Sunday, March 20, 2011

Strange Neighbors ~ Ashlyn Chase

You can find Strange Neighbors and it’s sequel, The Werewolf Upstairs at any major bookstore or online retailer.  You can find Ms. Chase here.


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...

Okay, so I normally don’t include book trailers with my reviews, but while I was looking for Ms. Chase’s website, I saw that she’d included this on the page for the book I’d just finished.  So, I figured I’d give you an added reason to read this charming story.  Fun, huh?

Merry is one of those characters who can either be very endearing and relatable, or such a complete hot mess that you just want to slap.  See, she’s never been out on her own, having taken over the running of her family after the death of her mother.  While not very worldly, she’s not exactly na├»ve either, which is refreshing.  I loved Merry to no end, I was happy to see that she was not the kind of first-time-in-the-city girl that has no clue whatsoever.  Her innocence and lack of experience is charming and a natural part of her allure, instead of making her seem helpless and weak.  I think one of the things that helps with this is the fact that her romantic interest, Jason, finds her rural charm just that – charming.  In the end, however, she proves herself as an independent and strong woman with a mind of her own.  She’s a wonderful balance of fun and sexy, wrapped up in one woman.

Jason is my kind of guy all around.  Pro baseball pitcher, hunky, and carrying a secret.  Okay, so maybe I’m not all about the man in my life carrying deep, dark secrets, but in my fiction it’s just fine.  I was happy to find he wasn’t arrogant in any manner, but a good ol’ boy from Minnesota with his feet firmly on the ground.  Having  been all around the world, his experience balances out Merry’s inexperience in a good way.  They learn from each other and feed off the other’s emotions and actions in a way that real couples do.  Together they make a cute and believable couple.  And they’re not perfect, either.  Another nice touch.  She’s not immediately accepting of his dark secret, but they talk things out and make it work, like you would in the real world.  That, in my opinion, makes a story that much better. 

Strange Neighbors is a fantastic book that will provide something for your every need.  The first thing you notice is the author’s wonderful sense of humor.  You won’t go for more than a page or two without a giggle of some kind, and most likely a full out laugh.  The second thing you notice is that the building they live in?  Yeah, it’s peopled with nothing but the oddest of critters – a ghost, shifters of every kind, a couple of witches, and a vampire in the basement.  Lastly, you are sucked in and held by the wonderful budding relationship between Jason and Merry.  And I don’t mean just the sex – although that by itself is a reason to read this novel, hot, steamy and very satisfying – but the whole ritual of finding and getting to know someone well enough to fall.  I love how all the elements of this story work together to build a better and more complete world.  I also loved the fact that the shifters in the building aren’t the kind you’d expect, either.  All in all, there’s not anything you’ll find to disagree with here. 

And now, if you’ll excuse me… I’ve got The Werewolf Upstairs loaded on my Kindle, just waiting for me… (PSSST… it’s $2.36 at Amazon right now, go buy the sequel!)