Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: The Vampire Next Door

The Vampire Next Door (Strange Neighbors - Book 3) by Ashlyn Chase

Publication Date: August 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 384pp
ISBN-13: 9781402236631

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Ashlyn Chase on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter


How does a vigilante vampire...

Undead Sly just hasn't been the same since he lost the love of his life, many years ago. He devotes his vampire powers to maintaining a nice safe neighborhood, until a chipped fang undermines his confidence - and leads him to a beautiful witch who awakens Sly's long-forgotten desires.

Hook up with a witch who's afraid of the dark...

The charming Morgaine has spells to cure everyone's problems but her own. Her intense phobias keep her in her shell, until she gets to know tall, dark, and brooding Sly. Just when these two unlikely lovers think they might find a cure for both of them, their deepest fears are realized, and suddenly they see their last hope for a "normal" life slipping away...


The third book in the Strange Neighbors series, The Vampire Next Door by Ashlyn Chase continues the crazy adventures of an apartment building full of supernatural creatures. The old adage, "those of a feather, flock together!" is certainly true in this novel. Fans of Chases' writing will find this character driven book full of humor, romance. With all kinds of different shape-shifters, vampires and a witch or two this series is light paranormal fiction at it's best!

Merry's father Sly is a vampire who has been lonely for a really long time. The love of his life died many years ago and Sly has devoted his life to making his neighborhood safe and comfortable for it's residents, including the apartment building owned by his daughter and her husband, a shape-shifter. When Sly attempts to prevent a mugging, he accidentally bites into a silver chain around the neck of the assailant and chips his fang. He has no where else to turn except to the beautiful witch and healer Morgaine for help. Morgaine has issue of her own including a severe phobia of public places and the dark, but her fellow apartment dwellers know they can always come to her for help. When the sparks start to fly between Morgaine and Sly some of the residents are happy, while others would love to keep them apart.

In the third installment of the Strange Neighbors series, Ashlyn Chase tells the story of Sly, a lonely vampire, with a big heart. Chase introduced readers to Sly in the first book in the series and he has remained relatively quiet until this book. The Vampire Next Door explores Sly's vampire origins and his future with the beautiful witch, Morgaine. I have enjoyed reading this series and I was really excited that Sly would finally get a chance to be the hero. He was a good character in the first book and really comes into his own in this one. The entire series is very character driven and this book is no exception. Chase has a knack for writing quirky, fun characters that readers will love.

Sly is what you might call an accidental vampire. It certainly wasn't his choice and he has suffered a long time after the death of his wife. He finally has a relationship with his daughter Merry and is expecting his first grandchild. How's that for an unlikely hero? I thought Chase did an amazing job of making Sly a character that readers could identify with. He has a big heart and has spent his life protecting others, not exactly the typical profile for a vampire, but in this series it really works. Sly is honorable, handsome and full of surprises.

Morgaine is a character that has been talked about quite a bit in the series and I was glad to see that she might get her happy ending as well. She has her quirks that's for sure. She is agoraphobic, meaning she finds it hard to leave the confines of places she feels safe, like the apartment building in which she lives. She also has an unhealthy fear of the dark. Certainly an interesting mate for a creature of the night. She is a very caring witch who uses her craft primarily to heal. It will be obvious to readers that she has carried a torch for Sly for a long time and when the two finally come together there are definitely romantic sparks. Chase chooses some unlikely partners and turns the relationship into quite the supernatural romance. I liked the pairing and the steamy side of things between Sly and Morgaine was well written and certainly got the blood pumping.

I have become a fan of the paranormal in just about every form of reading, and with this series and especially The Vampire Next Door, readers will see the lighter side of paranormal romance. It doesn't all have to be quite so heavy to be good paranormal reading and I really appreciated that. I can get into horror as much as the next reader, but this book was a nice change of pace. The author uses humor generously and makes her supernatural characters seem like every day people you might meet on the street. I recommend this one to my paranormal readers and to my romance readers. If you are interested in starting out in the genre, this would be a good place to start before tackling the darker side of the supernatural.

The Vampire Next Door is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Ashlyn Chase describes herself as an Almond Joy bar. A little nutty, a little flaky, but basically sweet, wanting only to give her readers a scrumptious, satisfying reading experience.

She holds a degree in behavioral sciences, worked as a psychiatric registered nurse for several years, and spent a few more years working for the American Red Cross, where she still volunteers as an instructor. She credits her sense of humor to her former careers since comedy helped preserve whatever was left of her sanity. She is a multi-published, award-winning author of humorous erotic romances.

Represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency in New York City, she lives in beautiful New Hampshire with her true-life hero husband and spoiled brat cat.


Book Sake said...

I just got book 1 in the mail today, can't wait to read it. From your review the series sounds like a lot of fun.

Hot Ash Romance Novels said...

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I'm so glad you enjoyed my weird little world and wild imagination.