Toe the Line by Penelope Ward

My rating 3.5/5 stars

Every Penelope Ward book is a new adventure and a story I eagerly want to discover. She is constantly a surprise and her stories are full of emotions and love.

Comparing her stories from some years ago to her recent ones, I can see a difference in the plot. Her stories are now more relaxed, focused on maybe a single idea, and explored to the maximum. I can’t say I love this, because I am used to the old Penelope, the one with the complex plot and timelines, who used to drive me crazy with all events happening. Now, I notice this change and my feelings are a little confused.

“Toe the Line” was 3.5 stars for me, but I did not love it, as her past stories. Archie and Noelle were a very unusual couple, with a relationship that evolved from friends to lovers over the years. I think I gave 3 stars to the story mainly due to their dynamics when they were younger, but what happened AFTER was confusing and I couldn’t get into the account to understand it and process it.

Both the characters seem off to me and I couldn’t put 2 and 2 together to fully understand them and see the big picture. Archie and Noelle were friends and spent a Summer together while igniting an attraction that would stay a friendship for years. I liked their bond and the way they opened up to each other, even if at the beginning things were not great. What happened afterward seem like a soap opera, with drama and with killer timing, which frustrated me dearly.

I really can’t talk badly about the book and about Penelope, but I really miss her old writing style, which was more complex and with hidden gems which I enjoyed. The story was ok and easy to finish, but something was just not right 100%.

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