Girls Next Door edited by Sandy-Lowe and Stacia SeamanGirls Next Door edited by Sandy Lowe and Stacia Seaman, is the latest short story collection from Bold Strokes Books. The title is says it all when it comes to the book’s theme, with stories that show all kinds of interpretations of what it means to be a girl next door.

The Characters

With 19 stories, each by different authors, you’re sure to find characters that you’ll connect with. We don’t get as much time with any of them as we would if we were reading a full length novel, but the authors did a great job of giving us enough so we can get invested in the characters and their respective journeys.

The Writing Style

Rather than talk about the writing style, since that’s difficult to do in a book with 19 authors, I’m going to talk about the editors! Stacia Seaman and Sandy Lowe did a fabulous job in choosing stories for this collection. It’s a great blend of Bold Strokes veterans, new authors, and regulars of the short story circuit. And there really is something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of romance, erotica, or even quirky stories.

I especially loved how the authors play with the theme of the girl next door. Some of the stories actually feature next door neighbours (with standouts from Kris Bryant, Beth Burnett and Nell Stark), and some feature coworkers, best friends, people who live down the street, and even people who live in the same dorm (which, damn, Missouri Vaun, was that ever hot!). Two in particular really stood out for me—Georgia Beer’s super sweet story “Cupcake”, about a woman who falls for the owner of the cupcake store next to the yoga studio she frequents, and “Kiss Cam” by Lisa Moreau, which follows what happens when a woman takes her girlfriend to a basketball game for some guaranteed time on the kiss cam.

The Pros

Is it obvious enough that I loved seeing all the different ways a woman can be a girl next door? Because I did!

The Cons

Not all of the stories did it for me, which is pretty par for the course for a short story collection. That said, most of them did work for me.

The Conclusion

If you like short story collections, definitely check out Girls Next Door!

Excerpt from Girls Next Door edited by Sandy Lowe and Stacia Seaman

“Well, hello there, Belle.” She calls me that because the first time I sat down at her “cupcake bar,” I was reading a book. She asked if I’d ever seen Beauty and the Beast. I basically laughed and said something along the lines of “duh,”and she’s called me Belle ever since.

“Hi, Katie.”I take a seat on one of the bar stools.

“I’ve got a new one today. You game?” Her blue eyes sparkle with approachability. You can’t not like Katie. She’s cute and friendly and cheerful and you just…want to be around her. I love to listen to her talk. I enjoy watching her work as I sit on my stool and eat my cupcake. When it’s not busy—like tonight—I really like just talking to her. About anything. About nothing.

“Always.” This isn’t the first time she’s tried a new flavor on me. I love when she does that.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9781626399167

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Stacia Seaman

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Sandy Lowe

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Note: I received a free review copy of Girls Next Door edited by Sandy Lowe and Stacia Seaman. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.

Girls Next Door Book Cover Girls Next Door
Sandy Lowe, Stacia Seaman,
Fiction
June 20, 2017
240

Sometimes the most intriguing girls are right next door--BFFs, ex-girlfriends, new girls in town, party girls, study mates, team mates, and sexy strangers. All it takes is a night out, the right moment, or an accidental kiss to discover what's been there all along--the perfect girl for a love that lasts a lifetime. Best-selling romance authors tell it from the heart--sexy, romantic stories of falling for the girls next door.