Top 10 of 2016 – 10 Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward

It’s time for the second annual Top 10 countdown! I’m so excited to share my favorite books of the year with you! Let’s jump in with #10…


Title: Neighbor Dearest

Author: Penelope Ward

Genre: Contemporary 

Release Date: 04 Aug 2016

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5

Amazon US Purchase Link


From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a friends-to-lovers story with sexy new characters.

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. 

Author’s note – Neighbor Dearest is a full-length standalone novel.

Why is it a Top Book? 

Neighbor Dearest makes the top 10 list because it’s a perfect friends to lovers romance. The characters are really lovable and you root for both of the leads at different points of te book. Who knew barkig dogs, online dating profiles and a hole in the wall could lead to love? Ward weaves a beautiful novel that heals hearts with witty banter, enjoyable characters and talented writing. 


I want to preface this review with 2 things. First, the lead female Chelsea is introduced in Ward’s Stepbrother Dearest along with her now ex Elec. You do not need to read Stepbroher Dearest to enjoy the story. I in fact didn’t even know there was a link, much less read Stepbrother Dearest, and I greatly enjoyed Neighbor Dearest. 

Secondly, this seems to be a really polarizing novel. You either get it and you love it or you end up disliking one or both of the leads. I say this to you because I read other reviews and some readers didn’t enjoy it because they picked the storyline apart a little heavily. If you are a “there’s zero chance that would ever happen so I hate it” reader, this may not be for you. A lot of readers had issue with the fact that Damien has a medicial concern and is still very physically active and it threw the whole story for them. This is your warning. 


Neighbor Dearest is at its core a friends to lovers novel. We’re introduced to Chelsea who is recovering from a really horrible break up. Shes never anticipates that her sexy angsty neighbor Damien will be the man to bring her fragile heart back to life. Unfortuntely Damien’s heart turns out to be even more fragile than her own. I enjoyed that the plot was layered. We get to know a lot of aspects of both characters lives and still are presented with twists and turns to keep the story interesting. Any romance reader will enjoy the different facets this story presents.


Chelsea and Damien are in the same vein of Ward’s enjoyable lead characters. Both are very relatable and loveable. The pair share a lot of witty banter and create very laughable moments. They are a pleasure to get to know while still having the ability to crush your hearts at different parts of the story. 


Neighbor Dearest has so many feels. This is a novel that really gives you the whole string of emotions that a relationship can create. The pair are both broken in their own ways, finding ways to heal one another. Sometimes though love isn’t enough and they destroy some of the repair work. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry but most of all you’ll enjoy the emotional rollercoaster. 

Links to Penelope Ward’s Social Media 



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