Drive Me Crazy is the third novella in the Girl Next Door Series by C.C. Wood. Each novella stands alone, but since they are each about 3 different friends, the characters cross over. All three books are fun, snarky, sexy reads filled with great banter. At about 100-125 pages each, they are perfect between those big angsty books. This series reminds me of mini Kristen Ashley books — alpha men, confident, snarky women, and a little danger thrown in. Many novellas make me feel a little ripped off, but C.C. really knows how to tell a good full story in a small amount of pages.
It has been well over a year since I read the first two in the series, and I honestly don’t remember Nat and Cat’s friend Amy, but that’s OK, I really didn’t need to remember anything from the previous books to enjoy Drive Me Crazy. I woke up Monday morning, and intended to just read the prologue while I brushed my teeth. 2 hours later, I finished the book (and still didn’t brush, or even pee.) I was hooked immediately, and read it straight through. Before I even had coffee!
“The nightmare next door was beginning to seem like the nicest guy I knew.”
Amy lives in a duplex. She has a new neighbor, Troy, who she hasn’t seen yet, but she has certainly heard him and his crappy music, and his many sexual escapades. He is keeping her up at night and ‘driving her crazy’. So Amy decides to retaliate. She knows he is a late sleeper, so she puts on opera, LOUD, early in the morning, and leaves for the day. But when she came home, her neighbor dropped by to tell her off.
“Wow. Okay, so now I kind of understood why all those girls kept going home with Troy.”
“He was definitely of Latin descent and exactly my type. Especially since he was inconsiderate, Latino and a dick. Yep, the exact kind of man I usually fell for.”
Dressed like a thug, complete with bling, Amy assumed she was living next to the ultimate in bad boys…even more her type. She also smelled pot a few times around her home and assumed it was him.
“My new neighbor was exactly the kind of man I preferred. He was also exactly the kind of guy who would stomp all over my heart.”
Amy, after being burned by enough bad boys, has been dating Grayson, a safe, average guy who is always a gentleman.
“Grayson was considerate and sweet. He also didn’t make me feel like I needed to peel off my skin to stop the itchy feeling I got when I was around Troy.”
In fact, Amy is realizing Grayson is kind of a dud, but she keeps trying to make it work. Until her house gets egged, and Troy finds her washing her car at 10:00 at night. He tries to help, but Amy is stubborn, so….
“The next thing I knew, his hands went around my waist and he lifted me up, planting my ass down on the car….”
“The kiss was hard, full of fury, and the hottest minute of my life.”
As the pranks on Amy escalate to the danger zone, she is forced to stay with Troy for protection. That’s when things really heat up.
- Fun, snarky banter. I love flirtatious banter!
- A very full story in a short amount of pages.
- I loved her relationship with Cat and Nat (fellow Targaholics!)
- Troy won me over despite his bling (ugh, bling is not my type).
- Sex scenes that were perfect. Not over the top, no words that make me want to hurl, and totally hot.
- Catching up with Cat and Nat from the two previous books, Friends with Benefits and Frenemies.
- Has that Kristen Ashley feel that I love, compressed into a short novella.
- Troy is yummy and alpha.
- Perfect for in-between big reads.
- Maximum satisfaction from a minimum of pages.
- Great epilogue
- Who was smoking the pot? Obviously NOT Troy.
- CC is good at writing sex, but there wasn’t enough in this book.
Rating (Novella rating–you can’t compare novellas to full length books): 4.75 stars (something held me back from the full 5, perhaps it was the lack of enough sex) 3.75 Heat (good sex, but not enough).
I enjoyed every second of this little novella. It had everything I love in even a full length book: witty banter, and alpha guy, a strong, snarky girl with fun girlfriends, a little danger and suspense, and sex scenes that work for me. I will be rounding up to 5 stars on all other sites, and know that this is closer to a 5 than a 4.5! I highly recommend reading this whole series, especially if you like Kristen Ashley, RL Mathewson or Alice Clayton. The Girl Next Door Series by C.C. Wood tops my Favorite Quickies (novellas) list, my Top funny, happy romances list, and was on my favorite books of 2012 list.
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**WARNING this can be spoilerish**
Amy’s Bachelorette Party
“If we get arrested, I doubt Troy will bail us out of jail,” I said.
Nat and Cat both giggled drunkenly. We were all pretty tipsy and riding around in the back of a limo. Cat had the brilliant idea that we should go to a strip club. Originally she said we should go to a club that featured women, but our driver told us that they didn’t allow women inside without a male escort. After we finished our chorus of laughter over the idea of a male escort, Cat said that we should go to La Bare, an all-male strip club in Dallas.
I didn’t argue as I normally would have due to the fact that I was inebriated. If I had been a tad more sober, I would have known better and persuaded her to do something else. It would have prevented the craziness that ensued. The decision to go to the club was the first mistake of many.
The drive to the club included more champagne. The limo driver was smirking when he opened the door for us after we arrived. Probably because Cat and Nat were singing, and, while they both had decent voices, they were well on their way to smashed and not at their best.
Loud music and flashing lights greeted us after we paid our way into the club. Of course, my two friends threw me under the bus. They snagged the first waiter who was walking by.
“It’s our friend, Amy’s, bachelorette party. Can you get us set up with some good seats?” Then they each slipped him a twenty.
Within minutes we were seated at a table less than four feet from the stage. The last dancer had just left the stage and the waiter said we had a few minutes before the next act started. Nat ordered a mojito. Cat wanted a margarita. I decided to get a cosmo.
This was the second mistake of the evening. We should have all asked for water before our next drink. We were pretty far gone and well on our way to plastered.
Our waiter’s timing was perfect, because as soon as he set the drinks on our table, the overhead lights dimmed.
“Attention, ladies. We noticed that many of you are on fire tonight. Well, we have the perfect man to put out the flames!”
Women shrieked and just went wild in general.
The DJ continued his intro. “I present to you Carlos, our resident firefighter!”
Most of the women around us were on their feet, arms in the air, already holding out money before the dancer even hit the stage. I took a wild guess that Carlos was one of the most popular dancers in the place.
When he swaggered onto the stage, I could see why. He was gorgeous. Perfect pectorals, sculpted abs, and incredible shoulders. His hair was short and black and, even under the crazy lights, I could see that his eyes were blue and piercing. What really drew my attention was the slight smirk on his face. It wasn’t malicious, in fact, it was mischievous, as though he had a naughty suggestion he wanted to whisper in your ear. I realized that smirk was probably what made him so popular, even more so that his beautiful body.
He began to dance and he wasn’t bad. He was no Channing Tatum, but the movement of his muscles under his skin was almost hypnotic. Carlos gyrated in front of the table next to us. Nat went crazy and held up a twenty dollar bill. He noticed it and moved over to our area.
As she reached up to stick the twenty in his thong, I saw that the woman next to us was getting annoyed. She staggered over.
“Hey!” she yelled at Nat. “Stop trying to hog all his attention. He was dancin’ for us before you started waving your shit around.”
Nat, being drunk, ignored her, completely enraptured with what was happening in front of her.
The woman didn’t take too kindly to being ignored. She gave Nat a light shove. “Hey, I’m talking to you, bitch.”
Shit. I glanced around and noticed that two bouncers were dealing with an overly enthusiastic woman by the bar. I saw another on the other side of the room, but he was looking in another direction.
When I looked back towards my friend, I saw things were deteriorating quickly. Nat was no longer waving ten and twenty dollar bills at the dancer, she was squaring off with the irate woman.
“I can’t help it if we’re better tippers,” she yelled, poking the woman in the shoulder.
“Rich bitch,” the woman screeched before she put her entire palm on Nat’s face and shoved.
“Oh, fuck me!” Cat yelled.
Nat may be small, but she was a scrapper. She had a run-in with an ex-boyfriend a few years ago before she married Aidan and had their daughter, Alannah. He was a hell of a lot bigger than the woman who just shoved her and Nat still kicked is ass. I didn’t see good things.
Sure enough, after her head snapped forward, Nat snarled at the woman and lunged. I actually felt kind of sorry for the lady. She was several inches taller than Nat and probably ten or twenty pounds heavier, but she fought like a girl, pulling hair and slapping at my friend.
Nat just reached up and grabbed one of her wrists as she tried to slap. Her face set and angry, Nat twisted the lady’s arm until she had her in a joint lock that she had shown me about a million times in case I ever needed to defend myself. The belligerent woman became pliable almost immediately. It was too late though. Their scuffle had caught the attention of the bouncers.
Four big men in black shirts and pants converged on our table. After they pulled the two women apart, they tried to get them outside, but Nat was having none of it. Between the argument and being manhandled by strange men, she lost her mind.
I heard one of the bouncers shout. Nat had bitten him. Shit.
“Call the cops,” he yelled. “We have a biter!”
Double shit. Well, it looked like I was going to have an unforgettable bachelorette party. I didn’t resist as a bouncer came to my side and took my elbow. I looked across the table and saw that Nat and Cat also had a large man holding their arm. Apparently Nat had calmed down after sinking her teeth into the first bouncer.
“Come with me,” he rumbled in my ear.
I sighed and did as he asked. He probably could have picked me up and carried me one handed anyway. I noticed that the other women involved in the altercation were already on their way out the front door.
Nat, Cat, and I walked with the bouncers to the same door the other women had been escorted to. When we got outside, the woman who started the whole thing lunged at Nat. I snorted with laughter when my friend cold-cocked her and she crumpled to the ground, moaning about her face. Nat was small so a lot of people underestimated her.
The bouncers stepped between them way too late, but there were no more attacks from the other women.
I turned to the man standing silently next to me. “Are the cops really on their way?” I asked.
I sighed and pulled my phone out of my purse. The bouncer watched me carefully as I selected Troy’s name and clicked on it.
After two rings, Troy picked up.
“Hey, babe. How’s the bachelorette party going?” he asked.
“I need to you to come to La Bare.”
There was a pause and I was worried maybe the phone had disconnected. Then Troy finally spoke, “What happened?”
“Let’s just say that your bride and her bridal party will all be in lock up for the night if you don’t get your ass over here.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Twenty minutes later, the patrol officers were already on scene, speaking with all of us when Troy rolled up. I saw him pull into a space at the edge of the parking lot and climb out of the car, his badge clipped in plain view on his belt.
He didn’t approach me at first, merely went up to the uniformed officer and began speaking to him, a serious expression on his face. They talked for a few minutes before Troy separated from him and headed toward me. With one look at his face, I almost preferred to go to jail.
The bouncer stepped in front of me as Troy closed in. This surprised me. He seemed annoyed by everything that had happened that night. Now, it seemed as though he was trying to protect me.
“You wanna talk to him?” the bouncer asked over his shoulder.
“He’s my fiancé,” I answered.
He looked between Troy and I and then at Nat and Cat. Finally, he turned to Troy. “Good luck, man.”
I watched my fiancé smirk and fought the urge to kick him in the shin. “So?” I asked.
I growled at him. “Are we going to jail tonight or did you get us out of it?”
Troy grinned. “I know the uniform who’s doing the paperwork. They weren’t planning to take you in anyway, just Nat and Bridezilla over there.”
Shit. He must have read my mind because he touched my shoulder.
“Don’t worry, Amy. She’s not going in tonight. The uniform is going to speak to the other woman involved and the manager of the club. If everyone is agreeable, no charges will be filed.”
I sighed in relief.
“Thanks, babe,” I said.
He threw an arm around my shoulder. “The way I see it, I’m doing the state of Texas a huge favor by taking you off the market. You and your friends are hell on wheels.”
I elbowed him in the ribs. “Yeah, but that’s why you love me.”
“True, but next time I’m letting them take Nat to jail. I’ll sleep better knowing she’s locked up.”
I didn’t dignify that with a response. Instead, I rose on my toes and kissed him. “I love you. Now, take me home.”