Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Neighborhood by Stylo Fantôme Is Now Available & Reviewed

Things a bad neighbor can do to you:

1. Have loud parties late at night
2. Refuse to mow his lawn
3. Steal your newspapers
4. Rip your heart out and walk all over it

Katya Tocci is willing to admit that she may have bitten off more than she could chew.

Liam Edenhoff showed her a side of life she'd been missing out on - sex and friendship and tacos. But then he betrayed her.

Wulfric Stone taught her that big surprises can come from unexpected places - like from a surly, aggressive, withdrawn bastard. But then he broke her heart.

Now one of them wants forgiveness, and the other wants forever. And Katya? She just wants to forget.

Who knew neighbors could be so difficult?

A Twin Estates Novel – This story contains scenes of a graphic sexual nature, multiple uses of coarse language, and quite possibly enough confusion to drive a normal person insane. Reader discretion is advised.

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Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~ Available on KindleUnlimited ~

"Have you eaten?” he asked.

“How did you get in here?” she ignored his question and asked her own.

“I have access to the keys for every building we manage. Are you really meeting that thing for dinner?” he asked again.

“Okay, first of all, 'that thing' is a seriously good looking, very successful, and ridiculously nice man – a man who has yet to lie to me and use me,” she pointed out.

“Key word being 'yet'.”

“And second of all, I know for a fact my lease states you have to give me twenty-four hour notice before you just barge in here. If you come in again without my permission, I'm gonna file a complaint,” she warned him. He laughed. Actually laughed. Something Wulfric Stone didn't do very often. She took a deep breath and looked away from his broad smile.

“Please do. I'll direct my HR department to hand deliver it to my desk so I can deal with it personally.”

“Are we done here? I have things to do today that don't involve dealing with you,” she snapped. He stepped closer to her.

“You might be even funner now than you were before.”

“That's not funny, and if you can't realize that, then there is literally no hope for you.”

“Ah, implying there is hope.”

“Shut up.”

“Feisty. I love it.”

“I talked to Vieve,” she blurted out. That finally stopped him. “Oh, really,” was all he said.

“Yup. Went to your place, had a cup of coffee with her,” she said. That seemed to actually surprise him.

“You were in my home?” he checked.

“Yes. Apparently, I could've been spending lots of time there. Very generous of you to give me complete access,” she said. He didn't react, though she noticed the tendon in the side of his neck was taut and straining.

“Yes, well, I've met you. I knew if you ever showed up, it would be a huge hassle with the front desk calling my office and you calling my cell phone and me having to drive across town.

Was just easier that way.”

“Sure. Okay.”

“And how was the coffee? I have it imported.”

Katya stared at the tight tendon for a moment longer. He was so good at putting on a false front, she knew. Looking calm and collected. After all, this was a man who ate million dollar real estate deals before breakfast.

But it was all fake. He was nervous. Deep down, she could tell. Being forceful was just his way of barreling through a problem he didn't actually want to deal with – he could just strong arm her into doing what he wanted. No unnecessary awkwardness. That was Wulf's M.O.

Yeah, well, my M.O. is to make him feel as awkward as humanly possible.

“I can't go to breakfast with you,” she stated, brushing past him and heading down the hallway. He didn't hesitate to follow behind her.

“No shit, it's afternoon – it's too late for brunch, even. But that Brazilian food cart is open for lunches now, we're going -” he started, but she waved her hand over her shoulder as she moved into her bedroom.

"I can't, I'm busy this afternoon. I have to go shopping for a new stove – don't worry, I'll have the bill sent to you,” she joked, turning around and standing in the doorway to her room.

He glared down at her.

“Don't be ridiculous. I'll talk to maintenance, we can get a new stove in by the end of the week,” he assured her.

“Whatever. I have other plans.”

“Tocci, I'm not -”

“But how about dinner?” she offered.

That seemed to shock him. He stood still for moment, his eyes wandering over her face.

Obviously trying to figure out if she was lying. She offered him a big smile, and that just seemed to throw him even more off guard. He finally narrowed his eyes.

“If I make reservations, you'll be downstairs on time?” he checked.

“No,” she shook her head. “But I can meet you there.”

“Bullshit. You'll stand me up, and I'm not wasting my time, sitting around like an asshole waiting for you,” he said.

“I won't, I promise. I have … a client I'm dealing with this afternoon. I don't know how long it will take,” she told him.

“What about your dinner date with your darling handyman?” he asked. She shrugged.

“I'll figure something out, don't worry about it. I'll have dinner with you.”

“You promise?” he checked, still glaring down at her. She nodded and ran her fingers across her chest in an X motion.

“Cross my heart.”

“Fine. But don't fuck with me, Tocci. You won't like it if I have to come and find you. We have a lot to discuss,” he informed her. She nodded.

“I'm sure we do. What's the dress code?” she asked. Wulf was a 3-Michelin-stars kind of restaurant goer when it came to dinner dates.

“A dress,” he informed her, and then his gaze wandered over her shoulder. She had some clothes laying around on the floor, littered about on the bed. She was gearing up to do laundry. “If you'd like to try on some options, I'd be more than happy to sit and help.”

Katya laughed and slid her hands up either side of the door frame. Wulf followed the motion with his eyes, which grew wide when she leaned towards him.

“Mmmm, that would be fun, wouldn't it?” she chuckled.


“And it's been a very long time since you've been in my bedroom,” she reminded him. He nodded.

“It has.”

“And we never got to have any real fun in here, did we?” she sighed, glancing back at her bed.

“No. No, we did it not.”

“It must make you wonder, though,” she said, dropping her hands and stepping back into the room.

“Wonder what?”

“What kind of fun Liam and I used to have in here.”

There was a split second where she got to see equal parts anger and shock ripple across his features.

Then she slammed the door in his face.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The Neighborhood continues where Neighbors left off.
Katya is trying to figure out who she really is, and what she wants in life. While trying to find her way, she's also trying to forget the two men who hurt her – Liam and Wulf.
When an opportunity presents itself, she decides it's her turn to have a little fun at the men's expense...

This book was much more low-key than the first. It wasn't slow or anything, but just more introspective. Forgiveness is an awful hard proposition, even harder to apply, but when one's heart is broken, it's the only thing she has left.
True colors are shown, even a little witty banter, but ultimately, we see all characters grow up and find what they are looking for.

I hate to say this, but I still do not like Wulf. I really thought that this book would make me fall head over heels, but I just can't like him. Maybe it's me?
In any case, I will be reading the 3rd book and am highly anticipating it!

This is the second book in the series – and you really MUST read book one first. I have assumed that you have in this review, so if you haven't, go and get a copy straightaway – and feel really lucky that when you get to the end you do not need to wait for this book to be released... it really does leave you wanting this book ASAP!

The end of Neighbors was really rather dramatic – not because anything critical had happened resulting in hospitalisation – but because Katya had just been betrayed by not just one man, but two of them. As the reader, we had a hint and some clues that meant that we thought we knew what was happening, but as things progressed so beautifully with Wulf, I certainly had chosen to want to believe I was wrong... so I felt her pain.

In this book we get Katya's growing up and making big decisions story – she is still the wonderful, fun character that she was before, but she has been seriously dented, and her ideas do not always work, but we can see the logic, and watch as things unfold. Liam and Wulf try completely different routes to heal the wounds and return to Katya's good graces. We can see how much more hurt Wulf is, and how much more easily it is for Liam to return to friends, as he had been friend zoned already. Katya is a very likeable person, and has a good heart, which makes some of her actions funny and others unexpected. As something bad does happen, the right man might finally get the chance to prove his worth, and give Katya her happily ever after.

This is not as hot and steamy as book one – but it is much more passionate and makes sense of the devastation that ended that installment. Just as it takes time for Katya to trust again, the reader too needs time to digest and believe, Ms. Fantôme gives us that time and thus provides a very satisfying romance. And actually, the division into two books is very effective, as the ending of one book gives time to reflect before racing to find the way it can be resolved.

Looking forward to what we get next!

After reading Neighbors, I was ravenous for more, so I bought the Kane Trilogy by Stylo Fantôme. After reading that series, I was waiting for The Neighborhood, slightly worried about Katya. I feared Katya would go into revenge-mode, turning our stable baker into an irrational woman. Explanation: sometimes the first book in a series is so good, you're jonesing for the next, but when you finally get the sequel, you're left feeling dissatisfied. Not only did The Neighborhood satisfy, I enjoyed seeing the author's growth in their craft.

The Neighborhood is most definitely not a standalone. If you haven't read Neighbors, start there first and don't read any farther of this review.

Katya's heart is torn to bits, so she's feeling insecure and unsure of her choices after the events of the previous book. Whatever 'revenge' plans she enacts are more humorous, leaving her to be the one to learn the lesson, and not at all an irrational woman going off the rails. I was so pleased to see a mix of old Kat and new Kat, creating an emotionally mature adult Katya.

Unlike the first installment, there were fewer steamy scenes, which placed the focus on character development. Not that the between-the-sheets action wasn't hot and plentiful enough to satisfy, but that the focus of the book was Katya's journey to figure out what she wants out of life – who she wants in her life.

I appreciated the thread of girl power in the book – the girls stuck together, empowering one another, instead of fighting over boys and bringing each other down. Katya, Tori, Katya's mom, Wulf's sisters, it was nice seeing a solid foundation to support one another. I'll include Katya's dad in this too, because generally in novels, for the drama of it, the supportive cast is lacking.

Without giving away choices made by Katya, or events happening in the book... apologies, lack of communication as the plot, and character development. I'm not a fan of a book when the plot could be erased by a two-minute conversation, but the miscommunication showed the growth and/or stagnation of the characters, so the angst felt right to me.

Wulf is as dry as ever, which I found hilarious. I connected with Kat, because certain things she's drawn to are the same for me. Wulf was unintentionally funny to me with his gruff yet selfless attitude.

Liam is supportive, trying to find an in by being the friend. He reminds of me a guy who placed himself in the friend-zone, feels entitled to the friend, like she owes him for the friendship, but is deep down a good person who wants the best for everyone.

I adored the banter between all the characters: Kat & Wulf. Kat & Liam. Wulf & Liam.

Katya has to choose between two men who hurt her by lying and game playing, and both men are apologetic and wearing their hearts on their sleeves. What makes this a difficult task is that she loves them both, in different ways, and doesn't want to hurt either of them or herself. This is difficult because all three are givers, selfless, and caring for those in their lives, and no matter what, one of them is going to get hurt.

I felt The Neighborhood was a solid sequel to Neighbors. Not too spoilery, because I'm sure a few readers want to know. Yes, there is a happily ever after. No, there is no cliffhanger. Yes, there will be another book about a different character, one in which I can't wait to get my hands on.

Also Available in the Twin Estates Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~ Available on KindleUnlimited ~

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Neighbors Blog Tour.

Crazy woman from a remote location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since... forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball – I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I'm clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.

I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don't trust anyone who doesn't drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there's your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair – both a curse and a blessing – and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can't understand me.

Yeah. I think that about sums me up.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Neighborhood (Twin Estates #2) by Stylo Fantôme to read and review for this tour.

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