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Monday, May 24, 2010

Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase

Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (354 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Fern

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.

Strange Neighbors is a clever, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny story that will rev you up, keep you guessing, and ensure you flip through the pages with nary a glance at the clock. Ashlyn Chase has taken a memorable cast of characters, a unique and intriguing plot, and woven them together. The result is a book that is not like any other, which is saying something in the paranormal genre.

The story begins by introducing you to the cheery and ready-to-live-on-her-own-two-feet Merry. She’s finally getting out on her own, a feat she’s been dreaming of for years, and her excitement at the prospect is obvious. As she moves into her new apartment building, she meets her oh-so-luscious neighbor (and the building’s owner) Jason. Sparks fly, chemistry ignites, and it’s only a matter of time before they are on their way to bliss. Their romance, however, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this story. An eclectic group of residents consisting of Jason’s nosey aunt and ever-patient uncle, a pair of witch phone sex operators, a morgue attendant, a vampire, and a ghost ensure life is anything but normal. As things become stranger and stranger, each will band together to uncover the mystery surrounding the ghost – Chad’s – murder, and in the process will uncover a few secrets of their own.

As someone that has read her fair share of paranormal romances, this one was a delightful shock to the senses. The humor kept things from becoming too dark, while the tension was a continual slow build. I loved Merry and Jason and couldn’t wait for his “big-reveal”. Their banter is both adorable and sexy, and their intimate scenes positively sizzle. The other residents ensure there is so much more to the story, and it’s as if you are opening a shiny present, piece by piece, until you’re standing in front of the masterpiece you’ve been in front of the entire time, yet have been unable to see.

A definite must read if you enjoy books that stand apart from the rest, be sure not to miss Strange Neighbors. The writing is fantastic, the interwoven plots are expertly plotted, and the surprises only get better and better.