📚Review: The Couple Next Door, by Rick R. Reed


cover-rickreed-thecouplenextdoorWith the couple next door, nothing is as it seems.

Jeremy Booth leads a simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants—someone to love—seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.

Jeremy would never go after another man’s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully—it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he’s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.

So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life.


Dates read:
Edition read:
December 7, 2015
Dreamspinner Press
Contemporary, M/M, GLBT+, Suspense
200 e-book pages
1st person
January 2-5, 2016
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:        ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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First impression: What the fuck did I just read?


I’m going to say, begrudgingly, that I liked this mind-fuck of a book.

I was hooked from the start and all the way through I was wide-eyed and agog, dismayed and afraid.

I’ll note that I read the book, Sybil, as a teenager, also–before that–Helter Skelter, The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. My mother didn’t monitor the books I pilfered off her shelves. I was way too young, and it’s probably one of the many reasons I don’t often treat myself to the suspense genre–and one reason I’ve been an insomniac since, oh yeah…about fourteen. Huh. I finally learned there are more pleasurable ways to get my heart racing that aren’t nightmare inducing.

I caught on fast to the diagnosis of neighbor John–but there were still a lot more surprises along the way.

This was scary. I need hugs and self-care like you wouldn’t believe–or a sappy sweet low-angst fluff romance would do just fine ’bout now.

But, putting my own little neuroses aside, this story was pretty fantastic and well structured.

Also, hmmm, I’ve gotta point this out. The book is written in first person present tense. This is my least favorite. Except, I also think it’s a bold choice and kinda fearless–so respect to the author for doing it. And, it worked very well for the story and pacing–I wasn’t bothered by it at all.

The romance aspect was relatively mild in comparison to the mind-fuck drama the new neighbors bring to the ‘hood. It was there and mostly enjoyable–except I was greedy for more sweet-n-sexy times to solidify more my belief that these guys belong together because I was nodding my head in emphatic agreement that Jeremy needed to stay the hell away…far, far away. As in…RUN like the wind, don’t look back–never look back. There are other fish in the sea and all that. But he stuck it out so we could get the story. So, good for him I s’pose…taking one for the team. The epilogue was good to make me believe it was all worth it.

If edge-of-the-seat suspense is your bag, then go for it. I recommend it.

This review also posted on GoodReads and (partially) on Amazon.

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