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The Perfect Neighbor

by Nora Roberts

Series: The MacGregors (11)

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585531,136 (3.62)None
A brooding loner becomes fascinated with his bright, bubbly neighbor, especially after she tries to hire him as her date, and he becomes aware that his heart longs for this perfect neighbor.
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Showing 5 of 5
This was a wonderful way to end the MacGregor series, though I do wish Nora Roberts didn't leave the publisher and had been able to get the last 3 children's stories out.

This is the story of Cybil Campbell (daughter of Grant and Gennie) and Preston McQuinn. The two meet, as prearranged by Head Honcho MacGregor, in NYC when Preston moves into the apartment building. On a side note, just how rich are the MacGregors? They own an entire apartment building in NYC? And the story follows the same basic pattern as the previous novels in the series.

What I liked about this one was that the whole flirtation and romance stage wasn't forced onto one of the two people, as seen previously. It annoys me to no end when a character exchange is all:

"You love me."
"No."
"Yes."
"No."
"I don't care. I'm forcing my love onto you anyway."
"Oh, hold me!"

As unrealistically perfect as every character and significant other in this family are, the way they fall in love is even moreso. However, Cybil and Preston don't quite have the same ol' standard romance, and they're written to be rather relatable and/or likeable. I also enjoyed the appearance of minor secondary characters that are completely unrelated to a MacGregor. They added substance to the storyline without taking any focus away from the main couple.

I still think we ought to have a proper ending as it's probably very unlikely the invincible Daniel MacGregor let any of his "grandchildren" off the hook from getting married. But alas, this was definitely an enjoyable exit otherwise. ( )
  ThePdawg | Jan 14, 2018 |
AUTHOR: Roberts, Nora
TITLE: The Perfect Neighbor
Date Read: 01/11/14
RATING: 4/B
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Romance/1999/Silhouette/244 pgs
SERIES/STAND ALONE: #11 in MacGregor series

TIME/PLACE: 1999/NYC
CHARACTERS: Cybil Campbell/artist -- writes/draws a newspaper comic strip; Preston McQuinn

FIRST LINES: "So…have you talked to him yet?"

COMMENTS: Even tho' this considered the last (#11) in the MacGregor series it reads very well as a stand-alone. A nice romance between a very outgoing woman and the moody introverted new neighbor. Cybil is friends to all the other residents and is curious about the new neighbor who hides out in the next-door apartment. Cybil's place seems to be the hub of the complex where all the other residents congregate. When the new guy moves in everyone is curious, especially when he is rarely seen and leaves at dark w/ his saxophone. One evening Cybil follows him to a club where he plays…. ( )
  pammykn | Jan 25, 2014 |
I discovered [a:Nora Roberts|625|Nora Roberts|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1265820113p2/625.jpg]' books my freshman year in college. Rather, my college roommate forced them on me and I devoured almost her entire catalog and still continue to do so. To this day, we have really great conversations that go something like this:

F: Oh! She is a MacGregor. Her mom was the woman with the broken-down car that married...
M: The recluse cartoonist in Maine! Right! But what about that piano one?
F: The piano player with the red-headed Stanislaski daughter?
M: Oh right, that's [b:Waiting for Nick|177392|Waiting For Nick (Silhouette Special Edition #1088-reprint)|Nora Roberts|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172448297s/177392.jpg|487628]. Weren't the across the hall neighbors as well? I think I want to read the second Dream Trilogy book. The one about Kate...
F:...how the hell do you remember their names? I always get [b:Honest Illusions|114130|Honest Illusions|Nora Roberts|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171683610s/114130.jpg|1461329], [b:Hidden Secrets|104909|The Book of Secrets Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life |Deepak Chopra|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171533086s/104909.jpg|1100545], [b:Private Scandals|114151|Private Scandals|Nora Roberts|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1211401299s/114151.jpg|1579887], and [b:Sweet Revenge|682135|Sweet Revenge|Nora Roberts|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1177108473s/682135.jpg|3241503] mixed up. There was one about a talk show, the jewelry heist, the magicians in New Orleans...oh! and the one where...

Anyway, my point is that [b:Nora Roberts|114156|The Official Nora Roberts Companion|Nora Roberts|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1214285767s/114156.jpg|109924] has a lot of die-hard fans, both of us included. We can have discussions for eons about all the plots and characters of her books but is that why any of us come back to them over and over? Well, kind of. But mostly it is because of the feeling they give you. If you are in the mood to read a HEA book, Nora is a great go-to. Once you read enough of them, the plotlines seem formulaic--even the murder mysteries--but I will keep coming back for more. They are somewhat like reading an ice cream sundae but they have more meat to them (in terms of witty dialogue, humor, and that NR can actually weave a good story). Now I am thinking about a meaty ice cream sundae. Gross. Talk about a mixed metaphor.


So you don't have to work on that mental image alone...

I remembered particularly enjoying this book on prior read-throughs but I never reviewed most of the Noras I've read. (nor has anyone, as this book seems to have mostly one-liner reviews) So, perhaps a quick plot reminder is in order for people like me that read bazillions of NR books and need to remember which one this is:

Cybil Campbell is the daughter of Genvieve Grandeau and Grant Campbell, the artist and cartoonist who fell in love in [b:The MacGregors: Alan & Grant|697028|The MacGregors Alan & Grant (MacGregors #6 & 7)|Nora Roberts|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1214155339s/697028.jpg|206433]. They are related to the MacGregor clan indirectly through Grant's sister Shelby, who marries Alan MacGregor (the politician son of THE MacGregor) in the same book. Whew, what a mouthful. In typical MacGregor fashion, THE MacGregor has dropped Preston McQuinn, a Pulitzer winning playwright and author across the hall in the same apartment building. Enter the brooding-reserved-once-burned-by-a-woman-now-scared-of-commitment man vs. the bubbly-super-friendly-always-thinking-of-others-before-herself woman romance storyline. SPOILER ALERT! They fall in love.

It wasn't as great as I remembered it being but not too many books are as amazing one the second or third time through. (don't draw and quarter me! I know lots of classics are rereadable!) We just had a discussion at book club about books that are a different experience each time you reread them due to changed life circumstances for the reader. Maybe that's what happened to me here. The female in this story is 24, super successful, and completely self-sufficient. Maybe I just feel a little embarrassed to say that she seemed to have it more together than I do at the moment so yeah, I think that tainted my read a little bit. I need to find a Nora book that has someone just a bit older in it for my #2 pick. (which is pretty much all of them)

This was a great pick to start off my 'Nothing But Nora' week with Vinaya and Maureen. I think we should make this a yearly thing!

NBN 2011, B1. ( )
  FlanneryAC | Mar 31, 2013 |
The Perfect Neighbor by Nora Roberts
#11 in MacGregor Series - (Preston McQuinn & Cybil Campbell)

Cybil Campbell (daughter of Genevieve & Grant) works from home on her popular daily comic strip, "Friends and Neighbors". She's the darling of the building and is used to her neighbors popping into her apartment to hang out as a group while she's working. She likes the background noise and she cares for her neighbors, young and old, even though they continually try to set her up with boring dates with their distant relatives.

There's new excitement in the building when a private and mysterious man moves in across the hall. He rarely goes out during the daytime, he often plays broody, bluesy songs on his sax, and he'll randomly leave the house at odd times of the night. He's definitely not interested in getting to know his neighbors, however, and is abrupt and rude.

Cybil brings him homemade cookies, and thinking he is an unemployed musician, she later offers him $100 to pretend he's taking her on a date so one of the older women in the building will stop setting her up with her groping nephew. On a whim, he agrees and ends up interested and intrigued. That doesn't stop his rudeness, but the attraction is there. He's actually a successful playwright with a bitter past which puts stumbling blocks in the way of a relationship. However, with a little help from Cybil's matchmaking grandpa, Daniel MacGregor (from earlier installments of the MacGregor series), the possibilities for happiness are there for the taking.

Interesting and fun characters, witty dialogue, heart-tugging moments, big-time chemistry. Really great read. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Feb 24, 2013 |
This one, IMO, was just right. Nice characterization, light, quick read. Shades of Cybil's parents' romance, but not as exaggerated. In fact, Cybil realizes at one point that Preston reminds her of her father, which is a nice bit of characterization there--women do frequently fall in love with men who remind them of their fathers. ( )
  Darla | Apr 3, 2006 |
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A brooding loner becomes fascinated with his bright, bubbly neighbor, especially after she tries to hire him as her date, and he becomes aware that his heart longs for this perfect neighbor.

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