The Birthday List
By Devney Perry
Releasing April 3rd, 2018
Happily married to her college sweetheart, Poppy lived a blessed life with the husband of her dreams. Then everything changed. She is no longer a wife. She is no longer the envy of her single friends. Now, people look at her with pity as they whisper a single word behind her back.
Years after her husband’s tragic death, years of pain and sorrow and wishing for the life she’ll never get back, Poppy decides to finish Jamie’s birthday list. She’ll do the things he wanted to most. Because maybe, just maybe, if she can complete his list, she can start to live again.
Poppy expects going through the birthday list will be hard. She expects it to hurt. But what she doesn’t expect is Cole. Could the man who delivered the news of her husband’s death and shattered her heart be the one to help her put it back together again?
In The Birthday List by Devney Perry, after only a year of being married, Poppy lost the love of her life. Now five years later, she's finally starting to heal and decides to complete the items on her late husband's birthday list by the end of the year. However, Poppy never imagined Cole coming back into her life and making everything even better, even though he's also a painful reminder of the past. Will Cole be able to convince Poppy to take a chance on him or does the past have too much of a hold on Poppy for her to ever consider finding happiness with someone else?
What a beautifully-crafted, well-written, highly entertaining read Ms. Perry has delivered in this book that was also emotionally-rousing in the way it had me alternating between crying and smiling from start to finish, as Poppy begins to heal from the loss of her late husband by completing the items on the birthday list he'd started while Cole is determined to do everything he can to help her. The way this story started with the prologue brought tears to my eyes immediately, but it was from the moment the hero and heroine come face-to-face for the first time where things really get interesting, as Poppy and Cole have quite the history. He's a painful reminder of the man the heroine lost, and yet, at the same time he's just what she needs to finally get past the pain and fully heal.
With the dialogue, it was so enthralling that I read this book from start to finish in one sitting. These two face several tough obstacles to be together including the hero's guilt about choices he's made over the years and how one decision had a major impact on the heroine's life, and whether the heroine will ever be able to move on from losing the love of her life to give another man a chance, but I loved how they overcame the obstacles to be together because love and happiness is worth fighting for.
As for the main characters, the heroine was resilient, courageous and I liked how determined she was to complete her late husband's birthday list, even though some of the things on it could either get her in trouble or be too hard to cross off. However, I liked that she didn't give up and that it brought people into her life that she never imagined she'd be able to help. While the hero, he's kind, caring, confident in his career as a cop and I liked how determined he was to win the heroine over, especially since he needs her just as much as she needs him. Since he faces some tough obstacles of his own including needing to find a way to get through to his father about what he wants when it comes to his career as a cop and whether he can forgive himself for the past in the way he turned the heroine's life upside down by a decision he made. Will Cole be able to make things right with the heroine? Will he realize that what happened was not his fault?
Overall, Ms. Perry has delivered one of the best books I've read this year in this story where the chemistry between Cole and Poppy was off-the-charts; the romance was delightful and special, as Poppy is finally ready to let a man in again; the secondary characters had me enjoying this story just as much as the main ones did, especially because of the close relationship Poppy has with her late husband's pop; and the ending had me loving what the heroine does to prove to the hero that she's ready for a future with him. Yet, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up perfectly, as Poppy and Cole have achieved so much happiness together. I would recommend The Birthday List by Devney Perry, if you enjoy the opposites attract trope; the friends to lovers trope; contemporary romances packed full with emotion (all I can say is have some tissues handy); or if you are a fan of the following authors: Melanie Harlow, Corinne Michaels, Karina Halle and Kristen Ashley.
Turning to the door, I smiled, ready to greet my late-evening customer, but faltered as the door closed behind him. Cole Goodman was walking my way. My belly dipped as I took him in. His aviator sunglasses were perched on top of his chocolate-brown hair. A black polo stretched across his broad shoulders and pulled tight across his muscled arms. His pale-blue jeans molded to his Herculean thighs before draping down to his black, square-toed boots. The leather belt on Cole’s trim waist held both a shining badge and a holstered gun.
Cole smiled and locked his light-green eyes on mine as he crossed the room. His straight, white teeth made my breath hitch—something that had happened last night more times than I wanted to admit. Molly, who had turned around from her seat to greet our customer, spun around so her back was to Cole. Her cheeks flushed as she whispered, “Wow.” Wow was right. Cole Goodman was—simply put—gorgeous. He could give a woman a speeding ticket and get a thank-you in return. He inspired women to attempt push-ups in a karate class just for the chance to watch him sweat through his gi. Cole made grown women blush like teenagers and giggle in corners, like those girls at the dojo last night.
Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.