“I’ve always wanted you, from the moment you knocked on my door and called me the devil.”
SQUEEEEE!! OMG!! This was such an AWESOME new book! I honestly can’t stop smiling. The ending was perfect! Like, I’m literally sitting here grinning like crazy while I type this because this book was seriously just SO GOOD!!!! It was exactly what I was looking for. SWEET, SEXY, and UTTERLY ADDICTIVE with a heart-melting hero who is guaranteed to make you SWOOOOOOON!!!! I loved how they went from friends-to-lovers and I was so curious to know what his secret was. Their chemistry was off-the-charts and I could not put it down!! Absolutely a new favorite!
After getting dumped, the last thing I needed was to move next door to someone who reminded me of my ex-boyfriend, Elec.
Damien was a hotter version of my ex.
The neighbor I’d dubbed “Angry Artist” also had two massive dogs that kept me up with their barking.
He wanted nothing to do with me. Or so I thought until one night I heard laughter coming through an apparent hole in my bedroom wall.
Damien had been listening to all of my phone sessions with my therapist.
The sexy artist next door now knew all of my deepest secrets and insecurities.
We got to talking.
He set me straight with tips to get over my breakup.
He became a good friend, but Damien made it clear that he couldn’t be anything more.
Problem was, I was falling hard for him anyway. And as much as he pushed me away, I knew he felt the same…because his heartbeat didn’t lie.
I thought my heart had been broken by Elec, but it was alive and beating harder than ever for Damien.
I just hoped he wouldn’t shatter it for good.
Now, this is a complete standalone romance. You do not have to read any other book in order to appreciate or understand this book. However, Chelsea, the heroine of this book, was the girlfriend that Elec broke up with in Stepbrother Dearest after finally being able to return to be with Greta, his true love. In that book, Chelsea wasn’t a character you focused on. But in this book, we see just how badly she was hurt when Elec left her.
So this book starts with Chelsea feeling utterly broken hearted. The man she thought loved her left her without a backward glance causing her to question everything about herself and the durability of relationships. As a way to help her work through her emotions, she began talking to a therapist on the phone, spilling out her entire story and most private thoughts. Or at least, she thought they were private until one day, she heard chucking coming through the wall. To her horror it turned out that there was a hole in her wall meaning that her sexy gorgeous “Angry Artist” neighbor with the loud incessently barking dogs had pretty much heard every one of her therapy conversations.
“You’ve been listening to me… through a glory hole?”
“No. You’ve been subjecting me to asinine conversations with people who are ripping you off… through a glory hole.”
“You are such a…”
But I have to say their interactions brought a smile to my face from the start. Even though he was definitely gruff and prickly on the outside, there was a sweet and sexy side to him that was utterly heart-melting. I really love it when heroes are all rough and tough, but it’s only the heroine who can bring out their tender side. There’s something oddly sweet about it. And one of my favorite things about Damien was his no-bullshit, cut-right-to-the-chase attitude. Not only was he perceptive, but he was bold enough to say what most people would filter and I found that kind of open honesty deeply refreshing to read about. It meant that, for the most part, none of their issues usually stemmed from stupidity but rather came from genuinely understandable reasons.
Even though Chelsea’s first impression of him was that he must be a grade A asshole, over time they became good friends and the chemistry between them was undeniably strong. But to her dismay and confusion, he made it crystal clear that he wasn’t interested in any kind of relationship. At all. But why??
“You can’t have it both ways, Damien. You can’t look at me the way you do … You can’t keep me close and treat me as if I’m a huge part of your life and expect me not to get attached to you. It’s unnatural and unhealthy, and whether it’s your intention or not, you’re hurting me.”
Clearly he was hiding something because despite the distance between them that he kept trying to maintain, they kept being drawn back to each other almost as though neither of them had a choice about it and yet still, he remained strong in his choice to not get romantically involved. I was desperate to know what could possibly have been big or bad enough to make him stay away from a girl he was so clearly crazy about and who was so obviously in love with him.
“Why did you have to kiss me like that today?”
“I thought it was clear why I kissed you.”
“I know why you did it… but why did you have to make it feel so real?”
His chest was rising and falling as his breathing quickened. He was struggling before he whispered. “It WAS real.”
“Every part of that kiss was real, but it still shouldn’t have happened.”
All I’ll say is that he does in fact have a very good reason. And once she found out what it was, it was just wonderful to see them work through things and the way they turned something like that into a way to bring them together. I don’t want to say anything more though because you’ll find out when you read what they’re going through and I don’t want to spoil any part of the story. What I will tell you though is that I LOVED the ending!! So much swoon!
“I’ll never forget the first day he told me about you. He said,’There’s this girl who moved in next door. She’s quirky, a little fucked-up in the head, can’t get out of her own way, but she’s beautiful, like the most natural beauty you’ve ever seen and the realest person you’ll ever meet. She came to complain about the dogs, and all I wanted to do was kiss her senseless.”
Penelope Ward is one of those authors whose books I always one-click the moment they’re released. If you’re in the mood for a gorgeous, sexy, addictive romance you’ll want to read in one sitting, this is definitely it!
Rating: 4.5 stars!! Standalone romance.