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Michael Anderson, CEO of Anderson Enterprises, stepped onto the curb, buttoned his jacket, straightened his tie, and then, with a Guinness Book of World Records worthy string of curses, grabbed the abomination from the floorboard of the limousine.
If this turned out to be some elaborate joke perpetrated by his brothers, heads were going to roll.
The Anderson family chauffeur, Jacob, held out a leash. "You forgot something, sir." The rhinestones embedded in the leather winked in the sunlight, mocking him. He snatched the leash and shoved it in the outer pocket of the powder blue pet carrier.
Jacob's face remained completely expressionless, which was a good thing, because after the morning Michael had had, losing his shit on a busy New York City street was a very real possibility.
Fortunately, the doorman of his upper West Side apartment building kept his eyes at face level, so Michael made it to the elevator without incident.
He should have gone back to the office after his appointment with the shrink, but decided to take the rest of the day off — his first day off in over a year. But there wouldn't be another one. He vowed he wouldn't let this ludicrous situation get in the way of his productivity. He'd brought Anderson Auctions to the top of the heap, and it was his "self-centered, single-minded, rigid inclinations" that had allowed him to accomplish that, and now he was supposed to believe it was those very things that were bringing him down. Just thinking back on those words his therapist had used rankled.
The creature in the carrier whined as the elevator doors slid shut.
Yeah. Like dealing with one more needy thing was going to help him "loosen up."
"Rigid," he muttered under his breath, pushing the button for his floor. She'd actually called him rigid and self-centered. Self-centered. Surely this therapy regimen was a joke. Only, he knew it wasn't. He'd been seeing Dr. Whittelsey since he was fourteen. She'd helped him through lots of hard times and had never steered him wrong yet — or rather she'd helped him steer himself — and she wasn't the type to joke. Ever.
Before the elevator door even opened, he could feel the bass vibrating in his chest.
Boom, boom, boom-boom-boom.
Shit! Ever since his neighbor had brought in a house sitter, his home life was in chaos. He gave a snort. Home life. More like the time when he slept or entertained dates. His only real life was the office — which Dr. Whittelsey said was the root of his problem.
He'd lost his interest in "the kill", as his dad called his unwavering desire to win, and in order to stay at the top, he needed to get it back and he'd try anything. Even this.
He glanced down at the blue box and grimaced. How Whittelsey thought shaking up his routine would help was beyond him. No way would it work.
Boom, boom, boom-boom-boom.
He shoved open his apartment door and then slammed it behind him with a bang, causing the creature in the box to shift to one end. The carrier tipped, and he almost dropped it.
This was unacceptable. When he came home, he didn't want to hear a bunch of noise from next door. He must have called the guy at the security desk to file complaints a dozen times since the house sitter moved in three weeks ago. There were six units on this floor. Why did she have to live next to him?
Growling, he retreated to his kitchen and set the carrier on the floor. It had never been like this when Ellen Braxton lived next door. Sure, she'd been a pain in the ass the first few months with her Mrs. Robinson routine, but she'd backed off and had been nothing but the perfect, invisible neighbor since. She'd evidently gone off to traipse all over Italy, and someone he hadn't met was living next door. He'd never even seen the house sitter, but he'd heard her. It was like she was a one-woman nightclub over there.
He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and placed it, along with his keys, in the bowl on the kitchen counter — like always.
The thing in the carrier made a high-pitched whine.
"Okay. I don't like this any more than you do." Leaning down, he opened the wire carrier door and the beast bolted out in a blur of black and white fur. "Hey, get back here."
He didn't remember its name. Hell, he didn't even know its gender. Sighing, he stood and smoothed his tie. It didn't matter. He only had to deal with it for three weeks, and then his life could get back to normal. Really, how hard could it be? Feed it, water it, take it out four times a day. Piece of cake.
"A dog," he muttered, striding toward the wet bar in his living room. He'd never had a dog. Not even as a kid. This was a horrible idea.
Boom, boom, boom-boom-boom.
Not as horrible an idea as losing his cool and confronting his neighbor in person rather than just filing a complaint, which appealed more and more by the second.
No. Someone would tell the tabloids, and he'd learned long ago that reputation was everything. He'd worked hard to cultivate the correct image for the CEO of Anderson Enterprises.
He flicked a dog hair off of his sleeve and sighed. Being a caretaker of a foster dog was not going to enhance his image. Not one bit. And he didn't see how it would help him get his edge back, either. Still, he'd made a promise and he never went back on his word. Like it or not, he was stuck with the damned thing for a while.
After filling his glass with ice, he remembered it was morning, and his homecoming routine would have to be adjusted. Instead of scotch, he filled the tumbler with water, then wandered into the bedroom to take off his suit and tie and stopped short.
Everywhere. Like a pillow had exploded — or been ripped apart by the teeth of a wild, savage beast. "Dammit!" he said under his breath. The dog leapt off the bed and then wiggled underneath it.
In a trembling falsetto, he mimicked Dr. Whittelsey's singsong voice. "The dog is completely housetrained and has never torn up anything." A single feather, still airborne, landed on his suit lapel. Taking a deep, calculated, calming breath, he set his drink on the nightstand, and then gently plucked the feather from his jacket and deposited it in the trashcan next to the bed. One in the right place was better than none.
And still the booming bass from Club House Sitter continued its relentless attack on his already frayed nerves. One thing at a time. Dog first.
"Never torn anything up, my ass," he grumbled, getting down on his hands and knees to peer under the bed. Big, brown eyes stared back. Then blinked, and a majority of his anger floated away like feathers.
It wasn't the dog's fault, really. Most likely it was as unhappy about this arrangement as he was. No. That wasn't accurate. Nothing and no one could be as unhappy about this as he was. "Dog therapy," he muttered. "Total bullshit."
The dog stuck its tongue out and for a moment, it looked like it was smiling.
"I'm glad you agree. If I hadn't promised her that I would take care of you personally for the three weeks she's in Europe, you'd be at a boarding kennel," he said, still on his hands and knees. "But I did promise because my shrink thinks you'll break my routine and make me more flexible."
The racket from next door continued as the dog flipped its back legs behind it and stretched out on its belly under the bed.
"Don't get comfortable. I don't want you in my bedroom, so come on out." He crooked his finger like he would to an employee across the office lobby. Only, unlike his employees, the dog didn't come running. It simply looked at him, panted, and tapped its tail on the floor.
"Now, listen, dog. Let's get this straight. This is my house. You will do as I command. Now, out!" It blinked its huge eyes while the rest of its hairy body remained motionless, except its tail, which kept wagging.
Boom, boom, boom-boom-boom, the bass pounded.
Shit. This was a fucking nightmare. "I said, out!"
Rolling to its side, it gave the appearance of being completely at ease and unaffected.
He reached, but couldn't touch the animal because it had positioned itself directly under the center of the low king-sized bed.
A frustrated growl rumbled in Michael's chest, then morphed into a defeated groan. He'd been bested by a ten-pound animal with pink nail polish and a bow in its hair. "I can't believe I'm paying Dr. Whittelsey to torture me like this."
The dog lowered its chin to its paws and closed its eyes.
"Okay. You win this round, but if you think you're sleeping in here, you've got it wrong."
Before he'd gotten to his feet, a relentless eardrum-piercing pulse came from the other side of the wall.
God, he missed the days when he could come home to a peaceful, relaxing environment to unwind. Recently, it was like a living in a nightclub or video arcade with thumping music and now a deafening alarm clock of some kind.
The music stopped, but the shrill beeping continued. It wasn't an alarm clock, he realized. It was his neighbor's smoke detector.
Shit. She was going to burn the place down.
One thing at a time. Get out first, and then, if need be, call 911. That would require his keys and phone, which were on the kitchen counter. Purposefully, he strode to the kitchen, calm and level headed, as was his style. Everything had an order — evacuating a burning building included. People first. Possessions last.
On his way to the kitchen, a preliminary check-list ran through his head for a worst-case scenario: Call 911 and report the fire, call his parents and brothers to let them know he's okay, call his insurance agent and file a loss claim, call the office and make sure things are running smoothly, and then call his tailor to order clothes to replace those lost in the fire.
First though, he needed to get out and assess the seriousness of the situation, which hopefully, was nothing more than a false alarm.
As he grabbed his phone from the counter, his foot crashed into something: the powder blue carrier. The dog was still under the bed. Damn. He couldn't leave it there. People first, he reminded himself. It wasn't a person, but it wasn't a possession either.
Still, the shrill pulse penetrated the wall and a faint smell of smoke accompanied it now. Maybe it wasn't a false alarm.
Shit, shit, shit. "Come on, dog!" he called, striding back to the bedroom. "We need to get out of here. Dog! I'm serious." When he reached the bed, he dropped to his knees and saw ... nothing. It wasn't there.
He jumped to his feet and ran his hands through his hair. Everything had an order and sequence. Even chaos.
Over the alarm, there was another sound: a loud, high-pitched yip.
Michael skidded into the living room to find the dog sitting patiently by the door.
"Thank God," he said, scooping it up and tucking it against his side like a football. "Glad your survival instincts are in working order." Well, that, or it just needed to pee. Dr. Whittelsey said it would bark at the door when it needed to go out.
When he entered the hallway, he stopped short. The neighbor's door was standing wide-open and faint wisps of smoke drifted out. Not enough to burn down the building or even trip the central alarm or sprinklers, but evidently enough to set off a smoke detector in the unit. Stepping further in the hallway to get a better look, he froze.
Standing on a rolling desk chair immediately inside the door was a woman. He couldn't see anything from the ribs up, but he could see her legs and belly — her exceptionally well-toned legs and belly — and her shiny, skin-tight, cobalt-blue exercise shorts adorned with hot-pink swirls.
Surely this wasn't the house sitter from hell.
The dog barked and the woman leaned down from her perch on the chair and peeked under the door frame.
"Oh, hey," she said with a smile. "Cute dog."
Whoa. Cute girl. "Uh, thanks."
"Sorry for the scare." She stood again, and the desk chair seat swiveled then stilled. "I'll make this thing shut up in just a sec."
The dog whined, then wiggled, and Michael lost his grip, barely able to control the beast's fall before it hit the floor running. Like a furry tornado, it sped down the hall as an elderly man opened his door to check out what was going on. Since it was mid-morning, most people were at work.
Shit. "Come here, dog!"
"Maybe if I pull here ..." Before she could finish her sentence, the chair swiveled, and then tilted while she struggled to not lose her balance. Too late. It was obvious she was going down. Michael charged forward, wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her against him right as the chair toppled over, upended casters spinning in the air — spinning like his head as he held her tight against his body.
Convincing himself that his heart hammering a million miles a minute was solely the result of his evacuation scare, always in control Michael Anderson was stunned to find himself momentarily unable to speak ... or move ... or do anything but hang onto the stranger and stare. It wasn't like he hadn't seen an attractive woman before, but somehow this one had taken him by surprise. Damn, she felt good.
Reluctantly, he loosened his grip and she slid down his body, her arms looping around his neck before her feet touched the floor. "Thanks," she said, barely above a whisper, making no effort to move away.
"My pleasure," he replied, knowing full well that, being completely pressed up against him like that, she could tell just how true that statement was.
The dog barked from the end of the hall, and his head cleared enough to bring him back from his proximity paralysis.
"What the hell is going on here?" the man down the hall called, echoing Michael's sentiments precisely. What was going on? She was the house sitter from hell, for God's sake.
Still clinging to his neck, she answered the man back. "It's okay. I forgot I had some bread under the broiler. Everything's cool." The man shook his head and closed his door. Most of the people bought into this building because they valued their privacy. It was held out as exclusive, secure, and quiet. And it lived up to its reputation ... until recently.
Michael dropped his arms to his sides and she slid hers from around his neck, leaving him feeling cold somehow.
She stepped back and scanned him head-to-toe, then grinned. The dog yipped from the end of the hall, barely audible over the still-pulsing alarm.
"Hey little pup!" she called. "Come here. Want a treat?" The dog stopped running in a circle at the stairwell door and faced her.
"Yeah, treat," she called, and the beast came running, hair flying out to the sides as it bolted toward them.
Son-of-a-bitch. There was a magic word to make the thing obey. Treat. Yeah, well, he might come running if she called him, too. He shook his head. No. That's absurd. He had no time in his life for that kind of nonsense. He didn't run when called.
"I'm Mia," she said, extending her hand.
He took her hand, surprised by her firm grip. "Michael."
"Well, Michael, I tried to remove the battery from the smoke detector, but I can't figure out how to take the cover off," she said, voice a bit loud in order to carry over the still-shrieking alarm. She picked the dog up and held it against her chest, which was covered by a sports bra that matched her shorts.
"Do you think you could help me out and give it a try?" she asked.
She stepped back and he entered what looked more like the inside of a spin-art machine than a living room. The floor was covered with a bright blue tarp, and a large canvas, covered in brilliant splatters, sat propped up against the tarp-covered sofa. One thing at a time, he reminded himself. At least the smoke had dissipated for the most part. "Do you have a step-stool?"
"Nah." Dog in her arm, she grabbed what appeared to be an authentic eighteenth century mahogany Hepplewhite shield chair. "Just use this," she shouted over the alarm as she dragged it under the smoke detector above the entry door.
Grimacing, he stepped up onto the leather cushion. The Braxton woman was going to have a fit if she ever found out her fine antique had been abused like this. The smoke alarm cover slipped right off after a quarter turn, and the battery was no problem either, resulting in sweet silence.
When he stepped down, she was feeding the dog something from her hand.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Neighbors with Benefits"
Copyright © 2015 Marissa Clarke.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Thoughts: Michael and Mia don't start off on good terms. He's constantly calling the manager about issues he keeps having with her. In her defense, he's the one who makes all the noise first--what else is she to do but to make it clear that he's interrupting her life? Sadly, though, thanks to all of his phone calls, Mia gets kicked out of the apartment. Michael feels guilty about what happened because if it weren't for him, she'd still have a place to stay. So he offers to let her stay with him. And in return, he'll pose as her fiancé. They realize that this is all only temporary, but their first impromptu kiss keeps them from acting rationally. Neighbors with Benefits was an adorable fake engagement and enemies to lovers story! I loved Mia--I mean she blasted Weird Al Yankovic to drown out the noises in the other apartment. What's not to love about that? I also really enjoyed how Michael grew throughout the story. The fact that he's pet-sitting Clancy, his therapist's dog, added to the change in him, not to mention had some pretty hilarious moments. All in all, I'm very pleased to see the Anderson Brothers series continue and can't wait to see the next one by Marissa Clarke! My Rating: Very Good
Entangled’s Lovestruck imprint is all about finding love where you least expect it, with hilarious “meet-cutes”. For me, when I think of Lovestruck, I think of tons of laugh out loud moments. Neighbors with Benefits has that in spades. I seriously had a smile on my face the WHOLE time I was reading the book. To me, that’s just unheard of. Michael Anderson and Mia Argaropolis are two opposites who shouldn't want anything to do with each other, but burnt bread, an overflowed bathtub, an uncontrollable dog and a jerk of an ex bring these two together. Michael is all about control and order. He’s the CEO of Anderson Enterprises and his first day off in over a year is about to change his life forever. Mia is a free-spirit. She’s a talented artist who lives a nomadic life by housesitting for various people. She’s also a little flighty. This flightiness actually causes her to meet Michael. The two have this love-hate relationship with amazing chemistry and playful zingers. I found the second book in Marissa Clarke’s Anderson Brothers Series to be just fabulous. Michael is still a little of a mystery to me, since I don’t understand why he had to live such a structured life, but I loved watching Mia turn his world on its axis. I’m now rushing to read the first book, Sleeping with the Boss.
5 stars for a classic case of opposites attract with this being the second book in the Anderson Brothers Series it can be read as a stand alone. Mia Argaropolis is a beautiful artist who flits from place to place but just happens to be house sitting next to a stuffed shirt. Mia is the definition of a free spirit not really caring too much where she ends up and slightly flighty. Mia has this outward persona that speaks of goofy/nutty behavior but that is far from the truth. Michael Anderson is the CEO of his family business and is literally all business all the time. He knows how to relax with a woman for the night but that's all it will ever be because Michael doesn't have the time or the inclination for a relationship. Michael hasn't had a day off in forever and once he finally does the noisy neighbor changes his life forever. Instant attraction and combustible chemistry come together to make this a fast paced and minimal angst read that I enjoyed in one day. I will definitely look for more from this author.
You know when they say, "it's always the quite ones"? The same goes for the ones that hold on to their control the tightest. When they lose the long-held control, they do it spectacularly. In the second book of the Anderson Brothers series, the oldest brother, Michael, is about to spiral out of control. He is fostering a dog for his therapist, working on the biggest deal of his career, and not getting anything done in the bedroom (sleep or otherwise) due to the house sitter in his neighbor's apartment. Mia is a nomad, moving from one house sitting job to the next, with only one real constant in her life, the group of ladies she instructs in an art therapy class at the local retirement home. She does not realize that her way of life is more about protecting herself from heartache than being able to make connections with people. After Mia and Michael have a terrible first meeting, Michael feels horrible when Mia's ex shows up and says some of the very same things Michael did. Michael butts in hoping to help the situation and ends up declaring himself Mia's fiancé. From this point on, I did not have any idea how Marissa Clarke was going to spin this story. The couple's explosive attraction was evident from the first touch, but I never guessed Mia would be the one to hold back. Clarke surprised me at every turn and thrilled me with every kiss. Each kiss was like an event. Some authors get to wordy and descriptive about kisses, passion, and sex. Clarke did not do that here. The couple's first three kisses were like a getting pulled onto the dance floor when your favorite song begins to play, completely spontaneous and uninhibited. Michael's carefully planned life gets upended and, in the long run, he begins to love the mess. I haven't read the first book in the series, Sleeping with the Boss, but if it is anywhere close to the phenomenal caliber of writing that Neighbors with Benefits is, I will move it to the top of my TBR list. Thanks so much to Marissa Clarke and Entangled Lovestruck for granting me with a copy of Neighbors with Benefits in exchange for an honest review.
Michael Anderson is one sexy “control freak” I wouldn't mind controlling me. The second installment of the Anderson Brothers series shows the story of Michael,a sexy CEO, and Mia, a free spirited artist. They are completely different, but yet almost the same. It's true what they say about opposites attract but I think the addition of the cute little doggy Clancy that brought these two together. This is a great read and I love the humor that comes from these two butting heads and fighting their feelings. The whole book flowed so well I couldn't put it down. Marissa Clarke is a great wordsmith and knows how to tell a compelling story that makes you want to go on the journey of the characters she creates. I'm telling you that this is a must read.
Neighbors with Benefits by Marissa Clarke was definitively the funniest Book I have read in a long time – adding the fact that when read the Blurb I expected it to be “just” a “powerful-man-falls-in-love-with-different-than-usual-woman” – I have to admit I was totally surprised by this book. In addition, I can honestly state that it was (at least for me) a very unusual approach to a very often used theme – which makes it unique in my world and a lot of fun to read. Any further explanation would give away too much on the story – so just be warned to read it some place where your laughing will not disturb anybody else. God – I am actually still grinning P.S. it might be the second in that series - but it can be read as a standalone without any problems > > > I have received this book as an ARC from the publisher. > > In exchange, I promised an honest review.
I was given an ARC for my honest review. This is the second book in the Anderson's series. I have to say Marissa did not disappoint me in this book. Michael Anderson is your typical CEO corporate, control freak and playboy. Mia Argaropolis is your typical free spirited and flighty women. Or are they? When these two meet up it is not a match made in heaven. It is quit the opposite. These two are so far from the same and yet they have compassion even if one hides it. This books is good read and I would recommend it to my family and friends. It is about growth and love and learning who one is. Two people balancing the other out and ultimately seeing beyond the surface. I loved the dog in this book he plays a big part in this book. Clancy has a huge part in this book. He helps in more ways than one to bring these two together. Buy he is also good for the soul. Thank you Marissa for another great read. I can't wait for the next installment of the next Anderson brother.
Loved this book! It was a super fun read with interesting characters that made the story come to life. Free spirited Mia was perfect for the always serious business minded Michael. She brought a side of him to life with her snarky banter and quick wit. Michael was good for her too! Building confidence and a desire for a full life for herself is just what Mia needs. This is one you will want on the must read list. I highly recommend it.
this is the first book I have read from this author. could not put it down till I finished it. enjoyed it
Squeeee! Yup, I've been reduced to a giggling and giddy fan girl. That is a pretty hard task to accomplish. This was a really fun and flirt read and devoid of anything sinister. There are no 'bad' guys save for a douchey ex-boyfriend that is so unimportant you kinda forget he exists until he is mentioned. It's a light read that is perfect for a day on the beach and a quick read to boot. I literally finished it in under 3 hours with a short interlude for food. The Great (Pros): The romance. It was steamy, enlightening and fun. Everything a reader looks for in a good romantic pairing. The chemistry is on point and the evolution of Mia and Michael as a unit as well as separate entities is perfect. The Queen Bs. I loved those kooky old ladies. The scenes with them were some of the funniest. Clancy. He's fluffy and adorable. What's not to love. His antics had me thinking about some of my pets and giggling at the memories. Subject matter. I really liked that although Mia is 'beautiful' this book touches on some insecurities that have nothing to do with physical appearance. I really enjoyed reading about Mia learning to respect and appreciate herself as well as Michael reinforcing that she is a somebody and worthy of love. It made their relationship that much more beautiful. The Not So Great (Cons): Pace.It felt a little rushed at times and too slow at others, but all in all its not anything too serious and doesn't draw away from the story. Mia's Friends. Sure they aren't bad people, but I felt like they should have been a little better to her or at least a little more apologetic. “I received a free copy of the book from the author/publisher for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian *I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Reads in exchange for a fair and honest review.* I really enjoyed this book. I am a sucker for a book that has a sassy female lead and a bull headed male lead. This book definitely has just that! What makes it even better is what you learn about the characters as the story unfolds. It eases some of the harshness on the exterior of each character and makes them quite lovable. I think the dialogue that was written between these two characters from start to finish was perfect and on point. It felt like it flowed naturally between the two and didn't feel rushed or pushed. I could define it as the relationship you had with your significant other right away, or at least it's similar to mine in so far as the banter, the wit, and the attitude. You feel there is something more there and the conversation feels natural as if you've known the person a long time. I give major props to the author for this as this, to me, seems to be an area that so many fall short. This is the type of book you would want to read if you're looking for a happy, pick me up, kind of book. Pick up your copy, you won't regret it!
Received a copy of the title in exchange for an honest review. Add one part, control freak, to one part free spirit, and what do you get? A fun, cute novel featuring Michael (said control freak) and artist Mia (that free spirit). Let's be honest -- control freak may even be too light of a term for Michael. His therapist wants him to "open up" and "loosen up" and oh, maybe you can watch my dog for a few days. Michael is gruff and annoyed, but he takes the dog (who's name is... well, who's gender is... yeah, he didn't bother to ask) and heads back to his ritzy condo, a condo that people spend money on for the seclusion and the idea that you won't be bothered by your neighbors, but oh yes, that's right -- There's a house sitter next door and the person plays music way too loud and Michael's perpetual headache just gets worse and worse -- the icing on the cake? The smoke detector is going off. The last thing Michael expects to see when heading to the next door over is a pretty woman in barely there gym clothes. Mia is everything Michael is not. She lives in the moment and finding this house sitting gig was a blessing in disguise -- with it, she's close enough to the art galley she wanted to be at, and the space, the light... everything is perfect for her own light. At first she wants to like Michael, the man who comes blazing in to help her turn off the alarm, but quickly she learns what a... stick in the mud, he is. These two were SO MUCH FUN to read about. This was such a laugh out loud type of romance. I don't do a lot of giggling when reading so-called comedies, but when I actually do? The author has for sure hit the mark. The chemistry, the fighting, the making up... it all worked for me. The 'big bang' moment has more to do with Mia not trusting her free ways could ever be enough for stuffy Michael. Mia needed some order in her life, and Michael needed some looseness; Marissa Clark did a fantastic job with these two, and I'm excited to go back and read William Anderson's book but really, I'm excited for the upcoming release of baby brother Chance's book!
Opposites attract on steroids. That is the phrase I would use to describe Mia and Michael. These people are so incompatible that it's hilarious. Uptight (stuffed shirt), organized and reliable business man Michael and flighty, free spirited, fly by the seat of the pants Mia. A relationship between these two people doesn't make sense. Yet Ms. Clarke's story and her vision does. In theory they may not make sense but as you delve deeper into Neighbor's with Benefits you start to see that Micheal helps to add structure to Mia's life. Mia helps Michael to relax and enjoy life. I receive a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I loved it.
## Absolute delight. I had a feeling I would like this. It was pretty PG but sexy nonetheless. Michael was honorable and actually pretty adorable once he lets go a little. I think the author went a little overboard with the heroine's character. I don't think the clothes all over the floor or a sink full of dirty dishes was necessary to be portray her as flighty. The chemistry this couple had was sizzling for sure. I adored "Sleeping with the boss" and am looking so forward to Chance's story as well.
NEIGHBORS WITH BENEFITS is not just a story of opposites attracting but also of opposites being alike where it matters: on the inside. Rigid, uptight and stuffy are words that can be used to describe Michael Anderson. Michael is a man who loves to be in control of himself, his image, his surroundings and even his relationships so his disruptive neighbor from hell and his doggy charge are sure to strain his control. Artist Mia Argaropolis is having the time of her life doing what she loves, working as an art therapist at a retirement community and house-sitting but it would even be more fun if her neighbor next door played nice. Michael and Mia's first meeting is less than ideal and every subsequent meeting after that does not improve on the first. So why does Michael find himself stepping in to defend her from her ex-boyfriend? Why does he invite her to stay in his apartment when she loses the house-sitting job? And why is he pretending to be her fiancé at an out of town event to protect her pride? For a man who thrives on order, Mia is like a tornado, setting his world on its ear but he can't stop wanting her in spite of their differences. He's structured, she's free-spirited. He's grounded, she's flighty. He's reserved, she's open and fun-loving. However Mia and Michael begin to discover what's special about each other as they spend time together. They both see that beneath the surface, they are both afraid to open up to another person for fear of being hurt and those quirks that used to drive them crazy become something to love. Initially I was not a fan of both characters and could not see how they would work with all the differences between them, but slowly and surely, Michael and Mia found middle ground and I really liked the positive effects they had on each other. Michael became less rigid and more spontaneous and Mia found herself being more organized and selflessly putting Michael's needs ahead of hers. Ms Clark could have made this a just fluffy, lighthearted, feel-good story (not that there anything wrong with that) but she took it further by taking the characters on this some-times discomfiting, sometimes challenging but ultimately liberating journey of self-awareness and I loved reading it. NEIGHBORS WITH BENEFITS is fun, sexy, emotional and worth reading. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Enjoyable short story. The sparks will fly and emitions will flow. Can't wait for Chance's story.
**I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review**CEO and control freak Michael Anderson likes his life in perfect order with perfectly aligned decisions. Then why does he need a shrink to tell him how to loosen up and get his drive back? And why does he agree to her sticking him with her dog? On top of that, the house sitter next door keep banging loud music, wrecking his exact night's sleep. After she sets off the fire alarm and he sees her for the first time, for once his head and body aren't exactly in perfect alignment over the free-spirited Mia. Especially when his common sense gets over-ruled and he rescues hers, leading them to some complicated circumstances.This book was really cute. It was like watching one of my favorite RomComs, predictable (as are most contemporaries), but had me totally drawn in and cheering at the end. The two main characters kind of reminded me of a Sheldon and Penny (from BBT) colliding, total opposites whose worlds would be totally changed. I now want to find Gladys and the Bs and hang with them for a few days. I really liked it and can't wait to read more from this author. I highly recommend it to anyone that likes this genre.
Michael Andersen is the CEO of Andersen Enterprises. He is very rigid in how things should be done. He has a routine he follows to the T and everything must be in order. The only thing he lives for is his business. He has no other interests. His life changes dramatically when he meets the person living next door when the fire alarm goes off. Mia Argaropolis is an artist who is house sitting for his neighbor. Mia is fun and flighty but has a hard time keeping focused. She forgot she was baking buns so she set the alarm off when she forgot about them. She also overflowed the tub because she forgot she left the water running. Michael and Mia had never met but knew of each other because when Michael would have women over for sex, Mia could hear them through the wall. This prompted her to play really loud music to drown them out and to annoy Michael. They didn't like each other without even having met. I loved this pair. Mia, not so much at first because she was just too flaky. She had low self-asteem and didn't think anyone would want to be with her. But she tried to convince herself that was okay. Michael was such a control freak that he had no fun in his life at all. He didn't see anything wrong with that though. When they finally meet, they are instantly attracted to each other but fought it because they didn't like the little they knew of each other. The little Shih Tzu, Clancey, is so much fun in this story. Michael had been seeing a therapist for several years and she suggested he look after a dog all on his own for 3 weeks to help him loosen up and care about something other than his business. It took Michael a long time to actually call him by his name because he thought the entire idea of caring for the dog was ridiculous. Much to his surprise he eventually began to little the little dog. This is a well written story that progresses smoothly. When Mia gets evicted from her house sitting job, Michael convinces her to move in with him to help with dog care. She agrees and it doesn't take long for them to see through each others personalities to the better qualities they have. Mia is to be the maid of honor at her friend's wedding and her ex is the best man. He goes to see Mia to talk her out of going to the wedding but when Michael heard the shouting, he wanted to help so he approached Mia and pretended to be her boyfriend. Continuing to help her save face, he went to the wedding with her which was good. But the accommodation was terrible! I highly recommend this fun story and am so glad I received a complementary copy in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 Sweet Stars This is the second book in the Anderson Brothers Series by Clarke, but luckily as this was the first I have read, it can easily be read as a stand alone. Michael is used to order and control at all times. Work has always come first for this brother who was groomed early on by the father to take over the helm of the company visit. He is really being pushed by the noisy house sitter currently living next door. He is thrown when Mia literally falls into his arms while trying to dismantle the fire alarm. The instant attraction almost has him off his game but Mia seems to be equally annoyed by Michael. Not long after a run in with her ex, Mia finds herself out of her apartment sitting job, and now with Michael offering a sofa to crash on and his services as a fake fiancee for an upcoming wedding, all in exchange for dog sitting at night. Just a simple business deal, nothing else, until the couple finds themselves battling the chemistry that runs thick between them. While there is a little angst due to misunderstandings, this book is not filled with unnecessary drama. It is a cute read that will have you smile and laugh multiple times. The ladies at the nursing home are a hoot and the relationship Michael has with his brothers is great. This is definitely a fun read that is great if you are spending a little time at the beach or on vacation. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book was ok for me. I guess after reading a book by another author that was really, really good this one kind of disappointed me or I missed something. The two main characters just got on my nerves a bit and since it involved a dog, I thought it mind be kind of a cute story. Eh no. Michael is a uptight CEO and Mia is an artist that helps out at a retirement home and is a messy and loud neighbor to Michael. It takes awhile to get into the story and then it starts to flow.