A Friendly Neighbora friendly neighborRating: 2.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

After being on a wait list for two years, Kyle is finally living in an upscale complex just outside of NYC. He loves almost everything about his luxurious loft-style apartment, everything except for the mournful meowing of the cat outside his window. Looking out of his window, Kyle is able to see into his neighbor’s apartment. His neighbor who is getting undressed. Kyle is not a voyeur, usually. Just this once he thinks he will just take a quick look, just for a little self pleasure. There is always next time for self control. What Kyle is not aware of is that his neighbor can see him as well.

Jackson’s voyeuristic neighbor has piqued his curiosity. Jackson has been busy working, trying to figure out his next moves in life, and he has not had much time or interest in dating. Jackson thinks Kyle is someone he can get to know, build a friendship, maybe even a relationship. When the two men are hired for the same photo shoot, they both show each other there could be more to do than just watch.

This book starts off promising. There is a voyeuristic opening scene with Kyle feeling conflicted about watching Jackson and subsequently getting so aroused that he pleasures himself. We are then asked to pretty much take a leap of faith for the rest of the story.

So the night after the window incident, Jackson sees Kyle on his balcony having a drink and invites him over. Because, well, he’s your hot neighbor, not the creepy guy who was jerking off while watching you undress. When Kyle kisses Jackson, he quickly apologizes for coming on so strong, and Jackson is the one who wants things to progress.  For the rest of the book, however, there was a complete role reversal.  Kyle went from saying they should take it slow in the first scene to almost becoming predatory as the story went on, almost as if he is in a race to get Jackson into bed as fast as he possibly can.

Kyle’s mouth watered. …If only he’d pushed a bit harder last night he’d know more than Jackson’s taste and scent, but no, he had to play the gentleman and allow Jackson to push him out the door before he got Jackson on his back with his legs in the air.

The whole story, which is a shorter one, is about putting them in situations to amp up their arousal so they can just get into bed together as fast as possible. It works sometimes, it absolutely does. However, there was no other plot line going on and no reader connection to really want them to get into bed together. The tone, the wording, the lack of connection, and the conflicting actions of the characters just did not draw me in at all.

The dialog was really off for me as well. Here we have two contemporary guys living just outside of NYC using words such as, “egads,” “shucks,” and “splendid.” At first I thought it was a joke. I don’t think it was.

We never learn anything about either guy other than their day jobs. When we got to the intimate scenes, it was hard to connect to either of them as they don’t know each other and we don’t know them. While I have seen this scenario work well other times, it was further difficult to connect to the writing and when things got intimate it went like this:

Jackson took him to the edge, then gently led him back with slow, lazy licks until his tongue could tease the rim and flat mushroom of Kyle’s glans again.

Then, when the moment has passed:

“Thank you seems inadequate”

“I’ll collect a proper thank you later.”

“I just bet you will.” Kyle blew out a deep breath. “That was really great Jackson.”

“I like the way you taste neighbor.”

And because things were all of a sudden progressing too fast for Jackson, he was then shoving Kyle out the door.

The whole photo shoot scene was off as well. Neither Kyle nor Jackson has ever modeled before. They have no idea the other is going to be there, they discuss having no contract, and not knowing what the photo and videos are going to be used for. During the shoot, they go off script (though we are never told there was a script for the shoot in the first place), so they can roll around on the prop bed in the studio.

When a start a book, I always have the anticipation and expectation that it is going to be a great story.  That just did not happen here and I cannot easily recommend A Friendly Neighbor.

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