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Birthday Girl

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2018)

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go. He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about 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. 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.

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.

349 pages, ebook

First published April 15, 2018

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About the author

Penelope Douglas

39 books72.1k followers
Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Their books have been translated into nineteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the stand-alones, Misconduct, Punk 57, Birthday Girl, Credence, and Tryst Six Venom. Please look for The Hellbent Series, coming next.

They live in New England with their husband and daughter.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 22,192 reviews
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
465 reviews1,111 followers
June 12, 2019
I've been putting off this review because quite a few of my friends on here love this! Apologies to those of you who did love this, please don't be offended, different tastes and all that.....
I didn't really like this one that much...not necessarily because of the age gap; my parents have almost 9 years between them, but because of the maturity of the characters, and their suitability for each other. I just didn't find it a believable relationship.
I didn't like Jordan. She was meant to be portrayed as this mature and somewhat perfect girl, but she actually did act her age of 19, and sometimes younger. I found her whiny and annoying, with her tantrums and strops! It was meant to be written that she was mature because of the things she had been through, but it didn't really work. She was an immature girl, who had been through some stuff.

I didn't like the power imbalance here. Jordan was staying rent free in Pike's house. It made me feel uncomfortable, and a bit like he took advantage of her.

Mainly though, I hated the way that they interacted with each other. Pike frequently spoke to Jordan as if she was his teenaged daughter! I got whiplash from going between scenes where he would first lust after her, to then reprimanding her! So creepy.

I guess the sex scenes were hot, except for the loofah scene! I mean I don't know what loofah's you use in the states, but here they are really rough and that shit would chafe! Ouch! Oh and the desk corner scene?!! WTAF?!
I kind of thought it would have more of a love triangle, but Cole was written as a 2D douche, and rarely spent time with Jordan in the book, so it didn't really work like that. I would have personally liked to see Jordan and Cole have some interaction on page after it all came out.

As much, as Jordan annoyed me, she had so far had a shit life, and had been treated like dirt by all of the men in her life, including Pike a few times. I personally think that girl should spend some time on her education, making friends, and to well grow up a little bit, like most 19 year olds.

Final thoughts....this book was too long, it dragged, I didn't connect with either of the characters, and I probably wont remember this book in a few days. I was bored reading this and only finished it because of the many people who loved it.

Profile Image for Christy.
3,912 reviews33k followers
June 28, 2023
5 stars!


Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas blew me away! Once I read the synopsis for this book, I knew it would be one that I would drop everything to read. And I did. I stayed up till 4 am reading this book the night it landed on my kindle. I wanted to slow down and enjoy the story, but I had to know what would happen. I could not put it down. This book was straight up addicting and I loved every minute!

Jordan is a strong and independent woman. She may be only nineteen, but she’s a hard worker and wise beyond her years. Her boyfriend Cole... not so much. He gets them in a bit of a tough spot and they end up moving in with Cole’s father, Pike. Oh Pike… I freaking loved Pike. Everything about him. Pike is 38. He’s a great man and wants to help out his son. The sparks between Pike and Jordan fly, even though neither one wants that. Gah. It’s insane. You just need to read it for yourself to see how this one turns out…
“You’ve always watched me, haven’t you? Always wanted to have your fun with me.” I falter, knowing what she says is true. I’ve wanted her since the first time I saw her. “It’s okay,” she whispers. “I always knew, and I always liked it. Keep watching me, Mr. Lawson.”

I love forbidden romance and taboo love stories. I love when there is a great slow burn and the sexual tension is so freaking high your siting on pins and needles just waiting and waiting for that one moment… I love angst and when two people have undeniable chemistry, even when it’s obvious they shouldn’t. When there is push and pull and you are completely on the edge of your seat. Seriously, there is nothing better. This book had all this and more in spades.

I’ve read a lot of Penelope Douglas books, and I have to say, Birthday Girl is my favorite of hers to date. I gobbled it up, not able to stop reading for a second. It was exhilarating, made me giddy, and was a perfect mix of everything I love in a book. This book is a must read!

Profile Image for Penelope Douglas.
Author 39 books72.1k followers
Shelved as 'finished-writing'
April 18, 2018
🔥NOW LIVE!!🔥 Summer is here early!!

"My boyfriend and I just moved to a new place. But now he's not the man of the house anymore."

FREE with Kindle Unlimited!!
Amazon US---> https://amzn.to/2EQwjKk
Amazon CA---> https://amzn.to/2JQedvr
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Paperback ---> https://amzn.to/2HF5Hia
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*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.3k followers
November 13, 2019
"You ever going to tell me what you wish for?"
"It's bad luck to tell...
But I will say, I always wish for the same thing, and everyday it comes true."

holy mother of sweet sweet taboo. this was so damn excellent.

reading the synopsis (kinky and fucked up) and seeing the author (devour every book she writes) i knew i had to have this. and in true chandler-reading-p-doug fashion, i finished this in a day.

the story follows jordan and her relationship with her bf's dad, pike. it sounds totally ridiculous & i was really thinking that this story would go the way of "falling for my boyfriend's dad" and be ridiculous smut but it actually... wasn't? jordan has had a hard life with virtually no family or friends. all she really wants is a life of her own and someone to be happy with. and pike wants the same thing.

for me, douglas's books work because they focus on themes and stick to them. this book was so refreshingly coherent because you knew that both of the characters wanted the same thing out of life and that the story was going to reach those characters' shared goals. and also, her characters are just so relatable, and human, to me. jordan was sweet but not naive, strong but not a posturing bad ass, and she had REAL dreams. i loved that.

and you're probably wondering "but chandler, is there hot ass elicit sex?" and of course the answer is a resounding: fuck yes.

so if you're into stories with taboo, great plot, and bumping uglies you've got to add this to ur TBR.

edit 4/17: a buddy read with jess
oh P. Doug, you kinky ass bih. I've never been more EXCITED.
Profile Image for Cristiina♡Reads.
576 reviews3,329 followers
November 12, 2018
➳A forbidden fruit, a romance filled with angst, and the struggle of battling your inner thoughts of the forbidden and desires, making your craving enhance more and more for Pike and Jordan...

➳There are truly no other novels that can utterly compare to anything that is by Penelope Douglas. To me, sometimes I find it hard to believe that once I finish a book by Pen I think to myself "let's google, 'books similar to Penelope Douglas'" but nothing ever seems to come up because every search I make, is never appealing to my eye. Penelope is definitely one of a kind, one that never sees to amaze me with her writing and mental state behind her stories. Every word that she expresses is one that touches home-base to my mind because of how exceptional her fictional "worlds" are. Birthday Girl is yet again another of her novels that has brought a new meaning to "forbidden," and has indulged in the aspect of age gap romance novels as well, the one thing that made me crave Pike in such a filthy, dirty, and un-moral way.

➳When it comes down to the romance between Pike and Jordan, there is nothing more appealing then two individuals knowing internally, and battling their inner thoughts about the wrong thing being right, and the right thing being unfulfilling. Obstacles are in the way of them expressing their candid thoughts, but yet again, that is appeal for me since the angst in this novel is one that I was actually able to tolerate and absolutely adored. However, once the tables turn and they stop fighting each other, there is no turning back to craving each other more and more;
"We're victims of circumstance. At least I can feel confident that I would've liked him no matter what. If he were any other guy who came into my bar, sat down, and talked to me, I would've wanted him..."

➳Everything there is to know about Pike is just drool worthy delicious. I have read many romance novels where the male character is older, but nothing utterly compares to Pike and the struggles he has gone through. The emotional aspect of it all is one that has captivated my heart in every essence. No matter what it is, Jordan is also a strong heroine who has proven that anything is possible when working hard for it and having a mindset of determination. As a girly-girl with the love of pink and an admiration for outside landscaping decorations, Pike is an individual with an old soul but a young body. Nothing about her screams "innocent, the girl next door" kind of appeal. She has hooked everyone's mind with her maturity and way of standing up for herself. That's what attracts Pike in every essence, wanting to claim her, put her in her place and making her his;
"I knew the moment his eyes were on me tonight when he walked in and I was at the juke box. I could see him out of the corner of my eye when I walked to the bar, too, and I know that look. Possessive."

➳Overall, everything about this novel is just meant to be read and thoroughly enjoy. If you are an individual with an age gap issue, then skip this book. However, if you are interested I recommend hoping on this bad boy and riding it like there is no tomorrow. One thing is for sure that has me excited for more books by Pen, her surprise reveal of Motel is coming our way, and Danni (the female main character) will definitely have me on the verge of mystery behind her story. Thank you so much to Penelope for sending me a copy of her novel, one in which I am looking forward to re-reading in the future because this girl finds her forbidden fruit something to absolutely cherish.

➳ARC kindly provided by Penelope Douglas, in exchange for an honest review...

NOW LIVE ON AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C7N5CBS/

➳Follow Me On:
Profile Image for Mel.
113 reviews11.9k followers
March 1, 2022
not me actually enjoying this😳
Profile Image for Warda.
1,205 reviews19.7k followers
September 7, 2021
Rating and feelings still stand. This was even better than I remembered it to be and it’s now become one of my all-time favourite romances.

I think Penelope Douglas wrote and told the shit out of something that could’ve been really awkward and uncomfortable, but she made it fuckin’ work.

These two made sense like no other.

For some bizarre reason, I haven’t picked up any Penelope Douglas book since I first read this 2 years ago. I’m worried that no other book of hers will live up to this.

Regardless, I need to fix that little situation.


Original review:

There’s something about forbidden romances/taboo topics that tests and pushes and makes you questions your original stances on it, whatever they may have been, and from whatever preconceived notions they may have originated from.

Birthday Girl was that novel for me. I thought I would be uncomfortable reading it, because really, who would want to get themselves into a predicament where they develop feelings for their boyfriends father? It’s not even something you think about. (I hope…)

I love the way the author dealt with this. It’s a sensitive issue and I felt that it was approached and told in a respectful way.

I fell in love with the main characters. The development of their stories and their characters made sense to their story. I loved the dialogue, their individuality, the tension, the romance, the sex (my goodness!).

I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it and I love that I did.


And the romance adventure continues with my babe! ❤️
Profile Image for Mareeva.
368 reviews5,963 followers
August 20, 2021
*me bypassing all the stars and settling on 2 again*

After continuously hearing my friends gush and preach about the excellence of this book, I've decided to reread and remember why the hell I gave it 2 stars🤡

Upon finishing it I literally have nothing to say except I don't know💀 there was nothing wrong with it, I simply don't like it.


Jordan is a 19 year old broke student with a deadbeat boyfriend named Cole.

One night Cole fails to pick her up from work so she goes to see an 80s movie alone, where she meets Pike - the super hot dilf.

Obviously they connect because Pike is an ancient 80s baby (38) and Jordan is that one mature, different girl because she's obsessed with...you guessed it...the 80s.

She's an old soul🤪
with young eyes👁️👄👁️
and a vintage heart😫

In all seriousness, she did have to grow up young due to some unfortunate life experiences. I just don't understand why all the heroines in age gap romances have to be obsessed with vintage shit. Especially since they act relatively their own age.... Does liking your grandma's sweaters instantly make you seem more mature or am I missing something?

Either way, turns out Pike is Cole's father.

Bummer............or not😏 depends on how you look at it.

Pike offers his son & Jordan his home because Cole, the dumb fucker that he is, trashed their place and got them kicked out.

During that time the unlikely duo forms a bond by acting like a 50s married couple. This basically entails Jordan acting like a middle aged housewife: cooking, cleaning and taking care of the man.....The father being the man, because Cole is god knows where 99% of the time.

Pike of course takes the role of a lusty, chauvinistic, jealous provider. I personally had no problem with that because it was the single interesting aspect of his character.

Long story short they play house, fall in love and live happily ever after in a suburban neighbourhood with a pool.


The only good thing about Birthday Girl is the 19 year age gap. Oh and the fact that she fucked her boyfriend's father. That's all.

Since my input was useless I might as well give out a friendly dose of advice:

If you try really REALLY hard.....you might just not fall asleep while reading this book😀

One of the few times I wasn't yawning was during the sex scenes and when I read this quote:

“She seems nervous around you.”
I chuckle. He could say the same for me if he were looking close enough.
“Well, I can be intimidating,” I joke.
“Yeah, she looked like she wanted to straddle your hard, intimidating cock right there in the bar.” My eyes pop open completely, and I glare over at him. “Are you kidding me? What the fuck?”

While Pike is being a guilt-ridden drama queen in denial, his best friend gave no fucks😂 I appreciated that.

PS: my opinion from 2019 still stands. 50% of this is made up of random little details that still confuse me on their relevance.

1ST READ: 09.2019

2 stars

This was simply way too long for so little plot.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.4k followers
November 15, 2018
Holy mother of smut 😳🤤 this was pretty nasty and I’m About It. My main complaint is that it took forever for them to actually get together but once they did it was on like donkey kong and I was a BIG FAN.
January 9, 2023

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DNF @ 12%

I don't know what it is about this author. I keep forgetting how much I disliked their books until I pick up the next one. The premises always sound amazing and usually the beginnings are fine, but as soon as the love interest appears, the whole story just falls apart and becomes a hot mess.

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't expecting anything highbrow about a smutty erotica novel where the girlfriend of this loser ends up falling for said loser's dad when the loser basically messes up his life and they all have to move in with Loser Sr. Loser Sr. had Loser when he was really young, so even though he's old, he's still hot. That's really important-- he's a Daddy, but a young Daddy.

You know, so it's not gross that he's one of the olds.

Douglas also does something that I only really put together in this book, where all of their characters are into things that Douglas was probably into when they were young (80s movies, 80s and 90s songs), which are things I like, but I'm not a teenager, and it always ends up feeling kind of out of touch. Kids these days are into Zendaya and Tik Tok and Billie Eilish, an artist this "not like other girls" heroine would probably like. Even if she would never admit it until someone pried her air pods out of her cold dead ears.

This was supposed to be a buddy read with my friend, Deidra, but the book was annoying me-- and not in a "so bad it's fun" way, but in an "OMG NOT THIS SHIT AGAIN" sort of way, so I ended up jumping ship at 12% because I'm a bad friend. But life's too short to read bad books.

1 star
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,052 reviews12.2k followers
April 20, 2018

You make my heart pound so hard it hurts, Jordan. You, your mouth, and who you are, it all makes me want to touch you. It makes me not want to stop this.”

When I saw that Penelope Douglas was coming out with a surprise release, I didn't even blink before adding the book. When I read the blurb, I think a small part of me cringed, while a bigger part of it was screaming GIMME!! See, I love a forbidden romance. But there's something about the whole father thing that just gives me the blehs too. It takes an immensely talented author to pull off a story like this without making it torrid, pervy and cringe worthy. Luckily for me, Penelope Douglas is that rare unicorn of authors that can not only pull it off, but make you fall in love with it too.
And that’s what I am. Her boyfriend’s father. Nothing more. But deep in my heart, the small ember growing bigger and bigger every day knows that’s a lie.

Jordan is a heroine that's impossible not to like. Mature beyond her years due to the way she grew up, this is not your typical 19 year old. With a mother that left years ago and a deadbeat trailer trash father, it's been her and her older sister fending for themselves. With an adorable adoration of all things 80s, Jordan was easy to connect with. While her sister has no problem supporting herself and young child by being a stripper, Jordan wants more. Moving in with her boyfriend's father rent free will allow her to save up enough to put herself on her feet and to get that more that she craves. But it also brings a whole lot more complications in the form of an interaction to her boyfriend's young father that seems to only intensify over time.

I think what really made me connect with Jordan is how well Douglas handled this character's development. There's glimpses into a teenage girl; enough to make you remember her age. But at the same time, she's not sheltered and naive. This is a woman that knows what she wants. She's not shy and afraid to go after it. She's solid. She's mature beyond her years. But yet she's still a young woman.

I simply adored the way the romance unraveled and developed between her and Pike. There was something so real and raw about it. It wasn't torrid, even though it was forbidden. You understand their attraction. You believe in it. You yearn for it. The tantalizingly slow build makes it even better.
I know everything we’re doing is wrong, and I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to anyone, but right here—right now—I don’t want to be anywhere else. I wish I could die as happy as I am right now.

Pike is a man that was forced to grow up fast when he became a father at 19. Giving up on his dreams to support his new son was not something he ever gave a second thought about. This is clearly a man that wants a relationship with his son but due to circumstances, it's a struggle. I don't want to give too much away about the dynamics, but trust me when I tell you that you will understand. You'll even root for him.

The romance and age difference is handled with tact and done incredibly well. The situation with the boyfriend is as well. There was simply nothing about this book that I didn't love. This was clearly a book the author wanted to write and was meant to, and it came across vividly clear in the writing. I fell so hard for this story and these characters.

Birthday Girl is a story of forbidden romance, yes. But it's so much more than that, too. It's a story of strength and forgiveness. Of making mistakes and learning how to write them. It was raw, and sexy, and unique. I loved every single page of it and cannot recommend it enough.

ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,222 reviews8,025 followers
April 19, 2018
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MY REVIEW can also be found on my blog:

I'm not even going to write up my review how I normally would, just go in blind, enjoy, love like I did, this surpassed all my expectations, it easily went from a 5 star to jumping onto my favourite shelf of 2018. And that alone should tell you how much I loved this book. Get ready to swoon because swoon you will!! Pike crash landed into my heart the very first chapter and he's still there even after I inhaled that last page. A bittersweet feeling that my time in this book has ended. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!!

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Is it so bad that I didn't even read the synopsis or really take note of the cover, the name of the author was enough to want me chase this book, this book had everything that I love in a book, the angst, the feels, god this author is known to throw us under the bus with her feels and this book rolled over me as it took off, I freaking loved this book. I'm not going to lie this has been done before, older guy, younger female but I don't think I've read the sons girlfriend before so I was a wee bit worried that some sleaze would make it's way under my skin but how far wrong was I..This book was perfection!!

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Profile Image for katie w.
28 reviews2 followers
July 16, 2020
there’s something.... wrong with y’all
Profile Image for ♥️Dev♥️.
311 reviews371 followers
February 15, 2022

5 "Birthday Wishes Sometimes Come True" stars!!!

“Time passes by you like a bullet,” he says, “and fear gives you the excuses you’re craving to not do the things you know you should. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t second-guess, don’t let fear hold you back, don’t be lazy, and don’t base your decisions on how happy it will make others. Just go for it, okay?”

Pike Lawson, a cold middle aged man, a man whose has a hard time trying to mend the broken pieces of him and his son's relationship. Life is not like when he was young, anymore. He is ready to settle down. Get married and have kids even though he feel too old for those things now...He has given up on dreams and is now getting ready for life of solitude...until her. The quirky little girl with the addiction for everything that is pink and belonged to 80s. His little temptress who is supposedly his estranged son's girlfriend. But the attraction between them is hard to ignore. Day by day his obsession for this girl grows as she spend most of the time with him instead of her boyfriend, his son. Suddenly an opportunity to get near to drops on to his lap. His asshole of a son, cheats on her, finally he has his chance to be with her.

Jordan, a woman who has gone through struggles, a mature girl for her age whose also hardworker, trying to find her value. Already escaping from an abusive relationship, she suddenly find herself trapped in another where she is treated as a piece if meat to fuck. She need no fame, no money, no nothing. Just a few innocent dreams like sitting under the stars. But now she has a new dream. A forbidden obsession. With her boyfriend's, no, ex boyfriend's father. Can she finally find her worth in him or will she end up with a broken heart again?

“You look at each other like…”
“Like the two of you have your own language.”

💫💙Wouldn't you like yourself a hot daddy, who would make you beautiful gardens and mow grass shirtless in all his glory, bring you pink frilly cakes with candles for your birthday, will bend you over the desk you and give you a rough punishment, watch you swim, creep into your room and fuck you naughty in the middle of the night, make you dance for him for old 80's songs and will give you hot smooches in the corner of a dark theater? I'm drooling!💫💙

This was my second book of Penelope Douglas, and I adore it just as much as I loved her other book, Bully. She takes "forbidden/taboo" to another level as always! Not cringy, not grossing, just perfection!

This is not a mere story of a hot old guy meet a sweet girl, get horny and fuck her to eternity. Nope. This is a beautiful story of how two struggling people, one still struggling with her past and trying to find her worth, other trying to repair his broken relationship with his son and regretting the choices he made when he was young. The struggle was real! This is probably why Penelope Douglas is one of the best authors I've known. Her character building is amazing!

Love love love Pike. Oh mama! Now that's a drool worthy daddy! And ofc our sassy bitch Jordan have my respect more than any other heroines.
Love how even though they make mistakes, fuck up, they still go through them together, their connection growing stronger. Love seeing Jordan become a smart woman with a backbone and finally find her value. Also love seeing Pike, coming out of his comfort zone and taking risks in life. I mean, what's life without a little risk?

The tension between them, the chemistry was undeniable and unforgettable. It was so beautiful to see two mismatched people with flaws find their forever in each other.Penelope Douglas , you have once again stolen my heart with your swoonworthy stories!!!

“Baby,” he whispers, his hands shaking. “I hope you love me, because I love you like crazy, and I’m going to want you the rest of my life. I tried to stay away, because I thought it was the right thing, but I fucking can’t. I need you, and I love you. This doesn’t happen twice, and I’m not going to be stupid again. I promise.”


-Age Gap
-Ex Boyfriend Father/ Son's Ex Girlfriend
Notes: No cheating, HEA guaranteed!!


Profile Image for mel ☽.
367 reviews8,561 followers
March 24, 2020
reread (2020): 5 stars

— still hate Cole more than i hate Joffrey and Ramsay combined.
— karma is literally the queen here since Jordan dated Cole's dad. best accidental revenge ever.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
original rating (2018):

This book was a page-turner for me! I literally could not stop reading because I was so hooked, even from the beginning. Whenever Penelope Douglas comes out with a new novel, I’m always so excited to read it because she writes such intriguing stories that has steamy as hell sex scenes. Honestly though, like, her steamy scenes are so freaking great. And this book does not disappoint at all.

— The heroine, Jordan (19), loves anything about the 80s. She’s always had an old soul because she is wise beyond her years and she had to grow up pretty early because of her lifestyle when she was young. She’s smart, understanding, and super mature. And I like her but to be honest, she’s not my personal favorite. I’m pretty biased though because I love sarcastic and witty heroines that makes me laugh out loud. Just because that is my personal preference, does not mean that Jordan is a horrible heroine. She’s actually pretty great and I admire her resilience, her perseverance, and her apparent independence.

— The hero, Pike (38), is the father of her "boyfriend", Cole, at the time... damn. The drama though... AWKWARD. Even though he’s quite old (19 years older than her), he is still so hot and has a young soul, but also very mature and responsible. He is kind of perfect, actually. He has the perfect house, the perfect job, and so on. I really like Pike because he’s such a nice guy and he’s pretty sweet as well. I like him better than Cole that's for sure.

Something happened which left Cole and Jordan move into Cole’s father’s home and, well... you can just imagine how this goes. I was so excited when they moved in because draaaaaama. And there is definitely plenty of drama and angst.

The first time Pike and Jordan meet, I definitely feel their connection and from then on, I was already rooting for them! And the sexual tension between the two...? HOT DAMN. It was really great. I have no words to explain how sexy it was, to be honest, haha. And, like, Cole who?

Speaking of Cole... Ok, so I’m going to rant here just a little bit because I have a lot of emotions when it comes to this guy and I need to get it out. So there are some SPOILERS AHEAD...



I’m done with my rant about Cole. As you can see, I love the guy to pieces.

If you love forbidden romance, slow burn romance, FANTASTIC sexual tension, a hero who is quite older and is super mature and charming, STEAMY AS HELL sex scenes, and angst, then this is the perfect book!

I recommend 100%, 10/10
Profile Image for • Jodi Bibliophile •.
311 reviews1,101 followers
March 5, 2021
2nd Re-read - March 2021 - ALL THE FEELS!!!

(Please note that this review contains curse words. If you don't like the F word then please don't read on).

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HOLY SHIT! Someone please come and hold me while I cry! Why does it have to be over??!!

It’s been 2 hours since I finished Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas and I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

Normally when I’ve finished a book I’m so quick to write up a review but with this one I’m lost for words. I feel like I’ve just said goodbye to a loved one and I’m really fucking sad, like really fucking sad, I want to cry. I never wanted to say goodbye to these characters. I was only with them for 2 days and I feel like I’ve known them for ever.

This story is so much more than just a sexy forbidden book, it consumes you and the second you turn that page it’s like your own personal crack: you’re addicted.

Once I started I couldn’t stop. I’m not a fast reader and I don’t read a lot of book as I have to be consumed in order to stick with a book and this one I just couldn’t put down. I feel asleep thinking about it and woke up giddy as fuck because I knew I was about to jump back in to it…and see Pike.

Oh Pike! Pike, Pike, Pike, Pike, Pike!!! Holy fuck that blokes was so fucking DELICIOUS!!! He made me pant with his broody and sexy ways! And the way he was ADDICTED to Jordan, FUCK MY LIFE!! So hot!!!

Jordan, although only 19 was such a strong and wonderful character. I loved her passion for all thing 80’s and how she totally held her own. Her and Pike together was fucking EXPLOSIVE!!

The main thing I love about Penelope Douglas’s book is that she doesn’t just write sex scenes for the sake of it. She doesn’t just write them to fill in the gaps, they are a big part of the story and have a meaning.

Now, I’m a perv and I do loves some sexy time in books but I can just settle for one scene and even sexual tension and still think it’s the hottest shit ever. Too much sex is boring and I end up skipping it but her sex scenes are so passionate and animalistic and SO FUCKING HOT and FILTHY that you feel like you’re the one getting it on.

This book was EVERYTHING and so much more. It gave me butterflies in my tummy and make me swoon.

Perfect slow-burn, perfect sexual tension, perfect characters and just straight up fucking PERFECT all around.

My favourite read of 2018 by far. I want to read it all over again for the first time!

Now, if you’ll excuse me whilst I go back to cry in my misery.

Profile Image for JAN.
1,168 reviews793 followers
December 19, 2018
Oh dear… Let me grab a metal shield!

Commercial Photography

I am so disappointing, people! This is not going to sound nice but it's my most sincere opinion.
Cutting to the chase:

.) The angst factor I was expecting from this was completely missing.
.) At some point I felt it was dragging out as I had a feeling I read this typical story line before, (good girl from trashy caravan park, drunk father and stepmother, striptease job offers, slutty sister and so on).
.) I found the characters development flat and the chemistry between the MCs meh.
.) There were a few eye roll moments culminating in the final scene, when he goes to the motel looking for Jordan. Dear Lord! That was so cheesy!
.) Cole was a douche the whole story until the end when he suddenly had an abrupt change of heart that I didn’t see coming. It felt bizarre. When had he grown up?
.) I never got to understand why a mature girl such as Jordan was putting up with him. That sad little story about the dead friend didn’t work with me, it was not a strong enough reason.

And here is where I make my point about the lack of angst, the kind of angst Penelope Douglas had done in the past in grand style. The boyfriend was a little shit and I couldn’t wait to see Jordan kick his butt. The dad was a very good man. Too good to my shameless taste.
Summing up, it all ended up a bit tasteless, like food with no salt. Commercial Photography

I was expecting Birthday girl to be heavy in the feels but it turned out as just another book I will forget about it in a week.

Profile Image for Yeasmin Alo .
195 reviews292 followers
January 17, 2021
We are already 15 days in of 2021 but I haven’t read any Daddy kink Age gap romance yet
People would think I am cured
But see it is still going


Taboo level is high and I was in a mood for some Taboo..
Before reading this I thought this book would be full of scandals and sultry shits even and I definitely thought the female protagonist will be an irresponsible airheaded idiot to pull off a storyline like this and so I was pretty sure I will happily rate it 3 or even lower than that and move on with my life not to mention my conscience without giving this book a rant filled review

But boy was I wrong!!!!!!

After reading this it's totally the opposite case I am so amazed and in love with the storyline
I always came across of this grumpy, broody older men who happen to be so control freak, yes I am not likely to be indifferent towards them.

But Pike Lawson (H) is League of his own
He is like fresh air in the Age Gap romance genre.
I was taken aback and overwhelmed by him I didn't know what to do with myself.

I was so in love with this man's personality the minute he stared talking and stared doing stuff like putting a little candle on Jordan's donut because it's her birthday, doing dishes while talking on his phone or thinking about AC's temperature if is okay for Jordan(h) these little things tiny gestures always gets me.

He is playful yet vulnerable makes me want to take care of him, give him a massage when he gets off from his work, make him his favourite desserts, drive away his loneliness, do equally thoughtful stuffs he does for Jordan and people around him.
Pike brought out the caregiver nature in me ✨

If I was Jordan...okay Let's pretend I am Jordan so I would be wishing he was 10 years younger or even my age but I am not saying this because his age bothers me, no it absolutely doesn’t!!!
I want this so that I could have more time with him.. suddenly time seems so less, not enough.
I wanna take care of him and let him take care of me without any time limit ✨

The advice, the words of wisdom were so precious. He could be your friend yet he can also be the protective figure, someone you can rely on eyes closed.

Dude their first meeting / introduction is sooooooooooooo dreamy 😭

Jordan(h), my girl, is the perfect blend of Goody two shoes and a badass

Good girl, who loves kink? Stop! We are NOT talking about me..... It's Jordan 👀 stop giving me those suspicious stares

She is strong, independent, natural care giver.I love the way she stood up and she is never shy of her feelings.
Her life is tough but she doesn’t stop fighting.

That’s okay, right? It’s normal to find other people attractive. It happens. I mean, Scarlett Johansson is attractive. That doesn’t mean I’m interested in her.

And Gurl when you state facts like that instantly I wanna be your girl friend 🤣

"It’s always the same wish. Every candle. Every time. I want a life I never want to take a vacation from. That’s my goal."

This might as well be the best slow-burn I have read to date 🥺

"I hug her to me, feeling so filled, because everything I need is in my arms right now.
Her curves fit every inch of mine, and I’m whole.
My chest fills with something almost too much to contain."

Can't believe I am saying this but this book is my most favorite Penelope Douglas book read till date and I don't think any book can top this one of all Pen's creation.
As I mentioned I wasn’t expecting much
But trust me or not this is a Beautiful Book 🥺 the storyline is breathtaking ✨ and so pure.
I love both Pike and Jordan's thought process, both of them are similar in so many ways and I think that is the foremost reason why they molded together so perfectly.

And same as my girl Jordan says

I don’t care about the wedding.
I just want the life.

Pike Lawson Can't get enough of you 🥺✨
I might blow a candle on my next Birthday and you know what this Birthday Girl Will wish?

🌹Mr. Pike Lawson Just be mine, because I know you can make my tomorrow better than today 🌹

Happy Reading 🌹🎂🕯️
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews352 followers
May 2, 2018
3.4 Stars.

Birthday Girl is a must read for all forbidden romance lovers and those who enjoy their taboo stories. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is one story I will never forget.
The book is good, the story interesting, but the gap age was to much for me....
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews14.2k followers
Want to read
April 28, 2018


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.
Profile Image for  Nayeli ✨.
111 reviews116 followers
June 18, 2021
⭐ 5 Stars ⭐

📍 First read: November, 2020.
📍 Second read: June, 2021.

"Special, remembered, happy. He makes me happy. Happy in a way that my boyfriend should."

I loooved this sooo much it hurts! 😭😍 I was completely hooked with every chapter, I just couldn't stop reading. Also, this was my first time reading a book from this author, and I was very surprised (in a good way).

Penelope Douglas did a great job writing this one because Birthday Girl💗 was everything and more! I mean, let's talk about Pike and Jordan and their incredible ✨ chemistry
Definitely gonna add it to my all-time-favorites-books.

Highly recommend this book if you like age-gaps and slow burn romances! I really enjoyed this one.
Profile Image for Zoe.
331 reviews1,430 followers
January 10, 2022
Lets just say, when she was 1 he was 20. Mull that over for a while, why don’t you?
lets set the scene, when he was in highschool, she was not even born!!!

I honestly have been holding off this review because I don’t know how to explain what I think, at ALL

*takes deep breath*
*prepares one self mentaly*

so this book starts where she is dating the love interest son (i know! HIS SON IS THE SAME AGE AS HER! ) And something happens where they break up and Pike (aka the dad/love interest) takes her in because she has nowhere to go at all. And then we get to see how a grown ass man is attracted to a child *shudders* I cannot with this book.

So as you can tell I do not vibe with that big of an age gap. like bro, he could be her dad, easily. But then I love the romance and their relationship! UGHHHHH this book is actually making my skull split in two!

Right lets move on

OK, I usually LOVE the protective guy trope so this book had me loving this aspect BUT THEN HE COULD BE HER DAD!! AHHHHH this book is messing with my head. I know he did care for Jordan but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GO FOR SOMEONE 6 YEARS YOUNGER OR OLDER. THAT IS MY LIMIT!!!!! I am literally speechless. I have nothing to say.

It literally took me 20 minutes to remember her name. I don’t know what they say about me but ANYWAYS. I just need to put it out there. I LOVE HER MUSIC. I don’t know why but I LOVE 1980s music. It has such a vibe!! Anyways I have nothing else to say about her because she is a usual romance novel girl. SHE NEEDS HELPPPP. When she was dating her boyfriend who is Pikes SON she was having fantasies about PIKE THE FATHER OF HER BOYFRIEND.

So overall my thoughts are all over the place and I feel so guilty for enjoying it.

Thank you for reading my review
Profile Image for Karla Martínez.
Author 1 book14.5k followers
February 21, 2023
disfruté este libro mucho más que la primera vez que lo leí. sentí el ritmo completamente necesario dada la trama. daddy pike, tkm

Creo que 2.5
Lo disfruté bastante, pero también se me hizo tedioso y lento en muchas partes. Igual lo recomiendo si quieren leer algo ligero y salir de un bloqueo lector!
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
February 12, 2023
Empezó bien, pero...

Me he sorprendido leyendo un libro de este género. Es mi primera vez leyendo a la autora, y una novela considerada #darkromance. Sin embargo, y pese a la sensación agridulce que me ha dejado tras terminarlo, creo que ha sido una buena opción para adentrarme en el género. Dicho esto...

Birthday Girl es un libro que tiene un planteamiento interesante, y al mismo tiempo, puede parecer problemático. A ver, hay algunas cosas que ya sabemos que nos vamos a encontrar en este género (algo de toxicidad, hombres muy hombres... ese tipo de cosas), pero el tema de la relación entre ellos no lo es para nada. En serio, creedme. La protagonista está en una relación de estas que son una mierda y que son en plan: amiga, date cuenta. Está claro que en cuanto algo mejor pase por delante se va a dar cuenta. Y es un poco lo que pasa. Aunque nadie se espera que sea el padre de tu novio...

hot construction worker

El estilo de Penelope Douglas es sencillo, directo y lleno de acciones (más que diálogos internos, y aun y todo, no se hacen pesados nunca). No paran de suceder cosas, y el libro en general es súper ágil, así que no os asusten sus 500 páginas de capítulos largos, porque como yo, lo devoraréis. Engancha desde la primera página y Jordan es muy buen personaje, complejo, con sus buenas y malas decisiones, y a la que comprendes enseguida. Por otro lado, Pike es algo menos interesante, pero tiene su granito de arena que aportar a todo el drama con sus conflictos internos y asuntos sin resolver. Así que sí, desde las primeras páginas están dentro de la historia.

Ahora bien, a partir del 60% de la novela diría que la cosa decae bastante. Está bien todo el tema del #slowburn pero... una vez deja de serlo, para mí el libro se convirtió en una rutina de escenas sexuales poco interesantes. (No entiendo el hecho de cambiar el POV, además, pues prácticamente todos los encuentros son narrados desde el punto de vista de Pike, y yo personalmente me esperaba lo contrario.) Además, "lo prohibido" deja de serlo y... no sé, para mí perdió un poco el interés. Si no hubiera sucedido eso, probablemente le habría puesto más nota al libro.

the hook

Me ha gustado mucho cómo se han tratado ciertos temas, cómo se muestra la desestructuración en el seno familiar, los problemas económicos y las diferencias de clases sociales, y en especial cómo los bajos recursos le pegan más fuerte a las mujeres y, de lleno, en su sexualidad. Es un tema súper interesante que considero ha sido bien tratado.

En definitiva, Birthday Girl ha sido una lectura que he disfrutado la mayoría del tiempo, me ha entretenido y ha conseguido engancharme para mí sorpresa. Creo que iba con pocas expectativas y han jugado a su favor. Volveré a probar el género, así como a la autora. Tiene algo que atrapa.
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