From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a friends-to-lovers story with sexy new characters.
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 was REALLY looking forward to this book. Like, really looking forward to it. And then I didn’t get an ARC. Ugh, #firstworldbloggerproblems. HaHa. So of course, I bought this thing and devoured it in a few hours and kept bouncing between loving Penelope Ward and wondering if she and I would be ending our imaginary friendship before it really had a chance to develop.
Poor Chelsea. Elec was such a tool. Ugh. That guy. The nerve. My poor Chelsea. Sorry, I became really invested in Chelsea. I think it was because you really can see her point in wanting closure and wanting to know what she “did wrong”.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, Damien was listening in on all of her conversations with her therapists and he had no problem making pure fun of her for it. (That therapist was sort of a quack though, I mean…a unicorn?). Thus, their friendship begins.
I really enjoyed how Penelope Ward let this friendship turn into more, but it was so gradual that you could have almost missed it. And I don’t mean that we don’t see moments of steaminess or heat between Chelsea and Damien, I mean she wove it in so easily. You could easily see two friends having the conversations they had and interacting the way they did. It made total sense.
But when Chelsea gets a surprise and sees Elec, Damien rescues her with what I would call the kiss to end all other kisses. You knew it was a moment that Damien both had been wanting and yet, dreading.
Chelsea and Damien were such great characters. Chelsea is just that kind-hearted friend that has no idea how much much people really see in her. I wouldn’t call her oblivious, but I think she is one of those characters who is living life and isn’t spending all of her time worrying about other things that people say about her. That isn’t to say she doesn’t worry, but its not her whole life focus.
Damien is just this observant, super-intelligent guy. Its funny how as we learn more about him in the story, more and more surprises come out. And its not like you’re surprised once you learn the secret. You sort of can see it when you look back. You almost wonder how you didn’t see it.
I don’t want to give away the reasoning why Damien keeps pushing Chelsea away. I will say it was not something I saw coming at all. I thought Chelsea and Damien’s love story was one that was so beautiful and I felt it covered so much true love. Not just the love we like to read about. But the love that really is out there. The love that makes sacrifices. The love that may lead to pain, knowingly. Penelope Ward really did an excellent job with Damien and Chelsea and you are completely missing out if you do not take time to read “Neighbor Dearest”.