June 23, 2010

Review of "Strange Neighbors" by Ashlyn Chase

Synopsis:  He’s looking for peace, quiet, and a little romance…

There’s never a dull moment when hunky all-star pitcher and shapeshifter Jason Falco invests in an old Boston brownstone apartment building full of supernatural creatures. But when Merry MacKenzie moves into the ground floor apartment, the playboy pitcher decides he might just be done playing the field…

A girl just wants to have fun…

Sexy Jason seems like the perfect fling, but newly independent nurse Merry’s not sure she’s ready to trust him with her heart…especially when the tabloids start trumpeting his playboy lifestyle.

Then pandemonium breaks loose and Merry and Jason will never get it together without a little help from the vampire who lives in the basement and the werewolf from upstairs…  (from author's website)

If you are looking for a sexy, fun beach read, look no further, dear readers.  Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase will fit the bill . . and how! 

I love books with elements of the supernatural and paranormal and this little book delivers.  Author Ashlyn Chase has described Strange Neighbors as a supernatural "Friends" and really, I can't top that description.  It's a fantastic concept and opens the door for an interesting and energetic new series. 

I found central character Merry likable and very down to earth, as well as her overprotective father and her ADHD brother.  I could recall my own first apartment as I read of Merry's leaving home, the excitement, the fear, the trepidations and the pride of ownership in your very first adult home.  The only flaw that I found with Merry was how quickly she jumped to conclusions about Jason and how mercurial her moods tended to be, with the only explanation being the ubiquitous PMS.  While I can overlook the mood swings, I did have a small issue with the hot and cold signals she gave Jason.

Ah, Jason.  The professional ball player who is Merry's landlord.  I liked him immediately and found him very engaging, if relatively passive (which may have been due to his aunt's extroverted and borderline obnoxious behavior, among others).  I do think his and Merry's romance moved quicker than necessarily need be but I found them a rootable couple and was quickly invested in their relationship. 

For me, the best part of Strange Neighbors was the wacky menagerie of characters residing in the apartment complex, from the vampire who lives in the basement to the witchy duo upstairs, the unusual morgue employee to the ghost who refuses to leave his former residence, even after half a century.   Any page with these characters made the book hard - - if not downright impossible - - to put down and I actually found myself wishing that the book delved more into their stories than some of the Merry and Jason angle.

That being said, I thought Strange Neighbors was a lighhearted, fun read -  absolutely perfect for summer!  I read it relatively quickly, finding it a quick read and also one that I was anxious to continue.  If you like contemporary romance with a very healthy dose of sex, this is for you.  Readers preferring their books sex-free, or implied but not described, should possibly steer clear of Strange Neighbors.  Paranormal romance fans will no doubt be delighted with this book.   

I was pleased with the ending and it left me hoping that Ashlyn Chase would delve into Merry's "strange neighbors" with her next book. 

Strange Neighbors is available for purchase at major booksellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble

To find out more about Strange Neighbors and author Ashlyn Chase, visit Ashlyn's website HERE

To read my interview with Ashlyn Chase and enter for your chance to win a copy of Strange Neighbors, go HERE.

Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.


Tales of Whimsy said...

Wacky menagerie of characters? Sounds cute :) Great review!

Nightly Cafe said...

Great review and I love the trailer. Kudos.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Ooh i'm heading over to sign up for the contest!