REVIEW: The Surrogate by Penelope Ward


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From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward comes a new, STANDALONE novel…


I’m falling for the father of the baby I’m carrying.

The problem is: it’s not my baby.

And the broody widower is not looking for a long-term partner.

As a surrogate, the deal was that I’d only be in England long enough to give birth.

At first, the man seemed as pretentious as his name: Sigmund Benedictus.

He and I butted heads.

Sig challenged my intentions, accused me of just wanting to do this for the money.

Gradually, he learned to trust me.

He even became protective.

Over time, our heated animosity turned into fiery chemistry.

I was falling in love with him.

But my time here had a limit.

I needed to protect my heart from the devastatingly gorgeous older man who’d end up breaking it.


When my in-laws told me they wanted to use my dead wife’s eggs to conceive a grandchild, I wasn’t immediately on board.

They swore that on her deathbed Britney told them it was what she wanted—but only if I fathered the baby. Her parents insisted they would be the ones to raise it.

Against my better judgment, I agreed.

I vowed to keep my heart out of it, though.

I’d continue to pretend it wasn’t happening and live the empty, single life I’d become accustomed to the past five years since Britney died.

And despite the fact that a certain younger American named Abby Knickerbocker had awakened things inside me that I thought were long dead…

I most certainly wouldn’t fall in love with the surrogate.

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Penelope Ward delivered a heartstring-puller in The Surrogate, a slow burn romance between a British widower and the American surrogate carrying his child. A poignant forbidden romance, Ward delicately navigated the complexities of this relationship and tackled the characters’ grief, longing and love with grace and sensitivity.

Ward’s storytelling in The Surrogate was engaging and effortless as she wove together this emotional tale of love, loss and second chances. Between the business side of the surrogacy and the gap in their ages, the two-pronged forbidden aspect of Sig and Abby’s relationship added an extra layer of tension that drew me right into their love story and kept me in devour mode, furiously tapping my Kindle. The characters were endearing and multi-faceted, coming to life on the page through the exploration of their personal hopes, fears and vulnerabilities. The slow burn build-up of their undeniable chemistry and sexual tension kept me on the edge of my seat wondering will they or won’t they. (Spoiler alert: they will.)

The Surrogate by Penelope Ward was a beautifully crafted forbidden romance. The evolution of the relationship between the British widower and the young American surrogate from enemies to friends to lovers was a deeply emotional and completely engrossing example of Penelope’s masterful storytelling. It was impossible not to become emotionally invested in Sig and Abby’s journey, and I found it incredibly difficult to put this one down. A captivating and compelling blend of forbidden romance, slow-burn intensity and the enemies-to-friends-to-lovers trope, The Surrogate is my new favorite from Penelope Ward. Five smooches from me for The Surrogate by Penelope Ward!

~Danielle Palumbo



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