Flynn McCauley never thought he’d be so cliché as to fall for the girl next door. But when Maddie calls him over to help fix her faulty sink, he’s a goner. Too bad the fiercely independent interior designer wants nothing to do with him. Even worse, he’s forced to rely on the advice of his nosy brothers—and his five-year-old nephew!—to figure out how to make her give him a shot.It feels like a long time since I've been introduced to a new contemporary romance author and I can't think of a better addition to my digital shelves than Marie Harte. Having never read any of Harte's books before I wasn't hundred percent sure what to expect, what I got was an enjoyable erotic romance.
The Troublemaker Next Door is the beginning of a new series by Marie Harte that introduces the über masculine and warm hearted McCauley brothers (including honorary Brody) and their sexy, down to earth female neighbours. Troublemaker tells the tale of Flynn, perhaps the most manly and hard to tame of the brothers and feisty, independent Maddie who, unable to deny their chemistry, decide to embark on a strictly 'no-strings' relationship.
Maddie and Flynn do seem to be the more clichéd characters we are introduced to; independent to a fault Maddie and the manly plumber Flynn who loves his family, but they do make a wonderfully complimentary couple and their journey through their 'no-strings' relationship is enjoyable to read. The relationship between Maddie and Flynn could easily have focused solely on their undeniable sexual chemistry, however, Harte skilfully weaves in emotion and a deeper connection throughout the novel.
As I mentioned before, Harte's book is definitely one of the steamier that I've read of late and, whilst I don't mind the more stimulating romance novels, I do sometimes perhaps prefer the build up and the tension a bit more than I do the regular sex scenes. Having said that, Harte certainly does have a flare for the sexier scenes and manages to produce passionate encounters that don't shy away from the heat that two people can share, although they're perhaps a bit too blunt for some. I'll admit, occasionally I found them a bit too much, they did seem to take over the plot a bit - maybe not helped by the 'L' word first flitting past Flynn after oral sex.
The book is clearly a set up for the rest of the series so it didn't focus on Flynn and Maddie as much as I'd like it to have. However, having said that, the characters that we are introduced to are really enjoyable and I can't wait to read their stories when they're published. It's clear even from Troublemaker where the series is going but I'm sure Harte is going to throw a few curve balls in there to keep readers hooked.
All in all, I think Troublemaker was a brilliant introduction to what looks to be a great new series from Harte. Steamier than most I would definitely categorise Troublemaker as an erotic romance but with plenty of characterisation to keep you engaged and hoping for that happy ending.
If you enjoy your romance on the sexier side then I'd definitely recommend Harte's books, packed with passion, heart and a few laughs they're the perfect steamy summer read.
*ARC received in return for an honest review, The Troublemaker Next Door is published by Sourcebooks Casablanca and is released on the 3rd of June