The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door - Rick R. Reed Review originally posted at Sinfully.

4.5 stars

Be assured this is a spoiler-free review since it would be a disservice to give anything away about this book that kept me on edge until the final pages. With every secret and every twist I still had to wonder whether the truth was being revealed or whether there was still more to come. Sinister, creepy and intense, with a love story that only ratchets up the tension, The Couple Next Door is a wild and strange ride.

Returning from yet another disappointing date on his quest for Mr. Right, Jeremy gets a startling introduction to the new couple next door as he walks into the building lobby and into the middle of a fight. Before he knows it Jeremy is watching the larger man push the smaller man down the stairs before retreating into their apartment. Having grown up in a house where his father abused his mother, Jeremy knows what is going on, knows better than to get involved, but cannot fight his need to nurture and is soon ushering Shane McCallister to the ER and allowing him to spend the night in his apartment. Things get much stranger when the next afternoon Jeremy runs into the larger man, John aka Cole, in the lobby and John acts as if nothing happened, they never crossed paths and as if he is a kinder, gentler, completely different person than the one Jeremy saw the night before.

Despite Jeremy’s attempts to avoid the couple, and his better judgment, he finds himself incredibly attracted to Shane and unable to resist Shane’s further requests for help after the next beating. Drawn into his neighbors’ increasingly bizarre and violent relationship, and becoming friendlier and closer with Shane, Jeremy is soon beginning to wonder whether he is part of an elaborate prank, or things are actually as strange as they appear. He knows the closer he gets to Shane, the harder it will be to leave, but as Shane begins to tell Jeremy his secrets Jeremy wonders if he will be left with any choice but to run far and fast. While he can acknowledge his “too stupid to live moments” and see the parallels to the abusive relationship his parents had, he knows he’s a goner for Shane and rational decisions are no match for his inability to leave the man he has come to love.

I really had trouble putting this book down. Every time I thought I had things figured out or could guess what was going to happen, something else unexpected and often horrifying was added into the mix. There is more than meets the eye going on and up to the final moments I was left wondering if even all the players knew what the truth was anymore. Rick R. Reed did a great job of moving the story forward and dropping hints, clues and bits of information without stringing the reader along unnecessarily. Instead you are living out the story as Jeremy is, not knowing what’s coming, but knowing it probably won’t be good. Although there were a couple of very minor things I was left wondering about, I can absolutely recommend this story to those looking for a romance with lots of suspense, twists and thrills.