Cover for Practically Neighbors’ short story

Short Story Review & Brooklyn Tour: Practically Neighbors by Sarah Smith

Cover for Practically Neighbors’ short story

You might think I’m biased since I already think Sarah Smith is a walking, writing, tweeting, picture-taking goddess and all around awesome person. This is true, however, besides the fact that I already heart Sarah more than a Taylor Swift song circa 2008, I think she’s a kick-ass, fearless writer with her oh so steamy romances. I’ve been following Sarah on her blog Sarah Writes Smut for a long time now. I had no idea how much I could enjoy smut until I started following Sarah Smith. In truth, they still make me blush, but they also take me to places that I didn’t even realize I wanted to go!

In Practically Neighbors, Ava is waiting for a guy to text her. Ladies…we’ve been there. Ava is stuck wondering when the guy she’s supposedly going out with that night will text. In true guy form, she hasn’t heard a peep from him. She does what any sensible single woman would do in this day and age- she goes back on a dating app to swipe-swipe-swipe in the hopes of finding a guy who can string a couple of sentences together and not send her any pictures of his anatomy. Hopefully, someone attractive and charming?

Just when she’s swiped through all the slim pickings in the dating app world…Harker. He had me at Harker. And to top off that beautiful name, he bakes and fosters dogs! And did I mention his “deliciously broad chest?” Yes! He’s got that going for him as well and a smile that looks like he’s “mid-laugh.” For single women, this is the guy we want to stumble upon when we’re swiping. Thank you, Sarah, for giving me a delicious specimen to picture. Where was I?

What I like about this story and all of Sarah’s stories really are how relatable they are. When Ava is swiping and pondering her dating life, I was thinking, “Yeah, me too!” the whole time. Sarah pulls me in with how relatable her characters are. I see myself in them, and then all of a sudden, just when I’m thinking I’m totally on the same page with the character, something shifts. All of a sudden we enter this titillating fantasy world, a place until we arrived, we didn’t realize we’d want to be.

Wine! I recommend wine while reading. Night time preferably. Not in a public place. Ya know what I mean? No? Me either!

Definitely read Practically Neighbors if you haven’t already. Prepare yourself for lots of smut!😍

And of course, my latest tour is inspired by Practically Neighbors. Since it’s so easily accessible, for the first time ever, my tour will definitely have spoilers. After all, I have to have a talk with Ava about online dating safety.

Read it here:

Practically Neighbors Tour

In other awesome Sarah Smith news, she’s got her debut novel, Faker, coming out this Fall! To learn more about Sarah Smith and her new book, check out her author’s website:

As always, here’s the sneak peek into my Literary Date inspired by Practically Neighbors:

Brownstones in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
Love Brooklyn Brownstones.
Cool looking church in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Lots of cool looking churches in Brooklyn
Three cats at the Brooklyn Cat Cafe
A peek-a-boo shot of the Brooklyn Promenade
Looks pretty, right?
The Statue of Liberty taken from the Brooklyn Promenade
Lady Liberty
Picture of myself on the Brooklyn Promenade. NYC skyline.
I might have Facetuned my face slightly. Can you tell? Alright, alright maybe it was more than a little bit.

The Brooklyn Bridge


Manhattan skyline as scene from the Brooklyn Bridge Park


Dogs scene in Brooklyn Heights

For more from this tour, make sure you’re following me on Instagram!

I’m @literary_dates.

Thank you all for reading! My full tour will be soon! What will happen? Will Ava inspire me to let go of my inhibitions and meet a hunky stranger for the night? Hmm? I won’t say! You’ll have to stay tuned!

In case you’re wondering, my ultimate goal is to be more consistent. Thank you all so much for your patience and for sticking with me. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know!

While you patiently await my Practically Neighbors tour, feel free to check out my other two & a half tours that were also set in Brooklyn:

Reconstructing Amelia Tour, book set in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Great book!

Modern Lovers Tour, which is set in the sleepy Brooklyn neighborhood, Ditmas Park. P.S. I didn’t reveal this in my tour post, but I will now, this is my current neighborhood. It was funny because when Sarah first reached out to me about this collaboration, she said she wanted to set the story in my neighborhood. Sooo I had to come clean and tell her that I’ve already done a tour in my neighborhood. But I totally miss my old neighborhood so it worked out for the best!

Finally, my tour based on the book YOU was partially in Brooklyn in the neighborhood we Brooklynites call Bed-Stuy.

See you back here soon!


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  1. Aaaahh Lauren! I cannot tell you how much it means to see that you did a tour of something I wrote!! Cue all the happy crying 😀 You’re freaking amazing! I’m so lucky to you know, you brilliant and beautiful woman!! Thank you SO much, this is an amazing opportunity!

    Okay, these pics are already stunning and I can’t wait to see more!! I absolutely LOVE that you were able to go to a cat cafe–YAY!! And holy cow are all Brooklyn brownstones so pretty? Love!! Cannot wait for more!! You rock!!

    1. I still can’t believe that you wrote something so I could do a tour. That still blows my mind! You are so wonderful! I’m so lucky to know such an awesome and talented person like you. I’m so glad we’ve virtually met here. One day it’ll be in real life! Your support continues to blow me away! It’s so encouraging!

      You rock!! Thank you thank you thank you! I can’t wait until I write up the full tour post!😍

        1. I love that it’s on your bucket list!! I can’t wait! Oregon is so beautiful. I think I need to find a book set there!

  2. Ahh, I need to start reading and stop watching so much TV. I love the sound of Practically Neighbors! I’ve read some of Sarah’s stuff and she really knows how to write smut.

    Your pictures of Brooklyn are BEAUTIFUL. I have to be honest, I haven’t done a proper tour of Brooklyn. So I am looking forward to it.

    1. Haha! I’ve been watching a lot of tv too as you know! You’re right, Sarah does know how to write smut! She’s got quite a talent!😍

      Thank you so much for reading and for your compliments! I hope my post will make you want to go to Brooklyn!

    1. Thank you for visiting! Brooklyn is awesome. I’ll share more about it in my full tour post.

  3. Hello, wine and hello, smut! LOL! You crack me up. I actually love Taylor Swift circa now because she is so bitter and edgy. I call her angsty Taylor these days.

    Your pictures are always so beautiful! I love brownstones too! Isn’t that classic NYC?

    Have you created a special dog stalking hashtag yet? I cannot remember, but it’s so needed.

    Ugh, the beginning sentiments of the story are so SPOT ON and gave me teen anxiety lol: who didn’t wait for the phone to ring from a crush or date. And sometimes they didn’t come, ahhhh!!

    I know that you can relate to the dating app world. I think we need to find you a new app full of people who like animals and don’t just want….smut in their books lol. I will look in Asheville for you. Maybe we should hold auditions? How fun would that be?! Get Kathy down there too.

    Sooooo you are a hilarious and awesome writer who always cracks me up–great post and review. I’ve definitely got your reading number down. I will find you some good local Asheville reads and wine.

    I hope that you have a wonderful birthday weekend and Birthday. GAHHHH

    1. Haha! Wine and smut go hand in hand! I still actually like Taylor. I enjoy that all her songs are about her exes. What a way to get back at that! A catchy hit song that makes you a star? She gets the last laugh all the time!

      I looove NYC brownstones! I wish I could live in one! The only dog stalking hashtag I use is #dogstalker. Should I use something else?

      I’ve definitely had it happen in my recent dating experiences where I was supposed to go out with a guy and then don’t hear from him until the time we were supposed to meet up with some lame ass excuse. Surfing all day. Whatever! Maybe I should have given that one another chance. Better than the animal hater and that other one!

      Haha, yes please hold dating audition for me in Asheville. If you find my guy than I might definitely have to move there! And if you find me a book set there we can do a double Literary Date!😍

      Thank you so much for reading! Glad it made you laugh!

      Thank you! I’m sitting outside by the lake right now but it’s about to pour! 😳 I think it’ll be sunny tomorrow, I hope!

  4. This is beautiful and your photos are amazing! Brooklyn was by far my fav part of my trip to the US a few years ago – the strong accents we came across were just fantastic!

    1. Sorry, I thought I replied to your comment already. I guess it didn’t go through. Thank you so much for reading my post and thank you for your sweet compliments! I love that you visited Brooklyn. Haha the accents are thick! I wish I could hear them with a foreigner’s ears!😉

  5. Great read! I’ve always wanted to go to Brooklyn and your pictures show how beautiful Brooklyn is!

    1. Thank you so much! Brooklyn is a great place! You should definitely visit. More about Brooklyn will be in my full tour post coming up. 😊

  6. Your photos are great! I’ve never been to Brooklyn but after seeing all of those, I feel like I need to make that happen in my life sooner rather than later