The Neighbor by Geri Hill is an opposites attract age-gap romance involving two very well penned characters: Laura Fry and Cassidy Anderson.
I enjoyed both characters quite a bit, especially how their inner thoughts were revealed by the author.
They are at different moments in their lives and even though Cassidy is the older one she sure seems the immature one in choosing her intimate relationships and friendships.
I loved the slow burned romance and the chemistry between two very different women.
I liked the fact that their relationship starts building up by their shared passion for both eating and cooking food.
Laura Fry is a writer who suffers from writer’s block for eight years now and as her sister has a family to take care of, Laura is jobless and she is somehow obliged to move back to her childhood home to take care of her incapacitated mother, who has suffered an accident caused by Laura’s stepfather, who died in it.
So, there is a lot of substance between Laura and her mother and many unsolved issues, which at first seem impossible to bear and to be overcome. But as time passes by and Laura takes really good care of her mother, cooks for her, takes care of the garden and her relationship improves, even Laura’s sister is impressed.
Whom she really doesn’t like is the neighbor, Cassidy.
Why? Well, mainly because Laura is a tomboy who hasn’t had a relationship for some time and feels rather socially marginalized, while Cassidy is everyone’s sweetheart, she is successful in her job, has a beautiful summer home with a pool and a huge line of bimbo women drooling for her attention and love.
I assume Laura thinks of Cassidy as shallow and doesn’t approve of her lifestyle, but deep down she envies her and her bimbo girlfriends, because she wants to be like Cassidy and would love to be the one in Cassidy’s graces.
Cassidy Anderson is a beautiful woman in her forties, tall, dark and beautiful, as in Laura’s own words, who also happens to be very successful after taking on her family business about air conditioning services from her father. But, with so much work on her hands, she barely has time for her personal life, and very often she chooses one night stands, shallow skinny beautiful women in between she tends on believing she might find her soulmate. Her secretary warns her that is not the case and that she is hiding from getting her heart broken. Even Laura tells her about her bad taste in women, which is very funny.
Cassidy finds out she has trouble in spending time on her own and facing her own demons, thus she brings the playmates every weekend on her summer house with the pool, next to Laura’s childhood home. Cassidy likes Laura’s garden and asks het to tend her own garden in exchange for using the pool during week days, while she’s in town.
This is how their relationship starts.
I also loved their Sunday coffee encounters and how Cassidy is surprised by Laura’s joy about food, matching her own and she wants to know more about her tomboy neighbor, as she is so different than her usual playmates.
I loved the savory, funny dialogues between Laura and her mother and of course, between Laura and Cassidy.
I enjoyed how Cassidy found out that she loves Laura’s imperfections, while finding other parts of her just perfect. And how each layer of their personality falls open to the other showing each other their beauty.
There are many stereotypes and cliches in this story like: inner beauty completes physical appearance or the bimbo’s in Cassidy’s pool parties or the nympho lesbian etiquette for Cassidy.
I loved how Laura noticed Cassidy’s inner beauty and her love for food and for simple things in life.
The pair turns out to be the best soulmates for each other.
Excerpts from the book: