Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Girl Next Door by Lyra Marlowe

Despite being betrayed and robbed by his long-term lover, gay paramedic Nolan Crane remains an undaunted romantic. He’s looking for true love to heal his broken heart. His partner and friend, John Krulak, is straight and commitment-phobic. He’s not looking for anything more than his next one-night stand. But lately, the thrill of the hunt doesn’t satisfy him.

Lucy Bellino is Nolan’s oldest friend. She loves him dearly, but platonically. With his permission, she’s delighted to have sex with John--anytime, anywhere. But even wildly adventurous sex with Lucy (against the wall in an alley, in the stationhouse in the middle of a shift, or with Lucy bound and blindfolded in the back of a van) can’t satisfy John the way his alarming new fantasies about his partner do.

All three carry scars from their past. All three are looking for some kind of lasting happiness. But if they’re going to have a future together, they’ll each have to find a way past their fears. And when one of them puts his own life in danger, it’s clear that the time for waiting is over. Ready or not, Nolan and his best friends are about to become lovers.

Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by another publisher but has been re-edited and revised.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4 Lusty Stars.

Lyra Marlowe is a new-to-me author, and I will most definitely be checking out her backlist of titles. I found the writing to flow rapidly, which kept me engaged, with characters I could relate to, with the added bonus of a fully fleshed-out novella.

Girl Next Door has three narrators: Nolan, his BFF girl next door – Lucy – and his paramedic partner – John. All three are lonely, looking for different things in a relationship, but they balance each other out.

Lusty, sexy, a little bit kinky, this is an erotic novella through and through, but there is a depth of emotion and storytelling that kept me completely engaged. The lusty scenes weren't repetitive, were highly creative, and propelled the story forward.

Girl Next Door was everything it should be and more. The reason I couldn't hand out 5 stars: it's hard for me to rate an erotic novella so high, but it definitely is one of the best vs other books in its genre. But I felt there to be an imbalance in the scenes for me to connect fully to the romance and love aspects.

Ménage: MF for most of the novella, between Lucy and John, as they are sexually adventurous. With their gay best friend coming in later in the novella, turning the book to MMF. I would have loved to see this happen earlier, to develop the MM and MMF more.

Lucy is a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. John is an alpha dog charmer who knows his place when it comes to Lucy. And Nolan is the heartbroken love of their lives in more ways than one. Together, they were a great combination, each individually interesting to read and root for.

I recommend this title to those who love ménage, but be forewarned, as this is definitely more MF than ménage.

This was one of the best novellas that I've read all year!

I had absolutely no problem getting into this book and staying entertained throughout. I really enjoyed the characters. Lucy and Nolan definitely have that amazing best friend chemistry that just fits so well. Lucy and John were deliciously sexy and even a bit kinky together. John and Nolan are sexy AND adorable together, but what I loved most was seeing all three interact! I would love to see more from these characters in the future. There was just enough emotional depth to keep me hooked and wanting more at the same time. I think the straight forward communication and openness the characters exhibited was extremely refreshing and something you don't see often with this type of book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. I'd definitely recommend it to M/M and ménage romance fans.

Nolan and John are paramedics, best friends, and completely opposite. Nolan is gay and heartbroken over his last relationship. He found his long-term boyfriend cheating on him. He's a hopeless romantic and doesn't believe in a sexual relationship without emotion.

John is straight and a complete ladies’ man. He has commitment issues. He's more a love 'em and leave 'em type of guy. Nolan has been crushing on John for quite some type, but he would rather never act on the crush than risk losing his best friend.

When Lucy, Nolan's other best friend and the only girl he's every slept with comes to visit. Lucy has her own set of issues. She's not a relationship type of girl. She's not looking for love. Nolan knows she and John would be perfect for each other while she's visiting. If he can't have John, then the next best option is his best friend.

I loved this story. I got lost within the pages and found myself not wanting it to end. It was easy to get invested into the characters.

Lyra Marlowe is a new to me author, but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from her.

Lyra Marlowe has been writing since—well, since she learned to write. Her very first book was selected to be read at the Young Author’s Conference for elementary school students.  They told her she could write, and she’s never stopped.

As a teen, she conspired with her best friend to write a young adult novel. In college, she wrote plays that were performed by the theater department, and managed to hook an actor boyfriend in the process. She wrote poems, newsletter articles, and even a short story about a head in a box. After college she married the actor. One year he suggested that they write erotic stories for each other as Christmas gifts. She tried it. She liked it. A lot.

Her first erotic romance, Thirteen Silver Moons, was published in December of 2007. The Flavor of Summer was her first fictional foray into the world of BDSM, and its Fling-length short follow-up, First Taste, is available as a free read.

Lyra has lived on the shores of Lake Erie all her life, but dreams of a land where it never snows.  She and her husband have three children, two dogs, and one demanding cat. They share a Victorian century home with a gentle grandmother ghost who loves babies but hates painted woodwork and the color purple.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Girl Next Door by Lyra Marlowe to read and review.

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