The Anti-Boyfriend

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

At first, my neighbor Deacon frustrated me.

Sure, he was great-looking and friendly.

But our walls were thin, and on occasion, he’d bring women to his place and keep me awake while he “entertained” them.

As a single mother to an infant, I didn’t appreciate it.

So, finally it was my turn. 

When my daughter wouldn’t stop wailing one night, Mr. Manwhore came knocking on my door.

Miraculously, at the sound of his voice, Sunny stopped crying. And when he held her…she eventually fell asleep in his arms.

Deacon was rough on the exterior, but apparently on the inside? Mr. Single-and-Ready-to-Mingle was a baby whisperer.

After that night, we became friends.

He’d go for coffee runs. Come over to chat. Normal friend stuff.

But over time, our conversations ran deeper. We got closer.

Until one night we crossed the line.

Our friendship turned into a complicated mess.

I’d gone and fallen for a guy who’d sworn off commitment and kids.

I knew Deacon was starting to care for me too, even though Sunny and I didn’t fit into any plan he’d ever imagined for himself.

He was wrong for me—so wrong that I’d dubbed him the “anti-boyfriend.”

Then why did I wish more than anything that I could be the one woman to change him?

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The Anti-Boyfriend - Penelope Ward Book Reviews (343)


Very sweet story5 star

I loved the story of this book. It was a great depiction of how we limit our lives based on our own faults. Just the right amount of steamy!! 55


The Anti-Boyfriend5 star

What a wonderful story. Great characters and a twist I didn’t see coming. ❤️ 55


So touching5 star

Wow. This story was so unexpected. I absolutely loved the characters of Deacon and Carys. And of course Sunny. It was really quite beautiful and touching. I highly recommend it. 55


Great book!5 star

Awesome from beginning to end. I would definitely recommend you read it. 🙌 55


Deacon is swoonworthy!5 star

Penelope Ward has done it again! Her characters reach in and grab your heart! Carys is a single mom with a baby. Deacon is a single guy banging his headboard against her shared wall. When these neighbors become friends, can it lead to more? Deacon becomes a much more layered character and steps in for Carys when she needs it the most, including the dreaded diaper duty! This is a must read! 5 amazing stars 55


Loved it!5 star

4.5 Stars The Anti-Boyfriend is the latest stand-alone novel by Penelope Ward. I was completely wrapped up in this fictional world from the very beginning to the end. I honestly could not put it down. This sweet, charming, friends to lovers story was everything I thought it was going to be. From the get-go I loved both Carys and Deacon. As next door neighbors they really didn’t know each other but when Carys hears him in the throes of passion, she decides she can’t not say something. That one event changes everything and a friendship is born. It seriously felt like I was watching them in a movie and watching their relationship progress. The way Deacon was made me love him all the more. Overall, The Anti-Boyfriend was a great read. Ward proves time and time again what a gifted writer she is. Highly recommend reading this book! 55


A must read!5 star

This is definitely one of my favorite books by this author. I absolutely loved Deacon and Carys. Friends to lovers romance. I loved the writing style and the characters. It pulled me in from the very beginning making me feel like I was right there with them. Well done Penelope! Another amazing read! Definitely a must read! Loved it! 55


Top notch romance!5 star

This is definitely a top favorite from Penelope. Carys (like Paris) and Deacon have phenomenal chemistry in this friends to lovers romance. Carys is a single mom who has trust issues with men and with good reason. Deacon and Carys share a similar history that intensifies their bond. Their journey to rediscovery is so well written, I fell in love the characters immediately. When children are involved, I’m usually quick to scream stranger danger and my inner momma bear comes out. I didn’t think anything of the sort when Deacon came to the rescue to babysit. I was rooting for him, for them. The ending surprised me, and I love seeing the journey to self discovery for multiple characters. The neighbor was a hoot, she made me laugh out loud every time. Very nicely done! 55


One of my FAVORITE romances from Penelope Ward to date!5 star

NO SPOILERS! Oh my gosh, I absolutely LOVED The Anti-Boyfriend! Penelope Ward wove a sweet, sexy, funny, angsty, and swoon-worthy standalone contemporary romance with The Anti-Boyfriend, and I adored Deacon and Carys’s story! The storyline was wonderful and engaging. It was so unexpected in a lot of ways, but I loved it with all my heart and thoroughly enjoyed the journey. The Anti-Boyfriend has definitely been one of my favorite romances from Penelope Ward to date, and I won’t soon forget Deacon and Carys’s deeply angsty and romantic love story. The characters were phenomenal and the best part. Deacon, Carys, and her daughter, Sunny, completely captured my heart. I adored them so much, and loved their personalities. Deacon was a super dreamy hero; he was incredibly kind, sexy, had a heart of gold, and the way he treated Carys and Sunny melted my heart. Carys was a wonderful heroine; she was compassionate, independent, also had a heart of gold, and was an amazing single mother. Deacon and Carys had smoking hot chemistry together, and even though their relationship was a slow burn, it was totally worth the wait (wink, wink). I loved and envied the friendship and deep connection Deacon and Carys shared, and I loved watching their romance unfold. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way, but I was ecstatic with the conclusion and couldn’t have been happier for this amazing and lovable couple. Sweet, sexy, funny, angsty, and swoon-worthy, The Anti-Boyfriend was a MUST READ from Penelope Ward, and definitely one of my favorite romances from her to date! I absolutely adored Deacon and Carys’s story, and can’t wait to devour whatever this author releases next! 55

Wendy LeGrand

A delicious neighbors to lovers story!5 star

4.5 stars. Every once in a while I get in the mood for a really good, friends to lovers story, and Penelope delivered in spades!! I really loved the dynamic between Deacon and Carys. He truly was the ultimate book boyfriend! He knew exactly how to bring Carys out of her shell, engage her in conversation, and anticipate what she needed to make her feel comfortable around a man. My most favorite parts between these two were the text conversations. They had me giggling up a storm. Carys is such a good mother to the adorable Sunny!! She's been through some things in her life and so she's a little on the guarded side, which I can totally empathize with. Even though she's only 24, she had to grow up fast and she's got a really solid head on her shoulders. The chemistry between Deacon and Carys is off the charts. He's just perfect for her, like I said. He's been through some things in his past as well that really made him and Carys kindred spirits. He was up in his head quite a bit which causes some angst and made me want to shake him, but he pulls it together at just the right time, so I couldn't be too hard on him. AND his relationship with Sunny was just so adorable! She was a very perceptive little girl! This story wasn't as angst-filled as some of Penelope's other books, and thank God for that!! It was the perfect blend of sweet and sexy, a touch of angst and a whole lot of feel good. The perfect read right now! And their cranky neighbor, Mrs. Winsbanger was a hoot!! I hope she shows up in future stories. The Anti-Boyfriend is an absolute must read! 55

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