Published by Penelope Ward Books Inc on August 13, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
A STANDALONE NOVEL that does *not* need to be read in conjunction with any other book.
From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a friends to lovers story with sexy new characters.
After getting dumped, the last thing I needed was to move next door to someone who reminded me of my ex-boyfriend, Elec.
Damien was a hotter version of my ex.
The neighbor I’d dubbed “Angry Artist” also had two massive dogs that kept me up with their barking.
He wanted nothing to do with me. Or so I thought until one night I heard laughter coming through an apparent hole in my bedroom wall.
Damien had been listening to all of my phone sessions with my therapist.
The sexy artist next door now knew all of my deepest secrets and insecurities.
We got to talking.
He set me straight with tips to get over my breakup.
He became a good friend, but Damien made it clear that he couldn’t be anything more.
Problem was, I was falling hard for him anyway. And as much as he pushed me away, I knew he felt the same…because his heartbeat didn’t lie.
I thought my heart had been broken by Elec, but it was alive and beating harder than ever for Damien.
I just hoped he wouldn’t shatter it for good.
Author's note – Neighbor Dearest is a full-length standalone novel. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
By Penelope Ward
First off…it’s bloody hard (for an Aussie) typing neighbour without the u so don’t be surprised if a few neighbour’s pop up here or there. So what did I think about Neighbor Dearest? I actually really enjoyed it. There are lots of things buzzing around in my brain after finishing and I’m struggling to get it all clear in my head. I have to say, I’m absolutely stoked that I never read Stepbrother Dearest. That sounds bad, but I know the type of reader I am and there’s a bloody good chance I may not have even looked at this one if I had read that one first. I cottoned on half-way through the story that the douchewaffle ex, had his own love story. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of step anything story’s, but this guy (even though I’m content that Chelsea found her HEA with someone else) still makes me a little stabby. Up to the very last page of Neighbor Dearest, I didn’t like knowing that he was happy with his decisions.
In the beginning, we see Chelsea’s heart broken into little pieces. As the story goes on we learn little bits and pieces of where she had been, who she had been with and what she was trying to get past. One of her steps in recovery was to hire a therapist who specialises is recovering after relationships break down. Unfortunately, Dr Little lives in Canada so Chelsea’s sessions are done by a phone call. After one of her very expensive sessions, she realises that her very HOT but obnoxious neighbor had heard the whole thing through a hole in their adjoining walls. He made it known that he thought she was wasting her money and that the advice was stupid. Chelsea’s mortified but also really, really pissed off. The following night she knocks on his door to confront him and is attacked by two ferocious beasts…who smelt bacon on her. Honestly, I was horrified for poor Chelsea, while also busting a gut laughing.
Damien, the obnoxious and hot neighbor can’t believe this chick. She’s paying a fortune to some woman spouting crap about unicorns and relationships. He has no hesitations in telling her what he thinks about it but she doesn’t take kindly to his opinions. He soon finds out that his neighbour, Chelsea, is a wee bit unhappy about his dogs constantly barking. So, with him laughing at her therapy sessions about unicorns and the dogs’ barking, it finally pushes her over the edge when his 2 rottweilers tackle her to the ground when they smell bacon on her. The funny thing is, seeing her so vulnerable pushes a button in him and he starts to see her in a whole different way.
Damien and Chelsea form a friendship but it’s pretty obvious they have deeper feelings for each other. Chelsea has been hurt by love before, but she’s willing to take a risk with Damien. Damien keeps pushing Chelsea away because he wants more for her. Damien doesn’t want to let Chelsea get close to him because he knows he’ll break her heart.
To me, this story can be broken into two parts. There was the sizzling attraction that made it seem like this couple would be perfect together. You spend the first half of the book waiting with baited breath for them to realise how perfect they will be together. The angst and conflict jump off the pages. The second half of the story is them dealing with life-altering decisions, learning to trust each other and sharing their deepest desires and secrets. I was seriously sucked in with the first half, and while the second half was also good, it just lost a little of the sizzle. The epilogue was pretty damn sweet.
I really enjoyed Neighbor Dearest. Chelsea and Damien are sweet together. There are some steamy scenes but they are in no ways OTT or kinky. The additional characters were great too. I loved Chelsea’s younger sister and Damien’s younger brother. It will be very, very interesting to see if there is a future for those two. I loved Damien’s rent trade-offs with some of his tenants. He can be such a sweetheart.
I definitely recommend Neighbor Dearest.