Book Review: Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

Here’s my take on Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas.

Front Cover - Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas



He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.


I took her in because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.


Jordan had a shitty childhood. Her biological mother left her when she was just a kid,  and her father and stepmother don’t care about anything. The trailer they live in is the worst place in the town. As soon as she is legal enough to leave her house she gets out and starts living with her boyfriend Cole. Things have been going fine until her birthday when Cole managed to get them kicked out of the apartment – leaving them with no place to go. Cole’s father is kind enough to let them stay with him as long as they save money for a new place. Turns out Cole’s dad is none other than the same person Jordan shared her donut while watching a 70’s movie on her birthday. They had no idea who the other person was until Pike took Jordan to the police station to bail his son and her boyfriend. The moment they met they felt a connection. Will they give in to their feelings? Will they end up together? Read the book to know everything.

Coming to the review, the book cover of Birthday Girl is simple yet sexy and matches the theme of the book. I have read a few of Penelope Douglas’ books and as always, the writing is remarkable. The language is fluid to read too. The steamy parts are well written, enough to make you feel warm.

The female protagonist is independent, mature, and witty. She knows how to stand her ground and keep her head high. She doesn’t take any BS from anyone and especially from Pike.

Pike is a teenage dad. He had Cole when he was 19 and that changed his life. After his son was born, Pike’s only aim is to make his son’s life better.

He is hot and handsome. He is the very thing a girl looks for.

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

The character development is subtle but enjoyable. Pike’s character development is done the most in the book. He goes from obnoxious jerk to a wonderful boyfriend and supportive father.

Birthday Girl deals with age-gap romance beautifully. The theme is taboo but the book is not that much taboo; in fact, it is very much romance personified. Not for once did I feel awkward while reading the story. And when Pike calls Jordan baby I fell a little more for the book. I know the baby factor is normal but it is something when Pike calls Jordan baby. The sexual tension in Birthday Girl will make you keep turning pages.

The epilogue just adds more charm to the book.

Jordan is not the typical 19-year-old girl therefore she doesn’t fall for a typical 19-year-old boy but goes and falls in love with her boyfriend’s father. One of the best taboo romance novels so far.

I would like to give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

SPOILER ALERT! I didn’t like how they did Cole dirty so that Jordan and Pike can be together. If Cole was Jordan’s best friend before her boyfriend he would not do certain things that he did in the book. Definitely not spend time with Jordan’s abusive ex-boyfriend. From the start, it is clear that Jordan and Pike were the end game as Cole has little to no involvement in the book. He is a character with great potential but all went to waste. Pike is sometimes too obnoxious, rude, and judgemental. In some scenes of Birthday Girl, the way he talks to Jordan is downright insulting. Some things could have been done better but overall I enjoyed the book.


If you love anyone of the tropes – age-gap, forbidden, and taboo romance then you will enjoy this book. If you love a female protagonist who is mature and independent, you will like this book. If you are a fan of smut and steamy romance, you should read Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas. The book is a slow burn but I enjoyed every second of it (more than I thought I will enjoy it). It is one of the best Penelope Douglas books I have read so far.

Ending the review with my favorite line from the book.

“Birthday wishes don’t always come true, so I don’t waste a chance when I blow out a candle.”

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