REVIEW: Moody by Penelope Ward


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

The day I showed up to Dax Moody’s sprawling home, I had no idea what was coming.

As a traveling massage therapist, I was used to entering the houses of strangers.

But this assignment was different from any before it.

From the outside, I’d correctly assumed the owner was rich. What I didn’t realize was that he would be younger than I’d imagined, single, stunningly gorgeous, and mysterious.

Despite the fact that Dax had booked a massage, it never actually happened, since our first appointment was unexpectedly cut short by a comedy of errors.

Certain I’d never see him again after that day, I’d done nothing but think about the captivating man.

To my surprise, he called a second time. That appointment, we talked a lot, developing a stronger connection. But once again, there was no actual massage.

The man I now affectionately called “Moody” kept calling me to come back.

It took three times before I finally gave him the massage he’d ordered. Let’s just say it was challenging to keep things professional. I was extremely attracted to Dax, and by that time, I was falling hard.

Eventually, I’d find out why he’d been so aloof, the reason why he and I could never be together.

Our story was supposed to end there, but it didn’t.

Instead, I was left perpetually longing for a forbidden man.

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When I pick up any Penelope Ward romance, I am fully prepared for my heart to ache and then break before Ward ever so slowly picks up the shattered pieces and puts them back together. I know this will happen going into her books, but what I don’t know is precisely how Penelope will deliver that damage. This time, Ward did it via an angsty, emotional, forbidden friends-to-lovers romance that was full of longing, lust and love, giving it an addictive second-chance feel. I had a hard time putting this one down, and I hung on every twist, turn, and tumultuous emotion Ward dealt.

Dax Moody was a little mercurial, a bit broody, and precisely what his last named proclaimed him to be. Wren was kind and smart and every bit the ray of sunshine that this man needed in his life. From their first meeting, the attraction between Dax and Wren was palpable, and they connected on so many levels. The problem was that his reason for denying any sort of romantic connection was kind of a legitimate one. The twist here was definitely a heartstring puller, and Ward built on it with the one-two punches of long separation and new relationships. The thing is that the explosive chemistry and genuine connection that Dax and Wren shared were of the once-in-a-lifetime variety and not easily walked away from or buried. There just was no pretending that these feelings didn’t exist for either of them.

Moody by Penelope Ward was an absolutely captivating combination of tension and turmoil, heat and heart and full of the all-consuming, will-they or won’t-they, push and pull of a complicated, complex love connection. A slow-burning, friends-to-lovers, forbidden romance, Dax and Wren’s love story was one of struggle, sacrifice and then finally, sweet surrender. Five smooches from me for Moody by Penelope Ward!

~Danielle Palumbo




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