Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie.

Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?
So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.

At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.
Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy. I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.
They didn’t know about our past.
He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.

I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.

Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

Pet’s $0.02

This book is heartbreaking.

But, at the same time, this is probably one of the least angsty of Ward’s books.

It was heartbreaking because people are fucking with Mack and Frankie’s happiness solely because they can and they didn’t get what they wanted… I just wanted to smack Torrie, Mack’s girlfriend and punch Mack’s father, who is a total bastard.  They both made feel violent.

Initially, Torrie comes across as the injured party in this whole mess. Ward is great at creating characters that are put into awful positions they haven’t done anything to earn. It becomes apparent pretty quickly that Torrie earns the hatred I felt for her. That woman has a whole agenda of her own that she’s pushing hard and doesn’t really care who she hurts to win Mack. I had zero sympathy for her by the end.

Frankie was a great character. She was dedicated to her career, she’s loyal to her long term boyfriend and she’s not bitter about what happened in the past between her and Mack. She could have so easily become hard and cynical after being abandoned by Mack. Instead she became stronger for having known him. And while she still loves Mack, she’s happy in her new relationship.  To Mack, Frankie was beautiful and he encouraged her to own her quirks and everything else that made her unique. She thought she had accepted that Mack would never be part of her life and his unexpected return upends everything she thought she knew.

There was no question that Mack loved Frankie and even though he made some concessions to protect her from his father he never gave in completely to Torrie. Frankie held Mack’s heart and that was never going to change for him… But, he had to make a choice that hurt him no matter which one it was.

Also, full props go out to Ward for using Pictures of You by The Cure in Frankie’s confession to Mack that she thinks of him every time she hears this song. Perfect choice and an under-rated love song…

I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures are
All I can feel

If only I'd thought of the right words
I could have held on to your heart
If only I'd thought of the right words
I wouldn't be breaking apart
All my pictures of you


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