Review: The Neighbor Down the Hall by M.C. Questgend

Review: The Neighbor Down the Hall by M.C. QuestgendThe Neighbor Down the Hall by M.C. Questgend
on July 5, 2017
Pages: 100
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four-stars

A second chance at a big promotion sends Kyle to London to oversee the companies expansion. While there he meets Nikki who is much more than she appears. The two develop a friendship that turns into even more as Nikki teaches Kyle how the "other half" really lives. As their relationship grows she teaches him how to trust which is quickly put to the test after an embarrassing incident occurs forcing Kyle to make some tough choices. Does he return home? What happens to Nikki? Find out in this 19K word story that will have you looking at your life through "their" mirror.

A while back, I reviewed M.C. Questgend’s The Assistant, and I may be repeating myself quite a lot in discussing the latest story, The Neighbor Down the Hall.  I am becoming a big fan of M.C. Questgend’s work, especially the heart of the stories Questgend tells.  Unlike many stories in this subgenre, which can be dark and very explicit at times, Questgend’s work has been, in my experience, more lyrical in its approach.  Yes, there are explicit scenes, but they are not the bulk of the story, nor the main point of them.  Questgend aims for the heart instead of the groin, affecting both more successfully.

In The Neighbor Down the Hall, Questgend gives us Kyle, a career-obsessed loner who finds difficulty in maintaining intimate relationships.  His work has become his life, with little room for women who may not understand his focus.  Despite his work ethic, his personal skills are lacking, and Kyle’s boss sends him to London from the United States to take oversee the construction of a new branch for his company.  This will, his supervisor tells Kyle, an opportunity to prove that his skill at managing projects can match his ability to deal with people.

Enter Nikki, the titular neighbor down the hall, a lovely woman to whom Kyle is immediately attracted.  As they spend time together, Kyle learns that Nikki is biologically male.  This new information does not repel Kyle, and their relationship blossoms as Nikki begins to assert herself more with Kyle, leading him down paths foreign and wondrous to him.

As I mentioned with The Assitant, I find Questgend’s work refreshingly sentimental.  Yes, this is a story in which the characters have sex, but their sex is not the animal rutting of so many of these tales.  Instead, it is a physical expression of the budding romance between the characters, and the heat of these moments comes from the challenges to Kyle’s worldview and the growing closeness between the characters.

There are, sadly, still some spelling and grammatical errors which keep this story from perfection, but they are infrequent and minor enough to note and continue on.  I also felt that one of the ancillary character’s mild villainy was underdeveloped and could have benefited from some more development in that regard, but the plot is generally very good and the storytelling is sure.

If you are interested in a story that has some genuine romance at its heart, I can’t recommend M.C. Questgend’s work enough, and The Neighbor Down the Hall is a welcome addition to Questgend’s library of work.  A very confident recommendation for all my readers!

four-stars

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