on February 13, 2017
Genres: Adult, Second Chance Romance
From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a sexy, STANDALONE second-chance romance.
They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie. Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?
So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.
At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.
Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy.
I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.
They didn’t know about our past.
He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.
As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.
I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.
Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.
And soon I might be breaking all the rules.
Author's note – Told in alternating points of view, Mack Daddy is a full-length standalone novel.
Single dad romances are quickly become more and more popular and Mack Daddy is the perfect example of why!
“You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
“You might as well be one,”
My absolute favourite part about Mack is that I never, not once, doubted his feelings for Frankie. The flashbacks were amazing, you can sense his struggle to do what’s right, and in the present, his conversations with Mrs. M are a cold dose of real life, man the eff up and humour all rolled into one. When this man goes for something, he really means it!! From the get go, Mack fights tooth and nail for Frankie every step of the way. I can’t think that there’s a girl out there anywhere who wouldn’t fall for his charm and persistence. Plus, his little stories from story time? So freaking cute!! And it was quite clever how these stories could lead into flashbacks of their past time together.
Frankie was a bit harder for me to connect with. I really liked her at the beginning and loved her character during the flashbacks, but then I started to lose some respect for her. In my opinion, she became a little more dull and sort of complacent. She wasn’t bad by any means, just no longer captured my attention.
The flashbacks were so incredibly important to this story. It’s what really helped to solidify the “second chance romance” feel for me. You can understand that the characters have a connection, but how deeply they connected and why was something really special. They were also pretty damn funny, so that’s always a plus!
“I’ll make a deal with you, Frankie.”
What did he just call me?
“Yes. You look nothing like a Francesca. You look like a Frankie to me.”
“What were you going to say?”
“I’ll make a deal with you. I’m an asshole, right?” “Okay…”
“You’re a scaredy cat—a pussy.”
“I’m a pussy…”
“I’ll rub some of my asshole off on you if you rub some of your pussy off on me.”
My eyes widened. “You’ll rub your asshole on me?”
My favourite kinds of books are the ones that make you FEEL! I want to feel what the characters are feeling, and Penelope Ward is a queen at that. This story had such a good kind of angst to it, it was addicting to read. My chest hurt with a sweet burn while reading. Not overwhelmingly so, but just enough to feel it. Mix in some unresolved feelings, flashbacks and a swoony hero to make the perfect combination that is known as Mack Daddy.
I moved her hand and placed it over my heart. “You feel that?” I asked. “Feel how it’s beating for you right now. Every time I even allow myself to think about you, it beats like this. And I don’t know how to make it stop.”
“What am I supposed to do with this?” she whispered.
There was only one answer.
“Just believe what it’s telling you.”
You know what’s awesome about adult books, as opposed to new adult or sometimes young adult books? The characters say what they mean! They say what they feel! They’re honest! They don’t play games! Hallelujah, I can hear the angels singing.
So the situation in Mack Daddy (without giving it away) is almost reversed from what you might think you’re getting or what you might see in other books and it was so so awesome!! My heart was breaking for Mack and while the pain felt good, in a deliciously angsty kind of way, I still wanted to jump through the pages and just give the poor guy a hug.
He looked up at the sky then over at me. “Am I delusional?”
“What do you mean?”
“Be honest. Am I grasping for something that’s not there anymore?” He turned to me. “I wake up in the morning with hope, that every day I’m somehow closer to being with you. I still feel this bond between us. I feel it so strongly. But tonight is an example of how fucking clueless I apparently am. I just assumed…it would be here, just like I assumed that I could just come back into your life and somehow win you back after eight fucking years. The one chance I get to really be with you—this week—and my life gets in the way, once again demonstrating how I can never make you a priority like you deserve. Fuck, I don’t even think I would choose me if I were you.” He looked up at the sky then back at me. “I don’t have all the time in the world to give you. I couldn’t give you the perfect life even if I wanted to, because I am carrying so much baggage. Some days, I don’t even know who I am anymore…Jonah’s dad, Torrie’s ex, Michael Morrison’s estranged son. But when I’m with you…I’m Mack. I feel like myself. When you look at me, you remind me of who I am, who I want to be. I want to go back to being that man who was once happier than a pig in shit just from being around you every day. But it’s not fair to steal away even an ounce of your happiness just so I can have mine.”
Something that I wasn’t expecting but was a nice little surprise element was how the story really comes full circle for Frankie. From the flashbacks to the end of the epilogue, it feels like she found her journey and reward.
The beginning and middle of the story had so many elements that I loved. The angst, the flashbacks, Mack’s persistence and fight to be with Frankie, Mrs. M., etc. All of this caused me to have those darn googly heart eyes, but later on it started to falter a little. I found myself getting bored or just not really caring. The conflict seemed to be a big issue in this regard. I just couldn’t bring myself to care and therefore feel what the characters were feeling in this moment. It seemed to come out of left field with not the greatest explanation towards it, so I was a little underwhelmed. The concept of how it affects the couple and how they deal with it, I liked, but the conflict itself I found to be a bit of a cop out.
“Evening, Mrs. M.”
“You look like shit.”
I started to laugh. “Well, thank you. Tell me how you really feel.”
“You know what the great thing about having me for a neighbor is?”
“I double as a bartender.”
Mack Daddy is definitely catchy and Mackenzie more than deserves this nickname among the other parents. However, to add in a few more rhyming cliches, I would also like to throw in how he’s like a Mack Attack and will hit you like a Mack Truck! You don’t even see this guy coming. I’ve loved some of Penelope’s work and while I enjoyed Mack Daddy, this one isn’t my favourite.
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.