Nardio Book Review
Is Neighbors with Benefits Worth Your Time?
Yes. It’s fun to have Neighbors with Benefits in bed with you. (These titles are awesome.)
What Did I Think Without Spoiling It?
Neighbors with Benefits is the sequel to Sleeping With The Boss. I’m sure it works on its own, but to really appreciate it you need to read the first book. Also Sleeping with the Boss is just a darned fun read.
Neighbors with Benefits is a damn good read and follow up to the original. It’s nowhere near as straight forward as it’s predecessor. In fact, at first seems it seems to be the antithesis. If you come into this expecting more of the same, you are going to be very unhappy with the first half. Characters are nowhere near as likable in the beginning. In fact, I hated Mia. She started off as the kind of flaky, take-no-blame woman I normally hate. With each passing chapter I was more annoyed with her. In the beginning both characters were sort of unrelatable and unhappy. It was weird going into this “romance” novel with two angry, flawed people as your guides. Don’t worry though, there is a lot of character growth, back story and fun writing that it eventually pulled me in. I eventually came to like and understand Mia and Michael. All that initial anger and unpleasantness is necessary as it adds to the growth of both characters. Neighbors with Benefits has moments that made me groan with annoyance, but it also made me laugh out loud and sport a goofy lopsided grin. It also made me want some wine, and surprisingly even turned me on quite a bit!
While Sleeping with the Boss was a fast, fun, light and wholeheartedly enjoyable read, Neighbors with Benefits is a slow burn requires your favorite bottle or box of Cabernet next to you from start to finish. It’s an enjoyable read. I’d even say a deeper, more fulfilling one than the original book. Just don’t go in expecting more of the same. After finishing it last night, I can honestly say I wholeheartedly recommend it. I am also very excited to see what the next Anderson Brothers story has in store for me. Chance of a Lifetime, the next book in the Anderson Brothers series comes out November 16th 2015.
Why it Works: Spoilers Ahead->
There is really good character building in this book. At first it feels like it’s taking too long. The intro chapters are hard to get through because you meet these two people at their worst moments. Thankfully, smart writing and realistically self aware characters realize they need to be better. Then, through a weird series of circumstances you get an odd couple pairing.
Unlike the pacing of Sleeping With The Boss, it’s not lust at first site. Okay, maybe a little lust, but not the immediate spark. These two just want to focus on life and avoid each other as much as possible. I found myself actually liking it that way. You got to know Mia and understand her. You also see her through Michael’s eyes, which was an interesting counter perspective to her own neurosis and, to a small degree, the same happened with Michael. I would have liked more introspection from Michael throughout the book, but his growth was meant to happen later on, and when it did happen it was good.
For a long while Neighbors with Benefits read more like a sex-free love story. And it was fine that way. The book could have totally ended without sex. I still would have enjoyed it if it was implied rather than written out. By the time we start getting to that point you want it to be more than just sex. You want Michael and Mia’s walls to break down and for them to have that heart-to-heart. When it did happen, it was a great moment. It took a while, but these were two complicated characters with realistic baggage. I loved that it was hard and scary for them to admit what was so easy or Will and Clair in the last book. As hurt as both of those characters were, they weren’t as flawed and honestly damaged as Michael and Mia. This made their experience that much more poignant for the reader. I especially loved Michael’s silent realizations that he attained his goals and dreams without even realizing it and then finally realizing they were never really his to begin. That was a really interesting moment for him, I just wished he verbalized it with Mia. It would have broken down a few extra walls of trust with her earlier on and made their connection that much more special.
Thankfully there was sex. And it was hot. Surprisingly so. Where Sleeping with the Boss had build up and fizzle, Neighbors with Benefits almost had me reaching for some lotion and a towel. The long awaited build up was just as hot as the two characters were hoping for. I was very pleasantly surprised. There could have been more of it, but what was there was well done.
Now this isn’t a knock against the book, but I wish Mia said no in the end. I mean yes, stay with Michael, but this is his very first time being in love. This is his very first relationship. I thought Mia would have appreciated the grand show, but let him know he/they weren’t ready for that just yet. As wild and free as Mia pretended to be, she was very matter-of-fact about a lot of things. Her saying yes to this, while a powerful moment, still felt like a stretch for her. The group wedding idea also seemed a bit much.
I am really interested in finishing the Anderson Brothers series now. Sleeping with the Boss was a lighthearted and fun ride that wasn’t too deep. It’s the kind of book that is great for a beach trip. Neighbors with Benefits really was an experience I recommend planning your weekend around. Relax, shut off the phone, and grab some wine. This is an experience that will really takes you on a journey. It’s a fun ride and It’s worth your time.
Not much. The sex scenes could have been a bit longer. I mean that was a lot of build up, but overall the book was pretty great.
(SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK)
I did hate how Will nonchalantly mentions the giant BOMB of him asking Clair to marry him… Then later on Michael nonchalantly mentions that Will & Clair are engaged… WHAT!??!??! Are you kidding me? Don’t brush that off so quietly. Especially since I was so damn invested in those two. That could have been a big part of a sequel!
Oddly I found myself happy of the news of these two fictitious characters getting married.
“O that’s so nice! Good for them
Wait! They aren’t real.
Why am I happy for them?”
Why can’t I have a chapter where this happened? I want to know Clair’s perspective on this!
Ugh… I’m so invested.
Agree? Disagree? Write your comments below.
Read our other book reviews.
- Author: Marissa Clarke (Mary Lindsey)
- Available on Kindle for $2.99
- Amazon Paperback for $15.99
- Barnes & Noble Paperback for $15.99
- iTunes $2.99
- Genre: Light romance
- 196 pages
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