Also by this author: Hate Notes, When August Ends, We Shouldn't
on November 5, 2019
Genres: New Adult
Tropes: Friends to Lovers Format: eARC
Source: Montlake, Netgalley
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
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.
by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland
*stares at the cover*
*eyes glaze over*
That guy on the cover is the hottest thing since Dragon’s Breath pepper. Ahem…
So…DIRTY LETTERS is the new co-authored friends-to-lovers/rockstar romance by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland that I found utterly refreshing. The heroine is agoraphobic, that first reared its ugly head after her best friend died in a fire at a concert. And there, of course, is also survivor’s guilt. When Luca was seven years old she became pen pals with a boy in England. They became best friends and confidantes over the years, their honesty one of the most remarkable features of their friendship. Until the fire.
Luca was in her senior year when she ghosted Griffin. Griffin, now a famous rockstar known as Cole Archer, lets her know how he feels about this in a petty letter eighteen years later. I have to say, I was happy to see how fast Griffin forgave Luca. For a few months these two communicate only by letter and they find back into their easy friendship with the addition of a growing attraction. But Griffin, who has learned the hard way that fame comes at a price, cherishes the fact that Luca doesn’t know who he is.
Money and fame couldn’t buy happiness, and I was starting to think I’d trade thousands of women wearing my face on their chests for one woman resting her face on my chest at night.
I have so much love for all the characters in this book. Griffin was a great guy, an amazing friend and a patient, understanding boyfriend who was totally besotted with his girl, how he held on when things got rough, never letting her down. The way Luca’s debilitating condition was portrayed made her relatable and my heart ached for her because, really, when you can’t go out of the house without fearing a panic attack, how do you deal with rabid fans and press and paps? The despair because you’re trapped in your head…what do you have to offer except your heart?
“It will never be perfect. It will never not be scary. So if you’re waiting for this to not feel terrifying, it never will. There will be hard times. But there will be amazing ones, too. You have to decide whether we’re worth the hardships. In the end, it’s going to come down to one thing: whether love is enough.”
Lastly, there is Doc, Luca’s therapist, who was simply the sweetest. In my mind he looked like Doc Brown from Back to the Future. He is Luca’s rock and I loved how he showed up with a borrowed RV and took his patient on an unforgettable, life-changing road trip.
Dirty Letters packs a good portion of steam and a mountain of emotions and a lot of material to think about. I love that these two authors always put their own stamp on a story and make it refreshing and original. I enjoyed every minute, every word, every decision these characters made were with the love for the other one in mind and that’s what true romance is. The epilogue was (with a tiny caveat) sweet and I was so happy to see Luca and Griffin getting their well deserved happy ever after. You can’t go wrong picking this up.
“I won’t always be able to give you your light back, because sometimes you need to find that within yourself, but I’ll stand by your side and hold your hand in the dark so things aren’t so scary.”