Hate Notes by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward ~ Sarah A’s Review

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue.

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new.

But I have no idea how this one is going to end . . .


I’ve mentioned before in my reviews of Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward’s collaborations that the titles and blurbs often belie the serious themes and intensity of the stories and that was definitely the case with Hate Notes. In fact, this book was a double-whammy as far as the serious themes. I may have teared up a time or two, and there weren’t even any dead dogs (well, not really).

Reed Eastwood did not endear himself to me when this book first started. Thankfully, Charlotte Darling was much more open-hearted and forgiving than me, she saw the façade he’d put up and knew it was protecting a terrified and hurt part of him. Eventually, he wore me down with his wit, honesty (in most regards), and melancholy. Reed was far more than I initially gave him credit for, and his distressing past made my heart ache for him.

Charlotte Darling was immediately sympathetic. Perhaps because we meet her in one of the lowest moments of her life, but more likely because she is just one of those people you can’t help but like – even if, like Reed, you really want to dislike them. Charlotte was perpetually happy and good, something I can’t relate to on a personal level but always admire when I see in other people. She had every reason, and then some, to be surly and mad at the world, but she saw the virtue in everyone – and everything. Charlotte was the sunshine that came into Reed’s life when he desperately needed it.

Hate Notes was a slow-burn romance, spanning several months, it took the time to let Charlotte and Reed’s relationship build block-by-block, inching toward something so much more than I could have anticipated. I loved that they were able to build a solid foundation of friendship and trust before they acted on the chemistry that had been brewing between them from their first meeting. Once they finally crossed that threshold, there were no secrets, no lies, nothing lurking around the corner to tear them apart and it was beautiful. Almost as beautiful as the love they’d nurtured and held tightly in the months it took them both to finally admit to.

Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over 1.5 million books sold, she is a twenty-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels.

 Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook Fan Page

 Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in fourteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook Fan Group

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