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Review and New Release: Neighbors by L.S. Murphy


Title: Neighbors
Author: L.S. Murphy
Genre: Contemporary romance
Published: 2013
Pages: 65
Format read: ebook
Rating: C+

Neighbors is a novella from Entangled’s Flirt line, which promises “palate-teasing novellas designed to satisfy readers’ cravings for romance without the time commitment required to invest in a full-length novel.” Sounds perfect for a busy November, right?

Rena Woods’s design business is finally taking off. She’s landed a huge client–the wife of St Louis’s newest NBA star–and she’s sure that doing well on this job will give her an “in” in the industry. When her new neighbors move in, she might not have even noticed–except for the giant moving truck boxing her into her parking spot just as she needs to leave for an important appointment.

Oh, and the gorgeous–but surly–guy behind the wheel.

Staff Sargent C.J. Riker is apparently a model neighbor to everyone but Rena, though, a fact which just feeds her annoyance. What gives?

As the two begin to get past their less-than-ideal beginning, Rena starts to feel a connection to the Marine that goes beyond simple attraction. Some things remain a mystery, however. How did he lose his leg? What causes his mercurial shifts in temper when Rena’s around? And given her aunt’s experiences with being “married to the military”–and Rena’s own less-than-perfect dating track record, not to mention her busy career–should she even try to get close enough to him to find out?

Neighbors was a pleasant way to spend an hour reading, but  it didn’t go much beyond that. Though I liked the characters and enjoyed their interactions, I didn’t ever feel a deep connection to them and their problems. Part of it is no doubt the fact that this is a very short read–knowing more about the characters and their backgrounds definitely would have made me feel more invested in their struggles–but overall, it just didn’t pack much of a “punch” for me. While reading, I just felt as if I were floating along the top of their lives, mildly interested in what was going on with them but not terribly concerned about it one way or another.

Riker’s character was obviously experiencing some major effects from his military service, and that aspect alone really deserved more attention than this short of a novella could really deliver. Still, I didn’t dislike L.S. Murphy’s writing, and would definitely pick up another book by this author in the future in the hopes that I would be able to find a better connection with it and its characters.

C+ rating.

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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