Publication Date: August 15th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: the publisher
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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.
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Stepbrother Dearest was the first book that I read by Penelope Ward. In fact, it was one of my top favorites in 2014. I loved the characters, the writing, the angst, and the forbidden aspect of the story. Two years later, I was happy to hear that we would be getting a continuation of sorts—Chelsea’s story after the ending of Stepbrother Dearest. I can admit that I felt bad for her and I was definitely curious about what might have happened to her.
Even though Neighbor Dearest is a considered a standalone, it picks up about a year after Stepbrother Dearest ended. Chelsea is still in California working for the youth center. She is nursing a broken heart, unable to move on from her break-up, and torturing herself with the ‘what ifs’. She’s very insecure and her confidence has taken a major hit.
Damien is Chelsea’s elusive next-door neighbor and the owner of two dogs that bark incessantly. He’s an artist, wears a beanie hat, and reminds Chelsea of her ex. What she doesn’t know is that he has been able to hear every detail of her failed relationship through the walls of her apartment. As if she needed another reason to dislike him.
I loved Damien and Chelsea’s first (and second and third) meeting. Their attraction is pretty obvious, but Damien wants to keep Chelsea in the friend zone. Once they overcome their objections, though, they are such a cute couple and their banter is pretty fantastic. There is also an unexpected tie-in with RoomHate that I found interesting.
Neighbor Dearest is a great combination of all of the things Penelope Ward has become known for, including enemies-to-lovers, angst, a surprise twist, and an emotional resolution. I definitely enjoyed it and I am curious to see if Damien’s brother will be getting his own book. That would be fantastic!