Between Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland both writing solo and then teaming up for books, it’s a lot of birthday gifts I get myself each year, and Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward was a most lovely gift.
Rana, our heroine, is kind of drunk one night and contemplating life. She is focusing, in particular, on her childhood friend Landon. She lived in the apartment over his parents’ garage and he was her best friend while she lived there, so she was very sad and is still sad to this day that he didn’t come to see her off when her family was kicked out. So being drunk and melancholy, what else does one do but drunk dial the object of the melancholy.
Much to Rana’s surprise, Landan calls her back when she blasts him and then hangs up. He has a different version of how things went down, but the main thing is he has never forgot her, and, contrary to what she seems to think, his life is NOT a bed of roses. In fact, both their lives have been sad in the intervening years. Very shortly after her family left the apartment, they were living in on Landon’s family’s property, and Rana’s mother left, leaving Rana and her father with each other. Rana’s father goes super strict, and we find out later on in the story that Rana rebelled with some life-changing consequences.
Landon found out he had been adopted when he was only 16, which also led him to make major changes in the direction of his life, with some not-so-positive decisions as well. They both have secrets they want to hide from each other, even more so as the phone calls lead to more phone calls and growing feelings on both sides. They were good friends before and never forgot each other, but now romantic feelings are beginning to grow.
Eventually Rana makes an emergency trip to California where Landon is living, when she thinks he is in danger. When she sees him in person, one of her secrets is apparent as she does not look the same as she did when they were younger. Now it’s time for some of Landon’s secrets to come out. But he’s terrified those secrets will change the path their relationship is headed.
As usual with a Penelope Ward novel, I adore both Rana and Landon – Landon perhaps a tad more. He’s so willing to put his heart on the line for Rana. I love the fact she is still so much in his memory that when she calls and is rather rude to him, he immediately calls her back. I love a story where the hero is one for the hero and Landon has been gone for Rana for years.
There is a poignancy and loneliness that seems to surround Rana for some reason, at least that’s what I felt and I found this quite compelling, It seems to make the HEA even more heartwarming.
I didn’t realize this book was coming out so soon, so it was a most delightful gift. Keep them coming, Ms. Ward. If you write them, I will read them.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.
Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.
I didn’t think he’d call me back.
I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.
Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.
Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.
No excerpt available.