Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward

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.

Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ 

To quote a sexy Atlantean god from another bookverse, “There are always three sides to every memory…yours, theirs, and the truth, which lies somewhere in between the two.” This is especially true if you read Penelope Ward’s books Stepbrother Dearest and Neighbor Dearest regardless of what order you read them in. By dumb luck, I read Stepbrother Dearest first which chronologically in the world’s timeline is what comes first so I may have issues with Elec and Greta if I done the opposite although when I read their story, I’m sure I would have come around.

Now while I love the fact that Elec and Greta wound up together, Chelsea, the woman that Elec with before his reunion with Greta, got the raw deal with having our boyfriend break up with her. So going by her perspective, it sucks monkey balls that the man you love, the one you knew by accident was going to propose soon, returns from his father’s funeral and starts distancing himself from you emotionally and physically before he drops the bomb that he’s leaving. And to top it off, it’s for his stepsister who you met and thought was real nice, but probably not so much anymore since the ho just stole your man. That kind of situation can throw any woman off her game and I can sympathize with how Chelsea finds it hard to just move on and not question why she wasn’t enough (but at least it’s not horribly bad because she knows Elec would never cheat on her so there isn’t that sort of trauma).

Enter Cameron who is described to be an even hotter version of Elec. Now I admit that reading about Elec in Stepbrother Dearest raised my temperature, but Cameron made me break out in fever with his hotness factor. There’s something about a bad boy that also has a soft side who is can be so sweet and romantic. Unfortunately the reality of life is that this subspecies of male is a very small population and most bad boys in my experience don’t have this hidden side that drive women wild. I guess this is what people argue that romance novels aren’t realistic, however I’d argue that they represent an ideal of what women want and what romance should be like if we could guide our society away from the rape culture that seems to predominate it (not that we don’t have pockets of normal people, but let’s face it if you read an article on sexual abuse or rape, there are way too many people making excuses or denying the issues).

Anyways, Cameron helps Chelsea move past her breakup, but in the process we have new romance blossoming between two people who are trying to keep it friendship. Cameron has his reasons for it, and Chelsea is trying to avoid falling in love again because she knows that while Elec hurt her, Cameron will break her. Thankfully issues are resolved and we get our HEA with both characters thinking a bit more charitable toward Elec and Greta because they realize that Elec and Chelsea had to end for Cameron and Chelsea to begin and that their romance is a soulbonding thing. Now, I have to say the soulmate thing is what cinches this romance for me more then the hot man (which does help) and the hot sex scenes.

Also on a totally random note to end this, Chelsea is the older sister of Jade who was the nice other woman in RoomHate. I love LOVE LOVE book connections like this. Also I’m pretty sure I smell a possible book for Jade and Cameron’s younger brother Tyler with another case of another nice girl in the way of our HEA. ^_^

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