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About the Author
Ashlyn ChaseA multi-published eBook author, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse, and for the Red Cross, and has a degree in behavioral sciences. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire.
From Chapter 1:
A hand reached out to her. "Would you like to dance?" She followed the line of a crisp white sleeve and looked up into the sparkling eyes of her mystery...
From Chapter 1:
A hand reached out to her. "Would you like to dance?" She followed the line of a crisp white sleeve and looked up into the sparkling eyes of her mystery man. He had to be a GQ model to possess a face and body like that.
"Merry? What on earth are you doing?"
And just like that, Merry MacKenzie's daydream evaporated.
"Dad, I'm exhausted. I have to rest."
Merry collapsed on the worn leather sofa sitting in the middle of the sidewalk in front of a beautiful antique townhouse. She yanked an inhaler from her denim jacket, shook it vigorously, and squirted the mist into her mouth. Inhaling a deep breath, her constricted lungs eased. Ah, relief.
"We're almost done. But while you're resting, let me say this again—if you ever need or want to move back to Rhode Island, you can."
She rolled her eyes. "Fine. But right now, I'm still moving into my apartment. How about letting me unpack before you make me feel guilty for leaving you?" She reclined on the sofa so she could expand her diaphragm and rest.
"Come on, Merry," her father said as he loomed over her. "One last push."
"No. I'm tapped… Gonna die now."
"I know you're tired. We've been moving your stuff into your new apartment all afternoon. Or, I should say, new to you, old by any other American's standards."
"Well, I happen to love it. Jeez, did you look around? Did you notice that thick, solid mahogany banister? I don't know how you could miss it. It practically blinds you, gleaming in the light of the crystal chandelier," she said. "Everything is in really good shape. Apparently the landlord lives in the building and made sure it was all replastered, but kept the period details like the wide crown moldings. And while you're noticing, check out the marble stairs. The elevator is all mahogany and brass inside."
"Why do you care about the elevator? You live on the first floor—thank God. I can't imagine carrying all this crap up to the second or third floor."
"And moving in is only part of the fun! I'll be up half the night unpacking. Who knew I had so much stuff?"
"That's the way it is when you move. You always have more than you thought you had and it always takes longer than you think it will."
"I've never moved before, so how could I know?" Mr. MacKenzie frowned. "Merry, Matt and I have to get going soon. It's getting dark. Are you okay?"
"Just one more minute, Dad." Merry glanced around at the lengthening shadows, wondering where west might be and if she'd have a sunset view. She looked up at tree limbs silhouetted against the twilight sky. Dry leaves rattled in the autumn breeze, and for a moment she thought she saw…
Great. First night on my own and already I'm seeing ghosts.
Then she spied a man with long, dark hair leaning against the wrought iron fence that surrounded the brownstone's small lot. Dressed all in black, he almost disappeared into the shadows, and she might not have noticed him at all except for his pale skin and intense eyes.
Something about the way he cocked his head and stared at her caught her attention. A shiver rippled up her spine.
"You can rest when you're inside. It's getting darker by the minute and you know my eyesight's no good for night driving."
"Have Matt drive home. Where is he, anyway?"
Her father peered toward the heavy oak and beveled glass front door of the building. They'd left it propped open with a marble pedestal from the foyer. "I don't know. Last I saw, he stopped to talk to someone. Must have been the landlady."
A second later, her younger brother raced down the steps babbling, "Dad, did you know Jason Falco owns this building? Do you believe that? Jeez, I'm going to have to visit Merry every chance I get!"
She groaned. "You'd better not, pickle-head. And who's Jason Falco, anyway?"
"You're kidding!" he shouted. "You don't know who Jason Falco is?"
Mr. MacKenzie folded his arms. "Calm down, Matt. It's a fairly common name. It could be anybody. Come on, Merry. Get up."
"Can't… too tired."
Some kind of secret signal passed between father and son. The next thing Merry knew, the couch tipped and they unceremoniously dumped her onto the sidewalk.
"Hey!" She scrambled to her feet while her brother continued chattering as if nothing had happened.
"He's the lefty pitcher for the Boston Bullets! I swear. I was just talking to his aunt. Oh—she wants the door closed, by the way. It's getting cold in there." As if to illustrate the point, a chilly October breeze blew crisp, brown leaves around their feet.
"Why didn't you say so in the first place?" Merry admonished. "Do you want my neighbors to immediately hate me? Get on the other side of the couch with dad; I can't lift another thing."
Merry marched into her new apartment building, hoping to find the landlord's aunt so she could apologize. No one seemed to be about, but she heard voices from the second floor. As her father and brother staggered and grunted through the front door under the weight of the leather sofa, a young man appeared at the top of the wide, curving staircase.
Long muscular legs in jeans and sneakers had come into view first. Then Merry saw his flat abdomen and broad shoulders under a navy blue knit jersey, and then finally his face.
"Whoa, let me help you with that." He jogged down the steps and grasped the side of the couch her brother had left teetering.
Oh, my lord! What a handsome face it was. Dark, thick brows stood out against his light skin and clear blue eyes. She couldn't identify his hair color easily, since it barely showed under a blue baseball cap. Maybe milk chocolate brown. Merry thought the style was called a buzz cut. The length nearly matched the brown whiskers of the five o'clock shadow on his strong jaw.
"Thanks, man." Matt did a double take and grinned. "I can't wait to set this couch down so I can shake your hand. Believe it or not, my sister's moving into your building and didn't even know who you were."
The handsome hunk just laughed.
Merry put two and two together and decided this must be the famous Jason Falco. Not bad. Not bad at all. On the other hand, if her brother insisted on embarrassing her in front of her hottie landlord by pointing out what a baseball fan she wasn't, she'd have to have a little "chat" with him before he left. A slap upside the head ought to do the trick.
She stepped back in order for the three men to pass her as they carried the heavy piece of used furniture into her tiny living room.
Her father surveyed the polished hardwood floor already covered with boxes. "Where do you want this, honey?"
"Um… I'm not sure yet."
"Well, hurry up and decide before I get a hernia."
"Sorry, Dad. Just put it down where you are. I'll figure it out later."
Her landlord straightened to a full six feet tall. "I can help her move things around once she knows where she wants them." And then he winked at her.
Be still my heart!
“Strange Neighbors has strong enough romance for grown-ups, full relationship with family and each other, and the humor had me laughing through out” - Sizzling...
“Strange Neighbors has strong enough romance for grown-ups, full relationship with family and each other, and the humor had me laughing through out” - Sizzling Hot Books
“You'll definitely want to read more from Ashlyn Chase. ” - Loving Heart Mommy
“Dynamic, steamy, and hilarious!” - Fresh Fiction
“A lighhearted, fun read - absolutely perfect for summer! ” - Psychotic State
“A very fun and fast paced read! ” - Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews
“[Ashlyn Chase] uses humor and the abnormal or strange to really showcase her talent as a writer. ” - Debbie’s Book Bag
“A quirky little story wrapped in a light-hearted package .” - The Book Lush
“A light-hearted romp that romance and paranormal lovers are sure to enjoy.” - Wendy’s Minding Spot
“Cute, quirky and fun.” - Books 4 Moms
“A really cute escape read. ” - One Literature Nut
“Chase did a spectacular job incorporating zing into the romance.” - I Heart Book Gossip
“Romance, suspense, intrigue, and a lot of laughter to keep you spellbound from beginning to end.” - Thoughts in Progress
“Romance, humour and the quirky paranormal in abundance. ” - Smexy Books
“Light and quirky.” - Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks
“A fun, romantic romp.” - My Reading Room
“Ashlyn Chase scores big... Strange Neighbors is a must read.” - Cheryl’s Book Nook
“A hilarious, yet sexy, paranormal romance, which readers will find hard to put down until they finish reading the very last page. ” - Romance Junkies
“A riot a minute... Very unique with the perfect blend of serious and hilarious.” - Coffee Time Romance
“The quintessential supernatural romance. ” - Best Fantasy Stories
“Witty and funny with laugh out loud parts- this is a book you won't want to put down.” - Fang-tastic Books
Length: 6.875 in
Width: 4.1875 in
Weight: 6.40 oz
Page Count: 384 pages