Naughty Neighbor

Published By: Harper

Book Category: Fiction, Romance

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Reviewed by Sharron Stockhausen

(Also available as a CD)

Before Janet Evanovich wowed us with her Stephanie Plum series, she wrote twelve short romance novels. Naughty Neighbor is number eight of that group and was first published in 1992. Clearly, Evanovich improved over the span of time, but Naughty Neighbor is still worth the afternoon it takes to read it.

Louisa Brannigan, press secretary to Senator Nolan Bishop, lives in the lower apartment of a duplex. Her frustrating neighbor, screen writer Pete Streeter, keeps irritating her by stealing her newspaper, parking in her parking spot, and getting calls in the middle of the night that she hears through the thin walls.

When Louisa confronts him about her newspaper, she learns that he also hears her though the thin walls. But what he hears are her private conversations about her personal life with her mother.

For some reason, Louisa and Pete share the duplex without meeting for an indeterminate amount of time. When they finally do meet, she’s surprised at her attraction to him, and he is surprised at his attraction to her.

In researching his next screenplay, Pete began probing into what happened to a pig that disappeared. He drew the attention of some crooked political officials, which led to the firing of Louisa from her job with the senator. That set up the perfect opportunity for Louisa and Pete to work together on discovering the truth of the missing pig.

When you remember this book is early Evanovich, it’s easier to swallow the contrived parts such as two neighbors who never met, even thought they know a lot about one another through the walls or the way-too-fast attraction to each other when they finally do connect.

Overlook those two things and you’ll enjoy the back-and-forth banter between Louisa and Pete. You’ll smile at their humorous moments. You’ll even be entertained by the unreal schemes they create to solve the mystery.

Armchair Interviews says: Naughty Neighbor is an entertaining, fast-paced read good for a sunny beach or a rainy afternoon indoors.

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