Review: Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward

Reviewed by Elise

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.

I love just about everything about romance novels. I love the tension, the way romance takes me back to when I was falling in love with my husband and the way it feels like my heart is getting stomped on, torn apart and put back together again.

Something that I find a little bit frustrating are the arbitrary reasons that couple impose on themselves to stay apart. Without giving too much away, Neighbor Dearest finally presented me with a reason I found somewhat believable. Still not a good enough reason to stay apart but more intriguing than most. In real life I think that there are very few things that should keep a couple in love from being together, blame it on my Disney obsession as a child.

This book is a stand alone HEA however it is also a spin off of Stepbrother Dearest (another good read if you are interested). It’s a friends to lovers story and Penelope Ward does a wonderful job in this progression. I have to admit that Penelope Ward is one of my favorites in the Contemporary Romance genre and this story did not disappoint.

Damien is initially abrupt and with good reason given that Chelsea is less than nice to him to begin with. The introduction of the friendship through Damien spying on Chelsea’s therapy sessions was equal parts amusing and mortifying. The set up allowed Damien the opportunity to ‘mentor’ Chelsea and so their relationship begins.

Penelope Ward is a master of creating tension, developing characters and keeping the mystery alive throughout the story. I was honestly guessing up until the ‘big reveal’ as to what the main obstacle could possibly be. The telling sign of a good story is one that moves you. This story made me feel. It made me identify with the characters and become invested in their lives. I even liked the dogs. After all it was the dogs who helped bring these two together. I honestly did laugh out loud at those crazy dogs.

I strongly recommend all things Penelope Ward and in particular this book. Now I’m off to read the spin off with Jade and Tyler!

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Neighbor Dearest
by Penelope Ward
Release Date: August 4, 2016

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