Neighbors and The Neighborhood (Twin Estates 1 and 2) by Stylo Fantôme
Narrated by Grayson Ash
New/Adult/Adult Contemporary. These two must be read together.
It’s been a while since I listened to Neighbors and The Neighborhood by Stylo Fantôme, and I am catching up on reviews, so this will be a little less detailed than usual. Interestingly enough, I like it more now, weeks later, than I did when I read it, because as I go to review it, I remember it well, which is actually pretty rare for me.
The thing is, I debated reading the second. If I hadn’t already purchased it, I’m not sure I would have gone on even though I wanted to see what would happen. For me, I think I am maybe a bit too old for this. I never really picked a “team” in this love triangle.
Katya Tocci was innocent and though beautiful, she was a bit buttoned up, beige and boring. Her career as a pastry chef was flourishing while her love life was floundering. That is until her roommate spiced up her online dating profile.
When Katya’s neighbor, Liam, sees his buttoned-up neighbor had an adventurous side, he brings her on a date to his sex club, which brought forth a new Katya, enjoying a sexual awakening with Liam. As she enjoys her newfound sexuality, she runs into her childhood neighbor and crush, Wulf. The demanding, closed-off and gruff Wulf has Katya a bit obsessed.
Here is where I want to yell “Run away little girl!” The mom in me wants to tell her to go for the fun one that makes you laugh, not the bad boy who is ridiculously closed off. Besides her childhood crush, I just didn’t see the appeal of Wulf. I know a ton of my friends were Team Wulf, but I just didn’t get it; he was a total asshole to her except for those few glimpses of a heart that carried her through.
“No buts. The things he brings out in me are different. It’s like … you make me expand. You open my eyes and widen my boundaries. He makes me contract. My eyes only see him and he’s my only boundary. You’re both just so … different. Completely different, in what you do for me, and how you make me feel.”
Katy was honest with both guys. She never cheated. And when her heart got involved she chose.
“Your vagina is certainly in love with him.”
“My vagina and my heart are two very different things. One is a lot smarter than the other.”
For me, I felt like Katya was an immature doormat for the first ¾ of the first book, if not the whole thing, but she redeemed herself, maybe too much, in the second book.
“Two men she’d been involved with, slept with, had deep, personal relationships with. Two men who’d empowered her and helped her grow and changed her very core. Two men who had used her and chewed her up and then spit her out. And now both those men were her close neighbors.”
Katya grew some balls in The Neighborhood, and at first, I really enjoyed her finally standing up for herself. Then she took it too far and it went on too long.
“Your mistake is thinking that forgiving someone automatically takes away all the hard work that goes into the relationship. You think saying ‘I’m sorry’ should magically make the hurt and heartache go away. Well, it doesn’t – ‘I’m sorry’ are just the first two words at the very beginning of a lot of conversations and a very long road of work.”
I never really loved Katya, which is super important in my loving a book. She was too immature and her obsession with the guys made her even worse. I didn’t really see why she was into Wulf, he was a snobby asshole. And the one character I did like, Liam, lost a lot of that likeability in book 2, so in the end, I didn’t really love any of the characters.
- I remember it weeks later which is rare.
- Unique and original.
- Exciting twist I didn’t see coming.
- Love triangle done well, each knew about the other.
- Kept my attention, I needed to know the outcome.
- Multiple 3rd Person POV that changed even within chapters in the first book. Either I got used to it, or it was better in the second book.
- I felt Katya was too immature and a weak pushover in the first book, she got a little better in the second for a while.
- Katya’s insecurities were just too much.
- The 2nd book had too much filler and went on too long.
- I love an alpha-hole, usually. But I never warmed up to Wulf.
- Liam ended up just too immature.
- You always knew who she would pick, so the one she didn’t was kind of a third wheel.
I loved the narrator, she did a great job and I would love to listen to more from her. I think that this duet is probably just as good on audio as reading it.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating for the Duet: 3.5 stars, 4.25 Heat, 4.5 Narration.
Purchase Neighbors by Stylo Fantôme
Audible has $1.99 Whispersync price