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‘Pain is the cost of love. And the deeper your love goes, so too goes the pain. You can never have one without the other.’

We were intrigued by this book – and drawn to that cover! Wow! With the synopsis hinting at an epistolary romance, that was another plus, however, the final result was so much more than this! Pen Pal included a mixture of themes, and it worked well. A dark, erotic, romantic suspense with kink and supernatural elements, a thriller, and plenty of mystery, and we loved it. Then again, we do thrive on a story with an element of surprise, and Pen Pal delivered on all counts.

‘Memories are the stories we tell ourselves about the important events in our lives. In the telling, some of the details get lost, others embellished until truth is closer to fiction.’

Kayla Reece is a thirty-year-old woman trying her best to cope with the passing of her husband Michael some months earlier, whilst dealing with some strange occurrences at her house, and the sudden appearance of letters arriving from a prisoner named Dante.

‘We all walk around with a thousand strangers inside us, slumbering quietly until someone else wakes them up.’

We can’t tell you much about the story as the author relies on the reveals and surprise elements to deliver the blows. But let’s just say, the chemistry, eroticism, and kink in Pen Pal really heats up! The romance was swoony – anyone questioning if this story contains romance, that’s an emphatic YES!

“I make you feel free?”
“Like I’ve been living in a dark cave my whole fucking life, and I just stumbled out into the sunlight.”

We can’t really say a lot more, because the mystery and surprise elements are something that must be experienced by the reader. There are plenty of triggers in this story, so please heed the author’s warning before diving in. It’s noted this story has a ‘non-traditional HEA ‘– well, there is no other way you could describe it. Is it a HEA? Yes, we believe it is. Is it a HEA in the ‘traditional’ sense of the word, well, probably not, but it does have a HEA.

“If you decide this isn’t what you want, promise me you’ll end it before I fall in love with you.”

We thoroughly enjoyed Pen Pal, the reveals were well executed, and whilst we did guess at one, there were others we did not see coming. We loved trying to fit all the puzzle pieces together and swooned over the love story contained therein. We do agree that Pen Pal won’t be for everyone, but if you enjoy stories that are a bit outside the box, Pen Pal won’t disappoint!


The first letter arrived the day my husband was buried. It was postmarked from the state penitentiary, and contained a single sentence:

I’ll wait forever if I have to.

It was signed by Dante, a man I didn’t know.

Out of simple curiosity, I wrote back to ask him what exactly he was waiting for. His reply?


I told the mystery man he had the wrong girl. He said he didn’t. I said we’d never met, but he said I was wrong.

We went back and forth, exchanging letters every week that grew increasingly more intimate. Then one day, the letters stopped. When I found out why, it was already too late.

Dante was at my doorstep.

And nothing on earth could have prepared me for what happened next.



This novel is an erotic thriller that contains content intended for a mature audience only. Due to explicit language, graphic sex, detailed depictions of death and grief, intense power play dynamics, and other possible triggers, it is not suitable for sensitive readers. (Full list of TWs on author’s website.)

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