Author: Penelope Ward

BOOK REVIEWS: Sleighed by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward and The Holiday Trap by Roan Parri

BOOK REVIEWS: Sleighed by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward and The Holiday Trap by Roan ParriSleighed by Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


Get Sleighed
When my ex dumped me right before Christmas, I was left with a luxury, all-expense paid trip for two to Cabo—private jet and all. Somehow, my best friend roped me into giving away the other half of the trip as a contest prize on her podcast. Kelly won the “World’s Worst Dump Story.” She and I didn’t meet until we arrived at the airport, which was when I discovered she was actually a he. Apparently we’d forgotten to include open to women only in the rules. My trip to Cabo started as a disaster, but as time went on Kelly and I grew close. Until someone unexpectedly showed up…

Lights out Love
Cole is utterly annoyed by his neighbor Josie’s obnoxious Christmas display. When she blows out power on the street, he marches over and lets her know what he thinks of the mess she’s made. But when the only generator in town brings the two nemeses together…the Christmas display isn’t the only thing burning bright.

Hot Item
Getting into a fight with a sexy stranger over the last hot toy on the shelf was not the way I intended to spend Christmas Eve. And I certainly didn’t plan on spending hours more trying to win a contest to decide who would get to buy it. But when our time is up, would the toy be the only hot item I wanted to take home?


Sleighed was filled with three short holiday stories that were a quick, fun read!  Here’s my quick thoughts on each story….

Get Sleighed
Rating: 4 stars

We sat there with our battery- operated Santa playing music and sipped our eggnog while munching on cookies. Despite being too hot, this was my favorite Christmas in a very long time.

This was my favorite and I wish it was a full length novel.  It was fun, flirty and made me smile so much!  I adored Kelly, who was a quirky book boyfriend that was impossible not to fall in love with.  He added so much joy.  I loved his dancing Stanta playing music haha.  And the necklace ohhhh so sweet!  This was a cute story and while there was talk of sex, there was no steam on the pages.

Lights Out Love
Rating: 3.5 stars

“Cole here is going to help us lift out those heavy nutcrackers.”
I smirked at him. “Cole? Is that your real name or what old Saint Nick leaves in your stocking because you’re such a scrooge?”

This story dealt with a scroogey man named Cole, who was jaded from  his ex.  And then there was Josie who had all the Christmas joy in the world.  I loved how she started to help Cole find the Christmas spirit.  And his manger scene was absolutely hilarious!  Their story was cheesy, adorable goodness, and will warm your heart!

Hot Item
Rating: 3 stars

Out of the three stories, this one had the best banter that was also so much fun!  This story was about a single mom and a man who brought joy to her family.  Their story is one I felt like could have benefited the most with a longer story.  But it was still heartwarming.



BOOK REVIEWS: Sleighed by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward and The Holiday Trap by Roan ParriThe Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


Greta Russakoff loves her tight-knit family and tiny Maine hometown, but they can't seem to understand what it's like to be a lesbian living in such a small world. When an act of familial meddling goes way too far, she realizes just how desperately she needs space to figure out who she is.

Truman Belvedere's heart is crushed when he learns that his boyfriend has a secret life including a husband and daughter. Reeling, all he wants is a place to lick his wounds far, far away from Louisiana.

Enter a mutual friend with a life-altering idea: swap homes for the holidays. For one perfect month, Greta and Truman will have a chance to experience a whole new world…and maybe fall in love with the partner of their dreams. But all holidays must come to an end, and eventually these two transplants will have to decide whether the love (and found family) they each discovered so far from home is worth fighting for.


I think I need to make a resolution not to read books that have below a 3.6 rating on Goodreads.  I felt like this book dragged on, I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the characters, and I couldn’t ever find it in me to care.

I wasn’t ever a fan of Greta or Carys.  Greta was awkward and as someone who doesn’t mind cussing, here’s a heads up that she cusses and says wow a lot.  I wish I wasn’t listening to the audio format so I could have searched how many wow’s there were in this book lol.  But one of the things I struggled with the most, was I kept wondering what Greta ever saw in Carys.  Yes she was pretty and there was passion between them, but that’s it.  And while Carys could be kind, when she wanted to, she was finicky more times than not.  Her explanations could be seen as condescending and she could be rude without even trying.  Also I have to say that being pressed up to a tomb is not hot imo.  That gave me a huge ick factor.  

We also got a second romance in this book, which was Truman’s story.  And I adored his romance, it was sweet and charming.  When he met Ash, oh my heart it was so adorable and the two of them together balanced each other out so perfectly.  They were kind, thoughtful and truly wanted the best for each other.  But, here’s where the huge but comes in.  Truman did something at the end of the story that is a huge NO in my world.  Stalking is never okay!  Imagine if you did what he did?!  And then for it to be cheered for?  That was not okay.  I lost all the respect and love I had for Truman.

So this Christmas romance story, filled with two love stories, was not a hit for me.  I won’t be reading any more of Roan Parrish’s romance stories.

The Christmas Pact & Scrooged by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

The Christmas Pact & Scrooged by Vi Keeland and Penelope WardThe Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward
Purchase on: Amazon
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From New York Times Bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes a standalone holiday novella.

Eggnog. Check. Roaring fire. Check. Hot romance book. Check!

Riley Kennedy’s emails keep getting crossed with her male colleague, Kennedy Riley. The infuriating man forwards them along with his annoying commentary and unsolicited advice. At least she never has to see him in person, since they work in different locations…until they come face to face at the office holiday party.

As luck would have it, Kennedy turns out to be outrageously handsome…though still a jerk. Yet somehow he’s able to charm her out on the dance floor—and convince her to participate in his crazy scheme: he’ll go home with Riley for a Christmas party and pretend to be her boyfriend, if Riley agrees to be his date to a wedding. It sounds easy enough. Little by little, however, the act they’re putting on starts to feel like so much more than a Christmas pact—and Riley’s about to learn there’s more to Kennedy than she ever imagined.


The Christmas Pact was a fabulous, quick story that was oh so adorable.  With wonderful chemistry, adorable situations and characters that were so much more then meets the eyes, I fell in love with this novella.  If you’re looking for a heartwarming story that also has fake dating in the pages, you definitely need this book in your life!

“My apologies. Let’s start over. I’m Kennedy Riley. Pleasure to meet  you. Um, what’s your name again?”
I glanced over his shoulder  and pretended to wave at someone. “Oh gosh, I see someone I actually  like over there who I need to speak to. I’d say it was lovely meeting  you, but I’m a terrible liar. So instead, I’ll just say Merry Freaking Christmas.”

With similar names, and their work emails keep getting mixed up, there was no way Riley Kennedy could get away from Kennedy Riley.  Especially when Kennedy would forward Riley her emails, while also letting her know all of his thoughts on her life.  Even if they were infuriating to her.  So when their paths crossed in person at a Christmas work party, sparks flew!  And it led them pretending to be each others significant others over the holidays, around each others families.  What started out in jest ended up turning into so much more.

Kennedy looked into my eyes and I couldn’t look away. It was like he was  seeing me for the first time, like he’d finally found the missing piece  of my puzzle and things suddenly made sense.

While I thought Riley needed to live a little and Kennedy needed to pause sometimes, they both exceeded my expectations.  Their back stories, as we got to know them, made them leap off of the pages.  And while I liked them both individually, together they were so much fun.  I loved their antics and make believe around Riley’s family.  I laughed out loud and loved the chemistry between them!  But by the time they got to Kennedy’s family, it felt like there was so much more between them.  Because what happens when fake dating doesn’t start to feel fake anymore?  I’ll say that I got tears in my eyes and loved these characters.  The Christmas Pact ended with a fabulous happily ever after and left a smile on my face.  I’ll definitely be picking up more books from these two authors!

The Christmas Pact & Scrooged by Vi Keeland and Penelope WardScrooged by Penelope Ward, Vi Keeland
Purchase on: Amazon
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New York Times Bestselling Authors, Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward bring you three sexy short stories to heat up your holidays!

Sexy Scrooge

The last thing I needed was to share an Uber with Scrooge—a cocky lawyer on a snowy Christmas Eve. It was bad enough I was on my way to court for the gift of eviction.Although maybe today wouldn’t turn out so bad after all.The Sexy Scrooge and I started to connect as we trudged our way through a storm. Our ride was about to end. But would I ever see him again?

The Merry Mistake

Note to self: Ask Santa for glasses this year. When I accidentally mistook a gorgeous man resting outside my building for a homeless person in need of lunch, we got into it. I’d only been trying to do a good deed around the holidays, but he called me righteous. I called him something far worse. If only I didn’t have to see him again. But fate had other plans.

Kissmas in New York

It was just supposed to be a simple kiss with a stranger. I'd done it to prove a point—that I hadn't lost my sense of adventure. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. Maybe I'd get something in my stocking after all this holiday season...


Sexy Scrooge: 5/5 Stars

Sexy Scrooge was absolutely adorable and lots of fun!  I couldn’t stop smiling and it was a cute story about finding luck and having a little faith.  I easily could have read more!  But as super quick Christmas stories go, this is one of the best!

It just goes to show that with a little luck, fairy tales can come true, despite Ebenezer Scrooge.

The Merry Mistake: 4/5 Stars

The Merry Mistake was a cute story about mistakes and good deeds!  This one had a heartwarming aspect with an ailing father.  And I loved how even though there was a little hate going on between the couple, there was no denying that they definitely wanted each other!  While Piper was a little obnoxious and assumes in the beginning and Mason could be kind of a jerk, we got to see exactly who they were and it made so much sense.  I ended up really liking the both of them and hoping for them to end up together!

She leaned in. “Can I tell you a secret?”
Her breath brushed against my cheek as she said, “I still sort of think you’re an asshole.”
Shaking my head, I laughed. “You’re nothing if not honest, Piper.” I lifted my brow. “And you might be right.”

Kissmass in New York: 3/5 Stars

Kissmass in New York was the possibilities of taking risks and changing your life.  While this was my least favorite of the three stories, it still had a lot of heart.  I just wasn’t as okay with everything ending with a HFN since so much was still left up in the air.

Within seconds, it became demanding as something inexplicable ignited between us. Soon, our tongues were colliding. We might have just met, but this just felt right—like I was made to do this.

If you’re looking for something that’s quick and will give you some romance cheer around the holidays, then definitely give these quick little stories a try!  They all end in happily for nows and I’m glad I picked up this book!

BOOK REVIEW: Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward

BOOK REVIEW: Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland, Penelope WardDirty Letters by Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


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.


What the BLEEP this is so cute *goes and cries and blames it on pregnancy hormones*. I had been in SUCH a reading rut, you guys. I seriously have like five books on my currently reading list on GR right now and I finished this gem IN A DAY. I just have NOT been in the mood to read. I mean, two of those books I even am re-listening to and that takes up way less time and concentration than reading a physical book and I still haven’t even been able to bring myself to play those for more than a few snippets at a time during the day.

When I came across this book last week, I knew I had to read it. I haven’t read a book by these two ladies in a while but I had remembered that the few I had picked up in the past, I had enjoyed. This story line though, was something that really piqued my interest. I myself had a pen pal when I was in high school and on through part of my early college years. I’m going to be straight up with you, I was basically in love with this kid. He was two years older than me and when I met him at fifteen during a church retreat and got into some shenanigans with him, my friend that had been with me, his sister and friends, obviously I was star struck. What fifteen year old isn’t going to dumbstruck by the fact that a SENIOR is handwriting her these fucking letters and making her feel special. Wowwowwow. We had an actual ~thing~ for a few short months when I was 16 and things ended for a few different reasons. We still kept in touch after that though and wrote more letters throughout the years until I started dating my now-husband. I still have all those letters and actually pulled them out today to read. Funny stuff. I REALLY wish I could go back and read some of the crap that I had written. Must have been just hilarious/very awkward. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we had met later when texting was a more prevalent thing but I am SO glad we didn’t. Writing those letters was such a fond memory I will always have and has such a more romantic and exciting feel than lame-ass texting. Kids these days should really take some notes on this, I swear lol.

Anywayyyyy I loved every bit of this book. The letters were obviously one of my favorite parts but there was just so much more. What happened in Luca’s past was…wow holy shit I had not expected that. Seeing that event shaped her life after that too was incredibly interesting to see. You KNOW that people suffer from that same kind of fear and anxiety in everyday life and I can’t even comprehend how crippling that would be (and that’s coming from someone who is from a small town and still lives in a relatively small place with not a lot of crowds). Watching Griffin easily accept those parts of her and do his best to just be there for her despite what his lifestyle is like was just….so good. There was never any unnecessary drama (at least I didn’t think so) which is always one of the top things I look for in a romance and the ending was so sweet I teared up. ALSO, I cackled out loud so many times. Like when Luca and Doc finally make it to Griffin’s and he’s pretending like he doesn’t already know it’s her and has ordered that specific food and is saying all of those leading things. I legit was laughing maniacally. So glad I was home alone hahaha. UGH, perfection…ALL OF IT. This is certainly a book that I will revisit for years to come.

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