I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Neighbors with Benefits (Anderson Brothers, #2) by Marissa Clarke
Series: Anderson Brothers #2
Published by Entangled: Lovestruck on June 30th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Entangled Publishing
Barnes & Noble
A satisfying category romance from Entangled’s new Lovestruck imprint…Love thy sexy jerk of a neighbor…CEO Michael Anderson might be something of a “control freak.” Still, he’s not quite sure why his therapist thinks dogsitting will fix anything—especially since he and the canine share a kind of mutual loathing. And to make matters worse, a house sitter moves in next door disrupting his peace—and his dates—with the worst possible music at the worst possible time... every time. Free-spirited artist Mia Argaropolis has settled into the perfect gig—housesitting in NYC’s Upper West Side while working as an art therapist. Too bad she’s stuck living next door to a bossy control freak with a penchant for calling building security when she blasts music to drown out the noises coming through his bedroom wall. Post-apocalyptic dinner rolls that nearly take her kitchen with them, a douchebag ex, and a Shih Tzu with the personality of Godzilla attack Mia in one day, and her unlikely neighbor comes to the rescue. Like it was her fault. And now, somehow, they find themselves engaged? Both agree, this neighborly feud just got taken to a whole new level.
This was a bit of a mixed read for me. I liked Michael a lot. Watching him deal with Clancy, the dog, was a lot of fun, and as a fairly set-in-her-ways person myself, I liked watching him grow out of his comfort zone a bit and have his life shaken up a bit. After one too many calls to building security resulted in Mia becoming essentially homeless, he offered to let her stay with him. And, frankly, this is where Mia sort of lost me. I get that she’s a free spirit. She doesn’t have rules, she does/says/behaves/wears whatever she wants. But she’s almost as rigid in her determination to be adorably flaky as Michael is in his own life. She’s a guest in this man’s apartment, staying there only because he feels somewhat guilty about his role in losing her the housesitting gig, and yet she instantly treats it like an art studio, lining the floors with garbage bags, painting everywhere, leaving her paintbrushes all over the place, her clothes everywhere, snooping through his things, rearranging his stuff. This man clearly likes his apartment to have some semblance of order, but she completely disregards that in favor of being rigidly uninhibited.
I was also a little frustrated with their big misunderstanding that led to their breakup. Mia jumps to conclusions about something, and Michael, instead of saying “This is what actually happened” stands there while she’s ranting, and says things like “You misunderstood” and “It’s not what you think” and “Let me explain”. If someone is grossly misinterpreting my actions, I don’t stand there spouting platitudes, I jump right in with “The man you saw me having dinner with was my brother!” or “We’re setting up a surprise party for your birthday!” or whatever the explanation was. I realize this would end the conversation in about three seconds and not allow the breakup to move forward, but I really hate it when I see that. It’s so frustrating because that’s not how people have conversations.
And I realize that this all sounds like I didn’t like the book. I did. I liked Michael more than Mia, and I thought she needed to do the groveling at the end more than he did, but I really liked their balance. I’d like to see them in about a year, see how they’ve managed to even each other out, Mia making Michael a little more spontaneous, Michael making Mia see that she can survive as an artist who actually keeps her brushes in one place. I thought they had great chemistry, and I really appreciated how he always called her out when she started to doubt herself or put herself down. I liked Michael’s brothers a lot, too. Apparently his brother William has already had his book, and I’ll check that out, too; it sounds intriguing. Overall, I thought this was a fun, quick read.