The Playboy Next Door by Christina Tetreault
Publisher & Release: Self-published, December 14, 2015
Time and setting: Present Day, New England
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 205 pages
Heat Level: 1 Flame
Rating: 4 Gold Crowns
After a blind date stands her up, Catrina Striker stops in O’Leary’s Pub for a sandwich, nothing else. Then Tony Bates, North Salem’s resident playboy, sits down next to her and destiny takes over. Cat knows all about Tony’s reputation, but that doesn’t stop her from doing something she’s never done before: invite him back to her apartment.
Tony Bates has always looked at Catrina as nothing but his buddy’s little sister until a chance encounter one summer night changes all that.
Since the sudden death of his college sweetheart, Tony has kept all his relationships casual and fun. Everyone knows that which is why Cat and Tony agree to keep their involvement a secret rather than risk Tony’s friendship with her brother. However, what starts out as a secret fling soon becomes much more, and Tony must decide if he’s ready to risk his heart again or lose the woman who completes him.
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The Playboy Next Door is the third book in the Love on the Northshore series. I read the first one but missed the second. When I received a request to read this book in exchange for an honest review, I agreed without hesitation since I’ve read several of Ms. Tetreault’s books and found them delightful. This book lived up to my expectations.
After her blind date cancels at the last minute, Catrina Striker ends up in a local pub where she runs into Tony Bates, a close friend of her brother’s and a man known for his casual relationships with women, all of very short duration. The spark between them flames to life, and when he drops her off at her apartment, she impulsively asks him in, knowing they will end up in bed.
Tony Bates has protected his heart ever since he lost his first and only true love in college. When he enters into a secret fling with Catrina, he expects it to run along the lines of his other affairs, but something is different in the way he feels about Cat.
Is it possible Tony can let his past go and allow himself to fall in love, or will he cling to his belief that love only hurts and let Cat get away?
As with all of Ms. Tetreault’s books, The Playboy Next Door is fast-faced and an easy read on a lazy afternoon. It can easily be read in a few hours, which was perfect for my day. Her books are light-hearted with a small-town atmosphere with strong family ties. I also enjoyed glimpses of past characters’ lives from this series and her other one.
I truly enjoyed Catrina’s character. She lively, but solidly grounded in what she wants from life. She knows she’s taking a risk with Tony, but it’s one she’s willing to accept. She has loving relationships with her family and a loyal friend. While she does her best to protect her heart, she doe not know how to do that since she only knows one way to love. I liked her ability to move through hurt and pain.
Tony Bates is the typical playboy. After all the pain he experienced when he lost his first girlfriend, he has kept himself detached from any emotional entanglements. He is clueless that his feelings for Cat are deep and doggedly believes he can let her go when the time comes. I loved it when he realizes that is not going to be possible.
If you enjoy a quick read on the light side with a great cast of characters, then you will thoroughly enjoy The Playboy Next Door as much as I did. Happy reading!