published by Harper-Collins in February 2008 (re-issue)
Trouble in His Eyes and in His Wicked Grin...
He was a handsome hell-raiser, a reckless crusader in low-slung jeans - and he was driving Louisa Brannigan crazy! Pete Streeter made terrible coffee, snatched her newspaper, and listened through her walls, but it wasn't until she got fired from her government job that she was persuaded to join his undercover investigation - and became hopelessly entangled with the sexiest man she'd ever met!
Love on the Lam
Sneaking around in the shadows was more fun than Louisa ever imagined... especially when the getaway car was a Porsche. Pete never figured on finding a partner in crime who tasted like dessert, but Louisa was all he wanted in a woman - and more. Once he'd taught Louisa to enjoy living on the edge, would she finally feel safe in his love?
Genre: contemporary romance
The Story: Pete and Louisa live in the same apartment building and although they’ve never met, they don’t have a good opinion of each other. Pete turns out to be a movie scriptwriter and he’s working on some high up politicians’ secret for his next movie… which some politicians do not appreciate. One thing leads to another and Louisa, who’s the senator assistant, loses her job. To help her out and because he’s very attracted to her, Pete offers her a job: investigate the mysterious pig that showed up in the senator’s office not long ago.
Nath: I used to be a huge fan of the Stephanie Plum series… until book 6. Actually, I read till 9 and that’s when I decided to stop. Being a huge fan of the Plum books, I tried reading the author’s other series (not very good) and her re-issued romance novels (meh). One of the reason I picked up this book, despite it’s ridiculous high price, was the cover─so cute─and I think Dear Author gave it a favorable review.
Chantal: The first Evanovich books I ever read were the Plum ones. I liked them a lot, pretty much read them back to back. As much as I do like the Plum books I would not have picked this book up for myself. Naughty Neighbor was actually an Easter present from my aunt. I got her hooked on the Plum series, and when she saw an Evanovich that was not part of the series she thought I would like it.
Nath: I thought Naughty Neighbor was an okay read. It’s been a while since I read any Janet Evanovich, so I didn’t what to expect. Have to admit I thought it’d be a bit funnier, a bit more Jennifer Crusie-ish I guess.
Chantal: There were some funny moments between Pete and Louisa and the dialogue was great. I liked how they got along, and I actually thought that every scene they had together was very entertaining.
Nath: True. I like the introduction – how we saw Pete and Louisa’s POV and what they thought of each other. That was a great set up. You’re also right about the dialogue, it was very good and surely, the strongest point in this book… Pete and Louisa were also great characters. They had layers to their personalities─too bad we didn’t get to explore it completely, and good chemistry together.
For me, the problem was the storyline. While the whole idea that started the book, i.e. the pig, was funny and ridiculous, it wasn’t meat enough to write a complete novel about and as a result, I had the feeling Ms Evanovich had to fill up the book with random scenes… and unfortunately, she forgot some holes.
Chantal: The only problem I had with the story was the pig thing. I though it was kinda dumb. I'm sure that Evanovich was going for funny with it, but it didn't seem funny to me... just blah.
Nath: I thought it was funny. It was also weird enough to draw attention and I understand why Pete, given his personality, would get fixated on it. What I didn’t like is once Louisa lost her job and she got to know Pete better, the storyline started dragging. There was some action and it actually did contribute to the story, but it felt off to me. Also, I don’t get understand the reasoning between some of the events. Why did the villain’s henchman sneak in Pete’s apartment?
Chantal: Yeah, the whole thing with the guy breaking into Peter's apartment, shooting at him, trashing the car… I didn't get it either. Yes, I’ll admit there were funny parts; running away while being shot at, getting stuck naked to the steering wheel, the back and forth banter. Just as a whole though, I didn’t find the book funny. Kinda weird that there can be so many comical moments without the book being over all funny. Hmm.
Nath: Also, Pete and Lou spent a great time trying to resolve the mystery surrounding the pig, so I expected a big show down at the end. However, they weren’t even part of the capture. It’s as if it wasn’t important anymore. I thought that was a let-down… Ms Evanovich could have crafted some very funny scenes. In addition, I felt like the book was not complete and actually thought that the ending was rushed and definitively anti climatic.
Chantal: Anti climatic is a good word to describe the end. I felt the same way. I read the last page unprepared for it to actually be that. I flipped the page expecting a new chapter, not the end.
Also like you, I think I would have liked to have seen them be part of the pig capture. I'd also have liked to have been privy to some of the day to day stuff that went on after Louisa went to him in California. I bet there would have been a lot of funny moments.
Nath: Well at least, the scene when she arrived in California and Pete is sick was cute :D One of my favorite!
Chantal: Yeah, the cold was funny. I lub you. LOL
At times I felt like I was reading a Stephanie Plum novel. Having read all 13 Plum books I feel I know the characters rather well. In Naughty Neighbor, Louisa's Grandmother reminded me of Grandma Mazur, and Peter was a mixture of Joe and Ranger. Not saying that’s a bad thing though. It was just an observation.
Nath: LOL, Louisa’s grandmother is to stern to be Grandma Mazur!
Chantal: You are right about the Grandmother being too stern. Come to think of it, she is more like Joe's Grandmother, lol.
What grade would you give this one? I'm going with a C. It was a good read with several comical moments, however, some things felt unfinished.
Nath: I’m going with a C+. It was an enjoyable and fun read, but I’d had better in the past. Plus, I think it’s quite expensive for a re-issue. My advice, if you can get it at the library, go for it. Otherwise, you’re not missing much.