Strange Neighbors

Strange Neighbors

by Ashlyn Chase

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Overview

"Dynamic, steamy, and hilarious."—Fresh Fiction

First in a feisty paranormal romance trilogy, shapeshifter-landlord Jason Falco's brownstone is occupied by the oddest of tenants: a gregarious werewolf, a vigilante vampire, two witches moonlighting as phone sex operators, and the beautiful all-too-human nurse he would desperately love to sweep off her feet.

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...

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 Series
Strange Neighbors (Book 1)
The Werewolf Upstairs (Book 2)
The Vampire Next Door (Book 3)

Praise for The Werewolf Upstairs:
"Witty and wonderful...the entertaining plot, humor, sizzling sensual scenes, and romance make this story unforgettable."—Romance Junkies
"Original and full of laughs, steamy sex, and madcap mayhem."—Night Owl Romance
"An entertaining, funny read." —RT Book Reviews
"Delicious romance...The Werewolf Upstairs seduced me!"—Sparkling Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402236617
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

A multi-published eBook author, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse, and for the Red Cross, and has a degree in behavioral sciences. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire.

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 1:

A hand reached out to her. "Would you like to dance?" She followed the line of a crisp white sleeve and looked up into the sparkling eyes of her mystery man. He had to be a GQ model to possess a face and body like that.

"Merry? What on earth are you doing?"

*Poof*

And just like that, Merry MacKenzie's daydream evaporated.

"Dad, I'm exhausted. I have to rest."

Merry collapsed on the worn leather sofa sitting in the middle of the sidewalk in front of a beautiful antique townhouse. She yanked an inhaler from her denim jacket, shook it vigorously, and squirted the mist into her mouth. Inhaling a deep breath, her constricted lungs eased. Ah, relief.

"We're almost done. But while you're resting, let me say this again—if you ever need or want to move back to Rhode Island, you can."

She rolled her eyes. "Fine. But right now, I'm still moving into my apartment. How about letting me unpack before you make me feel guilty for leaving you?" She reclined on the sofa so she could expand her diaphragm and rest.

"Come on, Merry," her father said as he loomed over her. "One last push."

"No. I'm tapped... Gonna die now."

"I know you're tired. We've been moving your stuff into your new apartment all afternoon. Or, I should say, new to you, old by any other American's standards."

"Well, I happen to love it. Jeez, did you look around? Did you notice that thick, solid mahogany banister? I don't know how you could miss it. It practically blinds you, gleaming in the light of the crystal chandelier," she said. "Everything is in really good shape. Apparently the landlord lives in the building and made sure it was all replastered, but kept the period details like the wide crown moldings. And while you're noticing, check out the marble stairs. The elevator is all mahogany and brass inside."

"Why do you care about the elevator? You live on the first floor—thank God. I can't imagine carrying all this crap up to the second or third floor."

"And moving in is only part of the fun! I'll be up half the night unpacking. Who knew I had so much stuff?"

"That's the way it is when you move. You always have more than you thought you had and it always takes longer than you think it will."

"I've never moved before, so how could I know?" Mr. MacKenzie frowned. "Merry, Matt and I have to get going soon. It's getting dark. Are you okay?"

"Just one more minute, Dad." Merry glanced around at the lengthening shadows, wondering where west might be and if she'd have a sunset view. She looked up at tree limbs silhouetted against the twilight sky. Dry leaves rattled in the autumn breeze, and for a moment she thought she saw...

Great. First night on my own and already I'm seeing ghosts.

Then she spied a man with long, dark hair leaning against the wrought iron fence that surrounded the brownstone's small lot. Dressed all in black, he almost disappeared into the shadows, and she might not have noticed him at all except for his pale skin and intense eyes.

Something about the way he cocked his head and stared at her caught her attention. A shiver rippled up her spine.

"You can rest when you're inside. It's getting darker by the minute and you know my eyesight's no good for night driving."

"Have Matt drive home. Where is he, anyway?"

Her father peered toward the heavy oak and beveled glass front door of the building. They'd left it propped open with a marble pedestal from the foyer. "I don't know. Last I saw, he stopped to talk to someone. Must have been the landlady."

A second later, her younger brother raced down the steps babbling, "Dad, did you know Jason Falco owns this building? Do you believe that? Jeez, I'm going to have to visit Merry every chance I get!"

She groaned. "You'd better not, pickle-head. And who's Jason Falco, anyway?"

"You're kidding!" he shouted. "You don't know who Jason Falco is?"

Mr. MacKenzie folded his arms. "Calm down, Matt. It's a fairly common name. It could be anybody. Come on, Merry. Get up."

"Can't... too tired."

Some kind of secret signal passed between father and son. The next thing Merry knew, the couch tipped and they unceremoniously dumped her onto the sidewalk.

Oomph.

"Hey!" She scrambled to her feet while her brother continued chattering as if nothing had happened.

"He's the lefty pitcher for the Boston Bullets! I swear. I was just talking to his aunt. Oh—she wants the door closed, by the way. It's getting cold in there." As if to illustrate the point, a chilly October breeze blew crisp, brown leaves around their feet.

"Why didn't you say so in the first place?" Merry admonished. "Do you want my neighbors to immediately hate me? Get on the other side of the couch with dad; I can't lift another thing."

Merry marched into her new apartment building, hoping to find the landlord's aunt so she could apologize. No one seemed to be about, but she heard voices from the second floor. As her father and brother staggered and grunted through the front door under the weight of the leather sofa, a young man appeared at the top of the wide, curving staircase.

Long muscular legs in jeans and sneakers had come into view first. Then Merry saw his flat abdomen and broad shoulders under a navy blue knit jersey, and then finally his face.

"Whoa, let me help you with that." He jogged down the steps and grasped the side of the couch her brother had left teetering.

Oh, my lord! What a handsome face it was. Dark, thick brows stood out against his light skin and clear blue eyes. She couldn't identify his hair color easily, since it barely showed under a blue baseball cap. Maybe milk chocolate brown. Merry thought the style was called a buzz cut. The length nearly matched the brown whiskers of the five o'clock shadow on his strong jaw.

"Thanks, man." Matt did a double take and grinned. "I can't wait to set this couch down so I can shake your hand. Believe it or not, my sister's moving into your building and didn't even know who you were."

The handsome hunk just laughed.

Merry put two and two together and decided this must be the famous Jason Falco. Not bad. Not bad at all. On the other hand, if her brother insisted on embarrassing her in front of her hottie landlord by pointing out what a baseball fan she wasn't, she'd have to have a little "chat" with him before he left. A slap upside the head ought to do the trick.

She stepped back in order for the three men to pass her as they carried the heavy piece of used furniture into her tiny living room.

Her father surveyed the polished hardwood floor already covered with boxes. "Where do you want this, honey?"

"Um... I'm not sure yet."

"Well, hurry up and decide before I get a hernia."

"Sorry, Dad. Just put it down where you are. I'll figure it out later."

Her landlord straightened to a full six feet tall. "I can help her move things around once she knows where she wants them." And then he winked at her.

Be still my heart!

Customer Reviews

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Strange Neighbors 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 247 reviews.
MelWell More than 1 year ago
To sum up my review of Strange Neighbors: The characters were unique and endearing. The love story was amazing. The plot was interesting. The plot twists were creative. Strange Neighbors is a fun, easy read. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more books from Ashlyn Chase!
SarahLauren More than 1 year ago
What a cute cozy paranormal mystery! I loved this book and so look forward to reading the others in the series. What I really appreciate is that it seems as if the others in the series go through stories of different characters. Of course, this is not what I would call a "great work of literary fiction" like something by Larsson or Dickens, it was a nice, easy fun read. I highly recommend!
meggerfly More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4.5 Stars Heat Rating: 4 out of 5 The Title: The title of this book just says it all for strange neighbors are what Merry gets when she moves into her new apartment. The Cover: The cover artist for this book did a superb job! The swirls easily convey the whimsy that is contained in this story. I just love the eyes along the right border. If you look closely you can see a witches hat as well as some fangs. Very cool! The Story: Merry MacKenzie has finally left the nest to live on her own. Too long had she lived with her extremely overprotective dad, taking care of him and her little brother after her mother passed away. It was time for her to be out on her own so she could spread her wings (are you getting the aviary imagery?). She was so pleased with her apartment and even more so with her hottie landlord, star baseball pitcher, Jason Falco. The only thing was, her neighbors were kinda... strange. The building had a residential ghost, two witches, a vampire and shapeshifters. How was it that all of a sudden she found herself surrounded by the supernatural? Shapeshifters and witches and vampires, oh my! Ashlyn Chase's writing is delightfully witty and I found myself laughing out loud numerous times. I laughed so much that I had members of my family questioning my sanity because they could hear my laughter rooms away! I have only one complaint about this book and it's this: the POV was constantly shifting. While in itself this isn't a really big deal to me, it seemed that it also bounced from first to third person and back again. It made my head spin but I can only take a little away for this because I enjoyed the story so much. This story was light and fun, the sex steamy, and I had a hard time putting it down. The secondary characters were a hoot (especially Gwyneth) and they rounded out the storyline nicely. This apartment building is full of all sorts of possibilities. I can't wait to read more! Funny line... “I do declare! I'd rather jump barefoot off a six-foot step ladder into a five-gallon bucket full of porcupines than see anything bad happen to you." "I don't think that's necessary, but the situation scares me a little”
Kenabug25 More than 1 year ago
Got pg 170 of the book and just couldn't go any further. I hate a bought book number two in advance. Maybe I'll finish it one day but the characters really just irritated me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Refreshing, fun, sexy romp. Vampires and Werewolves and Witches have never been so much fun as they are in this series. A little bit of everything for the adult paranormal reader with a sense of humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this sounded like a fun book but man what a let down. First of all, I found Merry whiny and indecisive. she had no problem accepting that the apartment building had a ghost, two witches, and her vampire father, yet she had a major freak out when she discovered her boyfriend was a shape shifter. The way she acted most of the time, I could have sworn she was a spoiled sixteen year old. I wanted to slap her. As for her boyfriend--Oy. Jason was a hottie and that's about all he had going for him--oh and the money he made in baseball. He was a wuss. It was so irritating that he and Merry fall in love in practically the first chapter--and so unbelievably--and they spent the rest of the book waffling. The secondary characters weren't all that fascinating either. Her biological father was not the brightest light bulb on the family tree. His whole story of his wife's death and how he became a vampire was pitiful. Add that to the fact that he's living in the basement and you got to wonder about the lack of intelligence in that family. The ghost was boring and his insistence about finding his killer was understanding but that whole thing kind of fizzled out. By the end I didn't care and I knew he wasn't going anywhere. The witches were interesting but wholly one dimensional. Oh and Aunt Dottie was a walking cliche. This whole book was a mishmash of uninteresting characters and plots sandwiched between the sex scenes. I wanted to like it--it had a good premise but in the end I felt ripped off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a lot and this was such a disappointment. I didn't even finish reading it and that is almost a first for me. I am sorry this is even in my Nook. I would not recommend this book nor will I be interested in reading any other book by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Very hot n steamy!
Kodibear on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very cute story with lots of interesting characters. The romance between Jason and Merry was sweet, yet hot and steamy. Parts of the story were predictable, yet there were a number of surprises. My only real complaint was that the author frequently shifted narrative mode, making it difficult at times to determine which character's unsaid thoughts were being "heard." and, at times, the author made no distinction made between a character's unsaid thoughts and narrative regarding the same character, making for a confusing read.
mesmericrevelation on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remember when everyone was getting this book for review and I entered a bunch of giveaways and I never won. A few months ago I was asked if I would review the second book, The Werewolf Upstairs. Of course I said yes. I mean, it would give me an excuse to buy the first book.I really enjoyed Strange Neighbors. It was so cute, funny and romantic. I could not get enough of this book. I really liked the main characters and Chad too. This is going to be a great series.
vampiregirl76 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Merry has just moved out on her own for the first time. She loves her new townhouse apartment. Her new landlord Jason is very easy on the eyes. Jason himself hopes to snag some alone time with his new tenant. But throw in a vampire, a werewolf, a ghost, two witches and a nosy aunt and craziness is bound to ensue.I loved the premises of this book. Paranormal creatures as neighbors- talk about never having a dull moment. Strange Neighbors was a light enticing read. Funny, romantic with healthy dose of the paranormal. This story had an entertaining cast of characters. The ending was one of my favorite parts and I don't mean that in a bad way, I just thought Jason and Merry's HEA was really sweet and the perfect ending.
mjmbecky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To put it simply, I found this book to be cute and engaging. The relationship between Merry and her ball player Jason, picks up so quickly that you really do start flipping through pages to see where they are headed. Also, the number of quirky neighbors and things we learn about their lives and, in some cases, their connection to Merry, give the story a lot of energy. I found the story to be cute, fast moving, and easy to connect to.The only drawback I found was in the quick connection between Merry and Jason, which left over half of the book for some new angle to pop up to keep the tension going. I thought the author handled this challenge well, by creating other tensions between the couple, because of all the paranormal activity that popped up to weird out our main character. In some ways, I think the sexual connection between the two characters was also supposed to keep you reading, but until things were up in the air between them towards the end of the novel, I felt like "he caught her, now what." Don't get me wrong. The book is a really cute escape read, and if you like a mixture of paranormal creatures that live in the same world, then this book is perfect for mixing all of those elements.
AbundanceofBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I will preface my review with saying that I understand that every book is an author's baby. They invest so much time and energy, working hard to create the best story they can.I saw this book awhile back on Book Chick City's wish list post and thought it had a neat premise. The whole book had so much potential. Unfortunately the heroine was wishy washy, jumped to ridiculous conclusions, the hero needed to grow a backbone, too many supporting characters, the side stories overwhelmed the main story, there was too much telling instead of showing, and not enough pronouns or proper nouns used during conversations with multiple characters.Merry has grown up with an overprotective father after her mother died, so I understood her driving need to live on her own. She moves into a building with a nosy apartment manager (Jason's Aunt Dottie) and a hot owner. She and Jason hit it off right away, and despite some reservations, she decides to go for it: a serious relationship with a famous baseball player. For Jason's part, he's very nervous, but really wants to make this work with Merry. He's half shapeshifter (making him lose control of his shifts when under a lot of stress) so he's very careful around the paparazzi. He doesn't want to freak Merry out about being constantly photographed or made up stories in the gossip columns. Ok, all of that made sense and that's where it ended.Aunt Dottie calls the police about every little thing, Jason says she's going to alert the media to where he lives, but she doesn't listen and he doesn't stand his ground. Dude, grow a backbone and make yourself heard! He's so worried about his secret being found out but he doesn't take real steps to protect himself. Merry blames everything on PMS, I got so sick and tired of it. It's her standard excuse for being crazy. And she flips out over the dumbest things. She finds out that her birth father (Merry was adopted) is a vampire. She takes this information in stride. Jason gets really nervous on their way to her adopted father's house for Thanksgiving and he turns into a falcon. Merry totally flips out, leaves him, and goes the rest of the way to her dad's house. A little bit later Jason makes it to the house and her dramatic response is:"Never having been exposed to anything so bizarre in her life - except a vampire father and a haunted apartment building - all she could think of to do was protect herself. Protect her family. How could she expose them to... what? A magician? A shaman? Some kind of weird animal spirit possession?"What? Seriously? She's okay with her family visiting her in her haunted apartment building with her vampire dad living in the basement, but Bird Boy is too much?! Really? Another example: when her birth father was telling Merry about her birth mother, he described her as someone who spoke her mind, didn't let herself get pushed around and, "was passionate about everything she did. She stood for good causes. She believed in doing the right thing even if it wasn't the easiest thing." Sounds like a nice lady who tried to do what was right even it if was hard. Merry's response: "You mean she was some kind of an agitator? Or zealot?" I just wanted to bang my head agains the desk, that is such a ridiculous conclusion to jump to. I know it's a paranormal romance, but Merry's thought processes and reactions didn't always seem realistic. She also believed everything printed about Jason, she never listened to anything he said. She was so quick to go into punishment mode. Like the time he was going to be auctioned off for charity, he told Merry about this and she knew it was for charity. Later on she sees a tabloid article showing Jason in three pictures - one with her, one with the lady from the charity auction, and one where it looked like he was hugging/kissing someone (a fan jumped on him). She knew he was cheating on her and wouldn't listen. Eventually Jason got through to her and it was all okay, that darn PMS was just making her overreact.
karyanca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Awkward. That's the word that kept coming to mind as I read this book - whether it was the dialogue, the choice of which events to include and which to leave out or the action and decisions taken by the characters. I was expecting a light, humorous read, but instead had to force myself through the first two-thirds of the story before finally garnering enough interest to finish reading it.Too often unnatural dialogue (and monologue) was a vehicle for filling in information. Some events that could have been highly charged take place "off stage", while lots of trivia which didn't seems to advance the plot is presented instead.The characters' emotions seem strangely flat and actions often bizarre. Yes, I can suspend my disbelief for the vampires, shapeshifters, and witches but not for the male character phoning his mother and initiating a discussion about his sex life! As for the humour, the author kept emphasizing when something was *supposed* to be funny, but it rarely was.
LadyDragonRider23 More than 1 year ago
Loved the twists and turns in this book & could not stop reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You people should just read this novel yourselves and write your own review on this novel. I really enjoyed reading this novel very much. ShelleyMA
Mindy_Lou More than 1 year ago
The book was light and funny.. I liked the fact that when you were for sure something was going to happen or go down the book changed on you.. It was a good read.. Happy Reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not finish this book. It was trully ridiculous. Merry acted like a teenager most of the time. Between being whinny and dumb, I just couldn't like her. Sorry, but I really feel like I wasted my time reading as much as I did. The sex was a little much, but I guess the author thought it might save the book. I don't think so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a cute book but definitely not for everyone. The detailed description of the sex act between the characters is unnecessary and has nothing to do with the story. I would not let my mother or teen-age daughter read this book; too bad; as it said it is a cute story until someone told the author to add in some trash.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted to like this book. I even tried reading it at two different times and both times I could not get through it. The story jumps around too much and after 89 pages there is no clear plot. I can guess what is going to happen, but even that isn't enough to hold my interest to continue reading. What I find most frustrating is the characters and premise isn't bad, but what is missing is a clear story to drive this forward. I am missing a reason to continue reading.
readragon More than 1 year ago
Really good story with lots of places to go with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fun and light paranormal romance. The writing was a little awkward at times, but keep reading because the storyline is a good one. I love the neighbors and can't wait to read more about all of them! The incredibly amusing scenarios and dialogue kept me hooked. The details and scenarios were quite unpredictable, and the intimacy wasn't over the top. I recommend that you give this story a chance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago