5 Stars / Contemporary / New Adult / Review

Review: The Pucker Next Door by Sara Ney

When a squirrel chews its way through my bedroom wall, I do the first thing any single girl like me would do: run screaming out of the house to the neighbors, begging for help.

I should mention that the house next door is full of hockey players. And when I lock eyes on rough and rugged Brodie Stockhausen—who happens to be outside brooding on the porch—I’m not exactly impressed.

But I’m desperate, in a bathrobe, and need a bit of rescuing.

Soon I’m begging for his help with more than just squirrel duty and DIY projects. I want his attention and his touch—not just his friendship!

I want what every girl wants: him lying in his bed at night, so desperate for me that he’s willing to scale two stories to sneak into my window. Hey, a girl can dream…

But Brodie has a secret; one that leaves me wanting more every time we’re together but has him pulling away…

Title:The Pucker Next Door
Author:Sara Ney
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
New Adult
Trope(s):Neighbours to Lovers
Virgin Hero
Point of View:First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Minnesota, US
Release Date:28 April, 2024
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A fun and upbeat college romance

5 stars

Gah – I do so love getting my hands on a new Sara Ney – especially when it’s potentially the start of a new series. And our story is exactly the kind she excels at; two college students, neighbours and complete opposites, bantering and fumbling their way to love.

I suspect that Sara Ney will be something of a marmite author – you’ll either love her style or you’ll hate it. It’s definitely unique as there’s almost a stream of consciousness for her characters as we hear their thoughts, including every random thing that comes to mind. I love it as it really gets me into the heads of our characters and doubly, it makes me laugh. She’s got a refreshing style that I can’t get enough of.

Lizzy is our heroine. She’s a junior in college and is having something of a bad day. Just out of the shower, she’s accosted by a squirrel in her bedroom which throws her into the path of neighbour and collegiate hockey player, Brodie. I’m always a fan of “real” women in my romance novels and Lizzy definitely came across as someone both likeable and relatable. She’s equally sassy and unsure and I loved the way she was slightly nervous around Brodie.

But king of the nervous and awkward definitely goes to Brodie. Who knew I was such a sucker for a shy, introverted and floundering hero? He is so frickin’ adorable. He’s liked Lizzy since he saw her but due to a number of reasons, he was never going to make a move. He overthinks the overthinking and man, can I relate to that. There was just something so endearing about Brodie but he never came across as pathetic or weak. I just wanted him to get his girl without getting in his own way – which thankfully he did in the end.

“This book really uplifted me and made me happy.”

I really liked our couple as a pairing. They were cute, slightly awkward and had great chemistry both as friends and then as something more. The text message exchanges were a nice touch and an easy way to get into the minds of our characters.

The side characters were a nice addition to the story, too. Lizzy’s roommates, Bethany and Jill, were tons of fun and Brodie’s roommate, Sully, was a man very much in need of his own book and happily ever after. Here’s hoping.

And of course we have the squirrel. That squirrel gave me some of the biggest laughs of a book where I actually did laugh out loud. The squirrel epilogue was ridiculous but I’m not mad – especially as there’s a download to another, human, epilogue which toasted my marshmallows nice and good.

The worst thing about a Sara Ney book is surely the way that it sticks with you after you’ve finished and you forget that the book is over and there’s no more to read. I just couldn’t get enough of this story, these characters, that damn squirrel. This book really uplifted me and made me happy. No doubt it’s a 5 star read.

5 stars

* I received this book in exchange for my honest review.*

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

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