The Boy Next Door
Meggin Cabot
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Buy *The Boy Next Door* online

The Boy Next Door
Meggin Cabot
384 pages
October 2002
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Hollywood gossip columnist Melissa Fuller has two goals: to expand her writing portfolio beyond fluff pieces about celebrity dating practices and to find a man to share in her success. Her quest is humorously thrown off track when her elderly neighbor is found assaulted and robbed, without any friends or relatives to care for her beloved pets.

Fullerís adventures are smartly recorded in Cabotís first adult novel, The Boy Next Door. Few readers will fail to identify with the seemingly ordinary cast of characters developed in this quirky tale. Nadine Wilcock, Fullerís co-worker and best friend, is eager to harness the perfect man for her friend. Her pursuit is complicated by busybody co-worker Dolly Vargas and ex-boyfriend Aaron Spender who, despite an unfortunate handbag incident in a public place, remains committed to making it work. Also present are Fullerís overbearing parents who have made it their life mission to marry off their daughter and get her to move out of the big, bad city of New York.

Add to the mix Max Friedlander, the suave photographer who quickly learns that the fast track to the top is nothing compared to the plummet to the bottom, and Vivica, a French eccentric model who plans marry or destroy the fast-talking photographer, depending on which is more likely to enhance her own dwindling career. Finish off this concoction with the ever-so-charming reporter John Trent, who just happens to owe the famed photographer a favor, and his overbearing socialite family eager to see their grandson plunge into starting a family of his own.

Now, provide each of these characters with a working e-mail address and you end up with The Boy Next Door, the chronicles of their adventures through the exclusive use of e-mail messages. The text of these messages is amusing on its face, but also contains masterfully embedded tactics that may go unnoticed to all but the most avid e-mail aficionados.

So, for any readers who have enjoyed even the smallest voyeuristic thrill of reading e-mails other than their own, find a beach chair, cool breeze, cold drink, three hours and a copy of this book in your hand, and youíll have a surefire recipe for an enjoyable afternoon.

© 2003 by Lori West for Curled Up With a Good Book.

Also by Meg Cabot:

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