Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Love Thy Neighbor
Author: Sophie Wintner
Publisher: Entangled: Lovestruck
Pages: Ebook; 199
Release Date: October 27, 2014
HDB Rating: 2 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy characters that start out broken and slowly change.
He's designed for delicious trouble...
Interior designer Nikki Norris is at the end of her rope. She's lost her business, and her fiancé who called off their engagement. Now she's broke and on her own, living in a loft apartment she can barely afford. But something in her feng shui must be working, because her new neighbor across the hall is a sexy Brit fashion photographer...and he has just the thing to turn Nikki's bad luck around.
Dallas is tired of stick-thin fashion models with no personality. So when his curvaceous new neighbor, Nikki, seeks his help in making her ex jealous, Dallas is only too happy to oblige the woman who sets his libido on fire every time she walks into a room. Dallas, not being one to make commitments, thinks all he wants is a little taste of Nikki. But will it be enough?
Just as Nikki and Dallas hatch their plan, the wicked chemistry between them—growing more irresistible by the second—complicates things. Now the lines between make-believe and making love blur. Have Nikki and Dallas found a perfect arrangement... or have they designed the perfect plan for disaster?
It breaks my heart to announce this, but I've finally found an Entangled romance book that I just didn't click with. I know, it's devastating. You all know that I always review honestly though. So please excuse any rambling below as I try to let you know why this book just wasn't for me.
I'll start with Nikki. She was such a hard character for me to like. Understandably, she's rather broken up at the beginning of the book. After loosing both her business and her fiancé, she's just trying to pick up the pieces. When I first found out that Nikki's character was so self-deprecating, I let it go and chalked it up to her recent experiences. However as the book went on, even after Dallas started to show interest in her, it just kept up. Hearing Nikki constantly call herself "fat" and "chubby" started to grate on my nerves. Meshed together with her inability to let her ex-fiancé go, it created an image of a weak woman in my mind. I didn't hate Nikki. Not at all. The problem for me was that, for the first half of the book, she just refused to listen to reason. I can only take so much negativity.
I would have been willing to ignore this, for the most part, if it wasn't for the fact that Dallas also had his fair share of what I like to call "broken character syndrome". Coming into the relationship with his own baggage, Dallas was more likable than Nikki but definitely just as critical of himself. This was hard for me. No matter which chapter I read, no matter what character was telling the story, self loathing and the inability to change took center stage. Yes, I completely understand this was necessary for the rest of the story to work. I also see that it was meant to build tension for later. It just didn't work for me, as a reader. I wanted to shake some sense into both of them and I couldn't connect with their personalities.
Not everything about Love Thy Neighbor was a miss for me though. I definitely loved the chemistry between these two, and applaud the fact that Dallas worked so hard to make Nikki understand how much she was worth. The fact that Sophie Wintner uses Dallas as a means to show that men do truly enjoy natural beauty, made me smile. He was such a debonair guy, and I have nothing but love for the steamy scenes that he shared with Nikki. They may have been short, but they were absolutely perfect. If only the characters and their story had been easier for me to connect with, I know I would have liked this book more. I know that there will plenty of people out there who adore Nikki and Dallas' journey. I just wasn't swayed.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.