This is going to be a short review. Full disclosure, I was given this copy by the author knowing full well this trope isn’t my favorite at all but she did still and asked me to look over some things.
Anyway, this book got the forbidden part right. To me, when the book says it’s a forbidden romance, I always look for characters who struggle or fight against the attraction or the feelings because of how wrong it is. Oftentimes, forbidden just means titillation. That’s not how this book is. Birthday Girl has emotional stakes and character development. And that is all I ever wanted.
Another stand out for me is Pike. Penelope Douglas is usually known for writing assholish, dickish heroes and Pike is none of that. He’s actually…dare I say it, sweet and considerate. Most of all, he’s not a boy. He’s a man. He already has stability in life and doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone and that shines through Pen’s writing. Jordan is more of the quintessential Douglas heroine. Mature beyond her years and capable.
Overall, i really enjoyed this book a lot.