Title – The Birthday List
Author – Devney Perry
Publication Date – April 3, 2018
Happily married to her college sweetheart, Poppy lived a blessed life with the husband of her dreams. Then everything changed. She is no longer a wife. She is no longer the envy of her single friends. Now, people look at her with pity as they whisper a single word behind her back.
Years after her husband’s tragic death, years of pain and sorrow and wishing for the life she’ll never get back, Poppy decides to finish Jamie’s birthday list. She’ll do the things he wanted to most. Because maybe, just maybe, if she can complete his list, she can start to live again.
Poppy expects going through the birthday list will be hard. She expects it to hurt. But what she doesn’t expect is Cole. Could the man who delivered the news of her husband’s death and shattered her heart be the one to help her put it back together again?
This is the first book I’ve picked up by Devney Perry, but I can say with absolute certainty that it won’t be the last. I knew going into The Birthday List that it would be emotional at times, especially given the blurb, but I never could have imagined the unforgettable journey that Perry would take me on. The writing was mesmerizing, the characters were troubled yet real, and the plot was done in a way that I haven’t previously encountered. Altogether, it delivered a magical read that I never wanted to end.
“Because closure was the one thing she craved as much as love. She was desperate for someone to tell her it was okay to start living again.”
After her husband passed away in a tragic accident, Poppy decided that she needed to fulfill his birthday list. I’m not sure where the author came up with these items to do, but I loved the diversity of them. Some were serious, others were silly; there were items for himself, and some for the love of his life. It helped me to fall in love with his character even though we never really met him. Not only did we see Jamie through Poppy’s eyes, but readers were able to get a real sense of who he was through the things he wanted to accomplish in his life. Furthermore, it instantly likened me to Poppy because I could sense how down to earth and authentic she was. However, what would a romance novel be without a current day hero to fall in love with? Let me just say, Cole is the man that every girl dreams of. He was patient, understanding, and impossible not to root for. He was so gentle in his approach to Poppy and their friendship but still completely dedicated and sure of what he wanted. Together, these two felt so effortless and they just made sense. I hardcore swooned and felt my heart beating out of my chest as their relationship progressed.
“Maybe I didn’t have to be strong enough to banish the pain away all by myself. Maybe being strong meant learning to lean on those who would take some of the pain away. Like the man at my side.”
While the characters were fantastic, I truly believe that it was Devney Perry’s writing that kept me aching for more. She has a magical quality to her storytelling ability that left me feeling like I was falling down a rabbit hole, but only in the best sense of the term. I’ve heard lots of buzz around this author’s previous books, and I’m now kicking myself for not listening sooner. The Birthday List left me with all the feels and I have no doubt that other readers will put it down feeling the same! If you’re looking for a book that delivers, then you should definitely dive into this one…you won’t regret the epic journey it will take you on!
Turning to the door, I smiled, ready to greet my late-evening customer, but faltered as the door closed behind him.
Cole Goodman was walking my way.
My belly dipped as I took him in. His aviator sunglasses were perched on top of his chocolate-brown hair. A black polo stretched across his broad shoulders and pulled tight across his muscled arms. His pale-blue jeans molded to his Herculean thighs before draping down to his black, square-toed boots. The leather belt on Cole’s trim waist held both a shining badge and a holstered gun.
Cole smiled and locked his light-green eyes on mine as he crossed the room.
His straight, white teeth made my breath hitch—something that had happened last night more times than I wanted to admit.
Molly, who had turned around from her seat to greet our customer, spun around so her back was to Cole. Her cheeks flushed as she whispered, “Wow.”
Wow was right.
Cole Goodman was—simply put—gorgeous.
He could give a woman a speeding ticket and get a thank-you in return. He inspired women to attempt push-ups in a karate class just for the chance to watch him sweat through his gi. Cole made grown women blush like teenagers and giggle in corners, like those girls at the dojo last night.
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Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.