Review: Pen Pal by J.T. Geissinger

“I’ll wait forever if I have to.”

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.

Avery’s Thoughts About the Book

TIL the term Non-Traditional Romance

…and then I rolled my eyes.

We all know how I feel about trigger warnings. Did you know about the label non-traditional romance??? I did not. Ladies and germs, this is a great example of splitting hairs. I would argue that all dark romance is the very definition of non-traditional romance. And yet… Apparently, a bunch of readers got incredibly butthurt over the fact that this book tricked them.

This book is presented as one thing but it’s something completely different that you will never see coming. I’m going on the record to say I loved it. The twist slaps you upside the head and leaves you screaming, “Wait! What?!” But it’s done beautifully. They get their HEA in a beautifully tragic way. And MAN, some readers are pissed that they got duped. As with all dark romance, there are scenes and themes that may not be suitable for some readers. Why the hell this was a surprise to anyone shopping in the dark romance aisle still baffles me but ye be warned regardless.

I know I am so late to the game but this author has made it onto my one-click list. The primal play kink isn’t really my thing but Geissinger made it hot regardless. The main character Kayla even pokes a bit of fun at it… at first. <<< insert eyebrow wiggle here >>> Aidan and Kayla’s steamy affair turns out to be something very different, and the twist will have you bawling like a lunatic. Bring tissues, bitches.

Heat Level

Avery’s Rating

Tropes Used
Dark Romance
BDSM Elements
Primal Play
Amnesia or Lost Memories
Alpha Hero

Add It To Your TBR Pile
Bookbub | Goodreads

Review Copy Disclaimer
The review copy of this book was purchased on Audible.

Review Policy & Ratings Guide

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