprise of all for both of them. The feelings they both still harbor come roaring back, but there is a lot of hurt, a lot of change and some big secrets to sort through. Ward takes readers through their heartbreak step by step as this couple forgive and heal. The love is still there, though, that’s not going away. Will they grab this chance or let it slip away?

Oh my poor heart! Ward certainly toyed with it in this book as I felt all the feels. From the highs of young first love, to the lows of it being lost and then the hope of it being found, Ward took her readers through the facets of Gavin and Raven’s relationship, then and now. A beautiful, poignant, and romantic love story, The Day He Came Back by Penelope Ward gets five stars from me.

~Danielle Palumbo




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