My rating: 5/5 stars
Penelope Ward is one of my favorite authors. Period!!!!! She writes so beautifully and it’s impossible not to fell in love with her. This is exactly what happened to me and from the first book, I became a huge fan. Each story is unique, with different plots and characters, and this diversity is what made me admire her so much, because nothing is the same when Penelope writes a book.
“Gentleman Nine” is her latest book and I consider it one of her best work, because it has something special that makes it stand out from the others that she has wrote in the last year and a half. I like complicated plots, but from time to time, I want something really down to Earth, without anything complicated, secrets and double lives. So, this book was very relatable and easy to follow, because it had something simple in it, which I truly enjoyed.
Amber is heartbroken after her boyfriend for 9 years, Rory, dumps her, telling her that they should explore other relationships. Truly devastated about it, she shuts down and doesn’t intent to date anyone. When her longtime friend, Channing, calls her asking for a room for 3 months, she agrees to help him, considering his stay won’t be long. Even as a teen, Amber was extremely attracted to Channing, even knowing that he was her best friend’s brother and technically speaking, he was off limits. Adding that Channing and Rory were friends too, makes this situation even more complicated than initially considered. When Amber ask the services of an escorts site and Channing intervenes in their planning, a very intense relationship begins between the 2 of them, changing their perspectives and life in the process.
Amber and Channing were extremely fun to watch and read about. Amber is a typical heroine, smart and dedicated to her job. She is extremely vulnerable after the split and confused about everything that comes next. Having Channing in her life was a surprise, but it totally changed her, because his honesty and humor inflicted warmth and a comfortable feeling. The attraction she always felt for him is back, bigger than ever and this will lead her to apply for a male escort, to blow off some steam. When Channing accidentally finds out about it and her motives, he will make Amber the proposal of a lifetime. As I mentioned before, they were extremely relatable and down to Earth, because they were just 2 people trying to figure out their feelings and sort their priorities. There were no big secrets, no life changing events, only the 2 of them and a choice. I loved the last 30% because of the triangle shaped plot and the “decisions, decisions” orientation, but I believed it was handled well and didn’t stall much towards the outcome.
I liked Channing for his personality and dedication, for his love towards his mom and for his honesty. He has to be one of the best heroes Penelope crafted, because he really managed to melt my heart. The way he changed Amber and made her realized so many things about herself, the way he gave her a second chance, will make you swoon and think “God, I love this guy”. His jokes were phenomenal, but also his struggles and worries, because at the end of the day, we all have issues which burn us. From my POV the choice was obvious, even if I could feel Amber’s confusion, I was Team Channing all along.
What I loved about the plot is the social message Penelope always delivers. I know something about her personal life and the struggles she faced, so every time I read about people or kids with disabilities in her book I always congratulate her for raising awareness on certain aspects that many people don’t know. Amber’s job or Channing’s mom are true example of such things and it made me love Penelope even more because of her courage to write about this. She is truly admirable.
So, don’t wait any longer in reading this book, you will surely have a great time doing so and in the mean time, discover very interesting heroes that will stick to you like honey:)