Room for Rent: Normal need not apply
This old Boston brownstone is not known for quiet living...first the shapeshifter meets his nurse, then the werewolf falls for his sassy lawyer, but now the vampire is looking for love with a witch who'se afraid of the dark...and you thought your neighbors had issues!
Undead Sly is content playing vigilante vampire, keeping the neighborhood safe from human criminals, until Morgaine moves in upstairs. Suddenly he finds himself weak with desire, which isn't a good place for a vampire to be. And Morgaine isn't exactly without her own issues - will the two of them be able to get past their deepest fears before their chance at "normal" slips away.
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 dimensions:||4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Multi-published author Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse, for the Red Cross, and has a degree in behavioral sciences. Her romance Strange Neighbors gets rave reviews. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire.
Read an Excerpt
Sly Flores overheard an argument emanating from a nearby alley. His inner vigilante vampire paid attention. Creeping closer, but using the long shadows to hide his presence, he watched and listened.
"You take that back!"
"Fuck you, I will not."
Sly crept closer to get a better look at the happy couple. The guy wore a leather coat and expensive sneakers. A hat created shadows that obscured his facial features.
A roar and then a scuffle ensued. Sly wasn't sure who threw the first punch, but it didn't matter. The woman was taking a brutal beating. He didn't care what she'd said or done... nobody deserved that.
She fell, and the man kicked her. Just as he was about to kick her a second time, Sly's fangs extended and he flew out from his hiding place. He grabbed the guy by his leather collar and lunged for the thick neck in front of him.
Instead of sinking his fangs into the brute's carotid artery, Sly encountered something rock hard and unyielding. He tried to pull back, but one of his fangs was caught. He tried to retract them, but something cold and hard hit his gums first.
The woman shrieked.
Sly shoved the guy with all his might. Something popped and fell to the ground, making a "ching" noise. The jerk stumbled several feet away before catching himself.
Searing pain hit Sly's gums like a hot poker used as a dental tool. Shit! Fuck! Ow, dammit! He'd never experienced this kind of pain-even the time he was caught in the sun. Fortunately, his friend Konrad had thrown his big coat over him just before he thought he might burst into flames.
As Sly held his jaw and hopped around, the couple recovered from their shock and took off. They charged down the alley to the main street.
Ordinarily, when he was hurt, his incredible healing powers took over and whatever was wounded would be on the mend by now. Why wasn't the pain stopping?
Sly stooped to pick up the item that had fallen. A thick neck-chain draped over his hand. It looked gold on the outside, but where the links joined, he saw something white glinting through.
The enemy of every vampire he'd ever heard of. Dracula himself probably couldn't escape its blistering damage. Sly fell to the pavement, curled into a fetal position, and rolled back and forth.
Just my luck to get a rapper whose bling was a knockoff.
Morgaine opened her door the moment Sly knocked. She might have been standing there because she'd sensed someone coming to see her. Psychics were fun that way.
"Hi, Morgaine, uh..."
His throbbing fang distracted him so much that Sly hadn't looked up to see her face yet. When he did, he was met with an intriguing surprise. The woman he thought would be dressed in black with long, black hair, and wearing heavy black eye makeup and red lipstick, almost looked like a different person. He had to blink and look again to be sure she was indeed the witch he was looking for.
She smiled. Her face seemed softer with glowing skin, pink lips, and golden hair falling around her shoulders. Her dress was a dark shade of purple. Maybe something called plum.
A few moments passed before he realized he hadn't finished his sentence and was staring at her.
"Sly? Is there something I can do for you?"
He recovered and said, "Uh, yeah. There ith. Can I come in?"
She tipped her head. "I invited you in years ago, didn't I?"
"Yeth. But if you'd rather not-"
"Don't be silly. Of course you can come in. I was just wondering if you thought vampires needed to be invited in again after a certain amount of time passed."
"Like an ecthperathion date? No. Even if there wath one, I'd knock and athk. I'm not rude, you know."
Her lips twitched in a smirk. He realized she'd noticed his lisp and she too was trying not to be rude.
"I know that. Please come in." She stepped aside.
He strolled in and admired her apartment. A far cry from his secret lair in the basement, hers was a bright and cozy place with a slipcovered couch, a rocking chair, and a trunk for a coffee table. Its only decoration was a glass dish holding some colorful rocks and crystals.
Lit candles graced the fireplace, making the lavender room glow. Wind chimes he'd heard during summer months hung silent in the window, which was closed against the chilly night air.
"You mutht like thith color." He indicated her dress and the walls.
"Yes, plum is my favorite shade of purple, and purple is my favorite color."
"Plum, huh? Ith pretty on you." He meant it.
He didn't often compliment people, not that he didn't appreciate a good-looking woman, but ever since his wife had died and left him a widower twenty-six years earlier, he'd had no interest in starting up a relationship with somebody else. It wouldn't be fair to let a woman think she'd be able to replace his late wife, so he avoided giving anyone the wrong idea. Morgaine had no such illusions though, so he felt safe telling her he'd noticed her attractive change.
"I had a makeover. Roz took me to a school for aspiring cosmetologists. It took them all evening to get the black dye out of my hair and recolor it to match my natural shade."
"Tho you're a natural blonde?"
"I guess so. My hair hasn't been natural for about thirteen years, but I don't notice a big difference at the roots now that it's growing out."
He wandered around the apartment, scanning the new-age books on her shelves and noticing how neat she kept the place. "You mutht have gotten into the goth thing a long time ago."
"Yeah, you could say I was the high-school weirdo."
He smiled. "We were all weird in high thchool."
She grinned back. "Have a seat. Can I get you some tea?"
"No, thanks. I came to athk you for thum magical help."
"You want me to heal your fang?"
"Yeth." He sat on the comfortable flowered sofa. "Did your thycic ability tell you what happened?"
"No, your lisp did." She giggled and sat next to him.
Man, she's pretty when she smiles.
"Let me see." She scooted closer, and he opened his mouth.
Her gentle, warm fingers pushed his upper lip out of the way as she examined his mouth. Her own lips were slightly parted as she studied his injured fang thoroughly. Her breath was pleasant. Minty, as if she'd just brushed her teeth. He could lean in and capture those sweet pink lips in his and... Whoa. What was happening?
"Does it hurt?"
"Like a mutha. I have a metallic tasthte in my mouth too."
"I can see why you wouldn't be able to go to a dentist. It looks like the fang that isn't healing well won't retract, and I guess they're not able to work independently, so the other one won't retract either."
"It's not the fang that's broken-or if it was, it's healed."
"Yeth. The fang grew back, but the pain won't go away. I bit into a thick thilver necklath."
"Ohhh... You were poisoned. Okay, I'll have to make a healing poultice so I can apply it directly to your gum. It will draw out the silver poison in your system. I'll reinforce its power with a healing spell if you like."
"Thankth. Will I ever be the thame?"
"Of course you will. Unless you're talking about your pre-vampire days. That I can't heal."
He hung his head. "I know. I remember athking you that when I learned you were Wiccan. You thed there wath no thpell to cure vampirithm."
"I'm afraid not. I'm sorry." She rested her hand on his knee.
When he looked up, she had a soft, sad expression on her face. It wasn't pity-not exactly. Empathy. That's what it was. He knew she had a kind heart, but there was more to it than just that. She was a nurturer. Much like his daughter, Merry, the pediatric nurse. An innate healer.
"Pardon my curiothity, but... the makeover? Are you dating?"
Her face colored. "I-well, no. I wouldn't mind meeting someone, but it's just not in me to go out to bars or anything."
"Thumthing tellth me you wouldn't meet the right kind of guy there anyway. Have you tried the Internet?"
"Not yet." She hesitated as if there was more to say, but instead she placed her hands on her knees and pushed herself up to a standing position. "Well, I'll go whip up that poultice. You try to relax."
On the second floor, Merry extended her arms to allow for her expanding pregnant belly and embraced her best friend, Roz, while trying not to cry. Tears brimmed in her eyes anyway.
"I'm going to miss you like crazy. I wish you two could stay."
Roz and Konrad were engaged and moving to Newton, where he was dean and she was a career counselor at the Newton Preparatory School for Boys.
Konrad stepped out of his apartment with a plastic milk crate full of books and smiled. "Newton isn't that far, Merry, and you're welcome any time. You can even take public transportation. The school is within walking distance."
"I know." She sighed. "But it won't be the same as having you right downstairs. Why are you taking stuff to Roz's apartment the night before you're leaving, by the way?"
Roz smiled up at him. "He doesn't want the movers to have to carry heavy things down an extra flight, so he's putting all the boxes and books in my apartment for tonight, and I'll sleep at his place. Isn't he thoughtful?"
Merry let go of her friend's hand. "Yup. He's always been that way. You got yourself a keeper, Roz."
Weird, soulful sounds drifted into the hallway from her right. "What the heck is that?"
Roz gravitated toward her fiancé and put her arm around his waist. "I think it's one of those nature CDs with whale calls."
Merry listened for a few moments. That was indeed what it sounded like. "I don't know our new superintendent very well. Is he the new-agey kind? Maybe he and one of the witches will hit it off."
Roz placed a fist on her hip. "What are you doing? Opening a matchmaker service?"
Merry laughed. "No. Like I said, I don't even know him. I guess I'm just so happy that I want everyone else to be happy too."
As soon as she said that, a door upstairs opened. They all waited to see who'd be coming down the stairs. When Sly came into view, Merry's jaw dropped.
"Sly? Who were you... Oh, sorry. Never mind. It's none of my business."
Sly smiled briefly but didn't say anything. Merry noticed something a little odd about his face but couldn't put a finger on what was different.
As she was wondering about it, Morgaine leaned over the banister upstairs.
"Oh, Sly? I forgot to ask you to come back tomorrow..."
She had apparently noticed the others in the hallway because she hesitated a moment. "I-uh, I should check your-thing." She blushed. "I mean... You know what I mean. Make sure everything's okay."
He was looking up at her with a silly grin on his face. That's what was different. Before, he had seemed to be trying not to smile and show his fangs. But looking up at Morgaine, he didn't seem able to stop smiling, fangs and all.
"I'll be there."
Morgaine grinned, nodded briefly, and went back to her apartment. As soon as they heard her door shut, Sly said, "Hi, Merry," gave her a kiss on the cheek, and then winced.
"Are you okay?"
"I will be. Morgaine ith taking care of me. I had an accthident to my gumth."
Konrad chuckled. "I guess you can't see a dentist for obvious reasons."
"Yup. Thank goodneth for Morgaine. Theeth a magical healer. How are you feeling, Merry? Ith the baby letting you keep your food down?"
"Yes, thank goodness. No more morning sickness. Now I'm getting kicked every once in a while."
"Good! I'm thorry, I meant ith a good thing that the babyth healthy. I can't wait to be a grandfather."
She giggled. "I knew what you meant."
Sly turned to his good friends. "Konrad, Roth, good luck with the move tomorrow."
Roz shook his hand and said, "Thanks. We'll miss everyone, but you have an open invitation to our place in Newton."
"I'd come, but I know your pack friendth don't take kindly to vampireth."
Konrad set down the box he'd been holding. "A few of them are stuck in the old ways. But if you're uncomfortable, I'm sure we'll come back here to visit once in a while. We'll look you up when we do." He extended his hairy arm and they shook hands.
"Can I help you carry thumthing?"
"Almost done, buddy. I had about a hundred boxes of books, but you can help me carry down the couch if you want to."
As the guys retreated to Konrad's apartment, Merry grabbed Roz by the arm and pulled her to the other side of the hall.
She whispered, "What did you think of Sly's reaction to the new Morgaine? I thought I saw some chemistry there."
"I did too."
They waited while the guys carried the couch out of the apartment and down the stairs before continuing.
"I'll never get over how strong those two are," Merry said. "They looked like they were carrying a two-by-four, not a whole couch."
Roz watched them. Then she turned back to her friend and said, "I sense you want to see someone else in the building hook up."
"I hadn't really thought about it until you said something, but Sly... He's been so lonely since my mother died and that was the day I was born-twenty-six years ago."
Roz shrugged. "Just get him to move into my old apartment and let it work its magic."
Merry snapped her fingers. "That's it! The love shack. When I lived there, I hooked up with Jason. Then you moved in and hooked up with Konrad. Now that you're moving out..."
"The love shack is available," Roz finished for her.
"But he doesn't have a job. How would he pay for it?"
"Does he have to? I mean, he's your father. Jason let his aunt and uncle stay in 2B rent-free for a while."
"You're right." Merry grinned and hugged Roz. "You're a genius. What will I ever do without you?"
"Oh, I'm sure you'll learn to be devious on your own one of these days. When you want something badly enough, you'll figure out how easily men can be manipulated."
"You mean like on Desperate Housewives?"
"Hell, no. Don't go to those extremes. Just cook his favorite meal and tell him how much you want this. Then if he says yes, give him a blow job."
Merry laughed. "It's that easy, huh?"
The guys exited Roz's apartment and ambled up the stairs.
"You haven't seen me carrying anything heavy yet, have you?" Roz raised her eyebrows and Merry laughed, then sneezed.
"You know what? I think your moving is kicking up some dust-not that Konrad isn't a good housekeeper, but I might need my inhaler."
"Of course. And you're right about the dust. With all of Konrad's dusty old books, I wouldn't be surprised if your allergies flare up."
"I'd better go upstairs. I'll see you tomorrow before you go, right?"
Merry hugged her again. "Thanks for understanding. Besides, I can't wait to put this devious plan into action."
"Let me know how it goes."
"I might leave out the details of his thank-you, but I'll tell you the rest."
Chad had the advantage of being the only spirit to haunt the building. Well, in some instances it was an advantage, but on the other hand, it could be lonely. Fortunately, he had Morgaine. Some of the other residents knew he was there but rarely thought about him. Out of sight, out of mind. And he honestly thought some of them were out of their minds.
Not Morgaine though. The two of them had the kind of friendship in which they could rib each other, but they always knew the sharp jabs were said in jest. That seemed to be the only fun Morgaine ever had though.
He'd like to see her happy.
Chad's time had come and gone, and what did he have to show for it? Nothing. And no one.
But it wasn't too late for Morgaine. He had noticed the affection growing between Sly and the gifted witch he thought of as his friend. Ordinarily, he wouldn't match her up with a vampire, but she had limited her options by staying inside all the time. Hell, he wouldn't do something as girly as play matchmaker, but maybe if he just gave them a little push...
He forced his way through the door to her apartment and found her in the kitchen putting away the groceries her cousin Gwyneth had dropped off earlier.
Morgaine turned toward him and smiled. "Hi, Chad. What are you up to?"
"Not much. I just thought I'd drop by and see how you're doing."
"In other words, you're bored." She placed a head of lettuce in the crisper and returned to the bag on the counter.
"Are you saying I only visit you when I'm bored?"
"No. You're always bored."
Chad chuckled and situated himself on the other side of the tiny kitchen so she wouldn't have to pass through him and shiver.
"I'm not terribly bored right now. I actually thought I'd tell you something about Sly."
Her eyebrows raised and she turned toward him. "Sly? Is he okay?"
"Ah ha, I knew you liked him."
"Well, of course I like him. Why wouldn't I? He's a kind, decent per... uh, vampire."
"Yes, I know. His kindness and decency are even more impressive because he's a vampire. And I've noticed he likes you too."
"Oh." She turned back to her groceries. "Really?" The color in her pink cheeks was deepening.
"Oh, yeah. He's into you. But I'm worried about something."
"I think both of you are so used to being alone, you've forgotten how to begin a new relationship."
She snorted. "That's ridiculous."
"Is it? How would you go about it?"
She shrugged and didn't answer him. She just opened a cabinet and tried to set a box of granola on the top shelf.
"I can't quite reach the top shelf, Chad. Can you give me a hand?"
"You're changing the subject."
She shifted uncomfortably. "Never mind. I'll stick it on the counter."
"You can stick it in your ear for all I care, just don't ignore the question."
She whirled on him and folded her arms. "I don't have to answer your stupid question."
Chad concentrated on the cereal box until it floated up to the top shelf and slid into place among the other boxes and cans up there. "Okay, fine. Then think about why you don't want to answer it."
"Because it's none of your business."
"Or because you can't. You have no idea how to approach an attractive man who's attracted to you."
She blew out a deep breath. "Okay, fine. I've thought about it. But our friendship is too important to me. What if it doesn't work out? I don't have that many friends."
"You can say that again. Now that Konrad and Roz have moved out, you have exactly one cousin who you're fighting with half the time and a bored ghost. Your life sucks."
"I call 'em like I see 'em. And when I see you and Sly together, I notice the goofy grins on your faces. Think about it, Morgaine. If you snooze, you might lose. I've noticed Gwyneth seems to like him too."
"Well, then I better not get my hopes up. Any man will take the easy girl over the challenging one."
"I admit most of us are schmucks, but I don't think Sly's into superficial, dumb redheads. His eyes don't light up when he sees her like they do when he sees you."
"Whatever you do, never call Gwyneth dumb. She's super sensitive about it. Besides, she has a good mind. She just hasn't had the educational advantages a lot of people have had."
"You're changing the subject again."
"And with good reason. Not only is my life none of your business, but there's nothing you can do about it. He can't hear you."
"Yeah, but you can. And I might just decide to follow you around singing show tunes off-key until you go downstairs and make a move on him." He laughed maniacally.
"Chad, go away. You're pissing me off."
"Fine. I'll just ignore you."
"Aw, screw it. Go ahead and be lonely for the rest of your life. Maybe you can get a few cats or something."
"For Goddess's sake, Chad. Will you leave me alone?" Her tone had a chilly edge to it.
"OOOOOklahoma, where the wind-"
Morgaine clapped her hands over her ears and shouted, "Go away! I don't need your interference. If the opportunity presents itself, I'll do something about it, okay?"
"There now, was that so hard?"
Morgaine rolled her eyes toward the ceiling.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love this series! The only "negative" thing i have to say about the books is the fact that Gwyneth's so called "accent" & "slang" is ridiculous. I am a Southern girl (born & raised) & I can tell you first hand that Southerner's don't actually talk like that. For instance, the one thing that really bugs me is the use of the slang word "y'all". Yes, we DO use that word in the South BUT we use it in reference to more than one person; considering it's just a shortened & condensed version of "you all". But in this series Gwyneth uses it when speaking to one single person & quite frankly I have yet to come across anyone in the South that uses it that way. BUT all in all, I LOVE this book & the other two in this series. :) I will DEFINITELY be reading more books by Ashlyn Chase.
I really enjoyed the series it's a lite hearted read the first 1# Strange Neighbors, and the 2# the Werewolf Upstairs. Then this one is the 3# The Vmpire Next Door, it was fun to read about this wacky building filled with crazy neighbors in the apartment. Magic beings and romance whats more fun then that!
An apartment building full of supernatural creatures is bound to be a riot. When one supernatural moves out it seems like another moves right in, and when they move into the "love shack" sparks are guaranteed to fly. Morgaine seems to be an unlikely mate of a vampire with her agoraphobia (fear of public places or leaving safe places) and nyctophobia (fear of the dark). Therefore, when she fancies the owner of the building's vampire papa she is more than a bit confused. It could never work can it? Morgaine seemed to be the glue that helps things together throughout the story. She definitely keeps her cousin Gwyneth in line, and even the other residents in the building seem to come to her with their problems. Sly was no exception to this, he could think of no one else to help him in his piling issues. She may have suffered a few phobias but she was definitely one of the strongest characters throughout the story. One thing I do regret is not getting to know more about her background story. I know she suffered years ago which caused her to not date for a long time; I would have just liked to have learned more about that incident. Sly is everything but. There is nothing slick about a vampire. He is the kindest hearted and most genuine male in the building and story. I love that he refused to take handouts from others and is determined to figure out a way to do things himself. Especially with a daughter married to an athlete, he could have easily just let them take care of him. Moreover, he is somewhat of a tortured soul, with the tragic way he was forced to become a vampire and deal with the consequences for the rest of his life. Luckily, with Morgaine by his side he can find a little relief from his vampire vices as well as a little relief for his manly needs. While I found the characters within this story entertaining, the plot was just a little on the dry side. I would like to have seen the plotline with Sly's maker drawn out a little longer and a more climactic. It seemed to end a little too easily. The wine/whiskey making was the plot that really carried the story for me. I was just as excited to see a good mixture as well as the characters in the story. The characters, whether they are main or supporting, really drive this story. With entertaining supernatural creatures around every corner this story is a real hoot, growl, spell and whatever else supernatural creatures do. Originally posted at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Sly Flores the vampire misses his wife who died over two decades ago. Now a caring loner except for his daughter Merry, he patrols his neighborhood keeping it safe from crime. One night Sly intervenes when a mugger attacks a young woman. He takes a bite into the felon only to chip a fang on the dude's sterling silver knockoff bling, which is poison to his kind. He quickly races to the apartment of his friend Morgaine the psychic healer so that she can cure him of his illness. Morgaine loves Sly; she makes the elixir he needs. Meanwhile apartment 1b dubbed the "love shack" below that of Morgaine becomes vacant; so Merry plans to move her lonely dad in so that he and Morgaine can become an entry. At the same time that his offspring pulls his string, others plan to keep Sly and Morgaine apart. To the delight of fans, Ashlyn Chase provides a wonderful romantic urban fantasy in which readers will believe that a vampire, a wiccan and other paranormal live next door. Sly is attracted to Morgaine but fails to act on it though she encourages the love of her life to do so; as do his daughter and other caring souls. The suspense enhances the romance between the vampire and the wiccan in the Chase universe. Harriet Klausner
The Vampire Next Door by Ashlyn Chase is another installment about otherworldly characters living in the same apartment building. This time the story circles around Morgaine, a witch who is not only afraid of the dark but has not left her apartment due to a case of agoraphobia (the fear of open or public places). This condition which can be debilitating. She starts getting the attention of Sly, a vampire who also lives in her building who comes to her to help heal a broken fang. I should say that the apartment building is the home to all sorts of characters. There is the resident ghost, another witch, shapeshifters, a merman, and a dragon. Yes, a very eclectic mix of people, or er supernatural beings. An evil vampire and Sly's maker, Malvant, is bound and determined to gain control over Sly, so with Morgaine's help they try to find a way to stay just one step ahead of the nasty vampire and find a potion if you will that would enable Sly to be able to go out in the daylight. There is romance aplenty, steamy sex scenes, and crazy antics. Enough wit and humor to go around. I loved how all the zany characters came together in the end to round out the story. The author sure has a way with words and characterizations to keep the story from getting boring. I enjoyed this book. A great read for anyone who is a fan of Ashlyn Chase and the paranormal.
This is the third book in the "Strange Neighbors" series and I don't know if the writing is getting better or I'm just getting used to a world populated by sitcom characters. Probably both.Poor Gwyneth. I kept wanting her to pull a Jessica Rabbit and say, "I'm not stupid. I'm just written that way." Seriously, did she travel through time escaping the set of the The Beverly Hillbillies? Why is her accent the only one exaggerated?And then there's Sly. After devoting decades to crime fighting, he decides that he needs to earn money (more out of pride than necessity) and immediately falls on the first plan presented, which happens to be illegal and dangerous to the other residents.So many problems that could be resolved by a straight-forward, logical approach. But then, where's the plot in that?
I loved this series of books. I could not put the book down. I would recommend this book to all my friends.
Read this in one night after reading the sample. Its not a great classic but for anyone who likes romance,supernatural, and detailed bedroom scenes this is a book for you. Would highly recommend
Love the story and the residents of this apartment complex. Want to read more about this wacky group. Fun read.
This book was cotton candy—light, fun and easily gobbled up but not particularly satisfying or complex; a cute read that melts away from memory almost as soon as it is finished. If you’re looking for something to do with an afternoon that doesn’t require thought but is a fluffy kind of entertainment than this book might just fit the bill. A straight-forward plot that solves the villain problem in a “might as well” kind of way, this book is full of quirky characters that are a bit one dimensional but amusing non-the-less. Chick-lit with a paranormal flavor this book was fun in an empty calories kind of way. I give this book a forgettable three stars
Rating: 3.5 Heat Rating: 4 out of 5 The Vampire Next Door by Ashlyn Chase is the third book in her unarguably jocular paranormal romance series, Strange Neighbors. This time it's Sly and Morgaine who get their stories told. I was really excited to finally get to read more about Sly. When we first learned his back-story in Strange Neighbors he captured my interest. I'm vamp girl after all LOL! Anyways, learning more about him was great. I found it excellent that he always thought of his daughter. He was completely devoted to her. Morgaine was always someone that I never paid attention to. She kinda paled in comparison to Gwyneth. Well, that was until her makeover in The Werewolf Upstairs. After that it was her turn to shine - and shine she did. She had some psychological issues that I thoroughly understood. I respected how she fought against them. That took a lot of strength. It made me proud to see her fight them to help her man. One thing that I will always remember about this book is the sex. Sly and Morgaine got it on a lot and that's all good as far as I'm concerned. While they had WAY MORE nookie than your typical PNR the explicitness was average. By average I don't mean it was without steam though. Those two definitely put off some heat! There are a number of other great things about this story. Like the other books in this series, The Vampire Next Door was filled with lots of pop culture references and I loved that! I always smiled when I come across them. There was even an appearance of the famous American witch, Laurie Cabot. The setting for this book is Boston so there were a number of street names and places mentioned that the reader might recognize. Since I've been lost in the city a few times I certainly did *G*. Also, I found it quite ingenious that Chase managed to use Vampire Vintage in this story. That just happens to be the name of one of her Ellora's Cave titles. There was a side-story in this book concerning the new maintenance man and new neighbor. Though it was hilarious it got to be a little to much for me. There was merit to the characters however and if Chase were to adapt them and create a new story I would read it for sure. Another thing that brought this book down for me was the timing. I found that the story lagged at times and I was a bit bored. IMO, the story could have been condensed more at the end without harming the plot whatsoever. All in all The Vampire Next Door was an enjoyable read for me. It was a great ending to a wonderful series. I'm gonna miss that brownstone and all it's strange neighbors! Giggle-worthy Gwynisms Gwyneth is Morgaine's cousin. She's a total country gal and has a flair for words that always has me giggling. -"What's got y'all madder than a bottle full of bees?" -"Well, snap my granny's garters!" -"Y'all are helpless as a Yankee at a grits-eatin' contest." -"Ya'll look like a pup that was left behind when the family went for a Sunday drive." Favorite Quote "You're amazing," she whispered hoarsely. He pushed back the hair from her face. "You too." "How? All I do is let you play me like a piano." He chuckled. "You've got a great keyboard." Cover comments I think this is my favorite cover of the three books in the series. It has Morgaine with the delightful swirlies coming from her hands. They give a whimsical feel to the book as well as signify Morgaine's magic. The coffin is great as it appears in a pivotal point in the story. I also love the bottle on the floor. It's a great detail. It even has a V on it for Vampire Vintage!
Great book.This was the 3rd one.They were all great.Really enjoyed all of them.
I love this series and I am half way through with this one. I could not stop myself from stopping to write this review. In this book one of the witches is from the south. Everytime she refers to a person she says ya'll.... The word ya'll is for more than one person and is not used to replace the word you. I wish if the writer was going to have a southern character that she would have done her research and got it right... Sorry for the rant