Title: The Curious Neighbor
Author: R.W. Clinger
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Length: 58 Pages
At a Glance: For me? This one didn’t quite work out. That being said, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would adore this quick little romance/mystery.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: After the death of his uncle, Dalton Prie is ordered by his unpleasant and bossy mother to drive out to the woodsy lakeside town where his uncle lived to clear out his cabin. As Dalton diligently works boxing up his uncle’s trinkets and realizing his uncle had hoarding issues, he meets two men he’d like to know more about. Officer Noah Rexington is a hot cop with the local PD and Joshua Kane is the strange, burly neighbor next door.
Soon Dalton develops a slight crush on Officer Rexington. He also realizes something shady is happening at Joshua’s residence. When Dalton becomes The Curious Neighbor investigating Kane’s property, he begins to learn many things about Kane, and of the man’s unbelievable secrets…
Review: Trigger Warning for non-con/dub-con
I am conflicted on how to write this review. The story had a decent premise, which is obviously why I wanted to check it out, and sometimes the writing was almost poetic in its descriptions. In fact, I did enjoy quite a few of the written descriptions. I didn’t see any glaring timeline issues or plot holes, and no obvious editing issues. I’ll admit that had the story been longer, allowing more time to add depth and dimension to the characters and the romance, I think I would have enjoyed it more.
I think some people will enjoy this story. Me? I am one of those people who really, really needs to connect with the protagonists and have a feeling for them (bad or good, I don’t care as long as they evoke some sort of feeling towards them). Unfortunately, many of these characters came off as flat and one-dimensional. Dalton was fleshed out more than others, but as the story was told from his POV, the fact he held more dimension made sense. Noah had a little more information to give the reader a clearer picture of the type of person he is, as opposed to the secondary characters, but the way it was presented was more of a tell-and-not-show situation. I don’t always mind if secondary characters are not fully fleshed out as long as I can connect with my MCs. But unfortunately, I had a difficult time connecting or becoming invested in Dalton and Noah, both in the romantic element and as individuals. I could see where the author was trying to go with them, and even a little insight to their backgrounds and touching on their individual personalities, but the limited page count really didn’t give enough time to pull off the depth of character I like to have.
There is also the mystery of Joshua Kane and what causes Dalton to become the “curious neighbor”, in addition to the romance. The plot here held a lot of promise, and out of all the characters, once the story was completed, I found myself really wishing more was explored on Joshua’s character, along with Dalton’s Uncle and their background. What little the tidbits are thrown out about them, I think he could make for a fascinating read with a lot of plot potential that could have been explored.
My preference in reading has me willing to let go of plot issues as long as I connect with the characters. On the other hand, I have a hard time with books that may have a great plot, but I can’t connect with the protagonists. For me? This one didn’t quite work out. That being said, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would adore this quick little mystery.
You can buy The Curious Neighbor here: