Audio Lovin': Review of Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich

Naughty Neighbor
Written By Janet Evanovich
Read by C.J. Critt
Harper Audio
3 Heart Review

I had one major problem (and a few small ones, but more about those later) with this audio book – it was over much too soon! The story is on the shorter side, and I felt these characters had so much more to say and I wanted to get to know them more!

Here's the description from the audio case:

Louisa Brannigan's neighbor is a handsome hell-raiser – and he's driving Louisa crazy. He makes terrible coffee, steals her newspaper, and listens through her walls. But when she's fired from her government job, Louisa is persuaded to join his undercover investigation. Sneaking around in the shadows is more fun than she ever imagined, especially when the getaway car is a Porsche.

Pete Streeter never figured on finding such an attractive partner in crime. Louisa is all he ever wanted in a woman, and more. But once he's taught her to enjoy living on the edge, will she finally feel safe in his love?
This quirky little story really tickled me and I didn't expect that since my initial impression was that this might be a random audio miss. The voice of C.J. Critt immediately felt off to me. It seemed more mature and slightly gruffer than what the story seemed to call for. BUT, Critt is an excellent performer and her enthusiasm and comedic timing will eventually make you forget that her voice isn't exactly matching the heroine's personality. Kudos to Critt for making the characters come alive so well.

I found myself pleasantly surprised as the characters grew on me. Again, part of that was due to the enthusiasm of Critt, but mostly it was the appeal of the characters as Evanovich expertly unveils them. I was particularly drawn to Pete Streeter and his unpretentious attitude and easygoing banter with Louisa. Having the hero fall hard first makes for a nice change, and Pete really puts his heart out there early. Gotta love a man not afraid to commit!

Louisa was a little less developed, so I didn't feel nearly as drawn to her. Still likable, but she could have used more background or some deeper insight into why she valued her independence so much that she was almost willing to let Pete walk away. That felt a little forced to me and I didn't fully see it fitting into the personality that had been painted of her. Otherwise, she was delightful and so was the story.

All in all, this is a cute little audio book that showcases some great work by Critt and by Evanovich. If you are anything like me though, you'll want more substance to the story so you can hang out with Louisa and Pete for a little while longer.


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