Cover Image: Love Next Door

Love Next Door

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Member Reviews

Thank you for the opportunity to review this new novel.

This was unfortunately not to my taste and I didn't enoy it. I have read her series with "A Favor for a Favor" and more. I really liked those four. But this one, just no. The mother was as despicable as Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and this rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning.
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Ten years ago, Dillion Stitch left her small hometown of Pearl Lake for college in Chicago and didn't look back - at least, not until she suddenly lost her job, broke up with her boyfriend, and had to move out of her apartment, leaving her with nowhere to go but home. She planned to stay for a few months to help her father with the family construction business while her brother recovered from a broken ankle, then find a new job and return to her life in Chicago. Meanwhile, in order to avoid an unpleasant scandal back home, Donovan "Van" Firestone had taken up residence in his late grandmother's cottage next door to Dillion's parents. An incredibly awkward first meeting put Van and Dillion on a path towards becoming enemies rather than lovers, but neither could deny the intense chemistry they shared. As they got to know each other better, they came to realize that they had more in common than either had expected. Could their summer fling turn into a forever love?

I adored the witty banter between Van and Dillion, as well as the slow burn of their transition from enemies into lovers. I also found the mystery involving Van's mother's charitable foundation to be quite engaging, and I couldn't wait to find out whether I had guessed the "villain" correctly. Finally, I loved that Van's Grammy Bee was such a strong presence in the book even though she had passed away months earlier. I could feel how much both Van and Dillion cared for her, as well as how their love for her influenced their relationship with each other.

Overall, I loved this funny, sweet, and heartwarming story and can't wait for the next one set in the charming town of Pearl Lake. I highly recommend "Love Next Door" for all contemporary romance fans, particularly those who enjoy small town romances and/or the enemies-to-lovers trope.
 
*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Welcome to Pearl Lake, the land of the haves and have nots. Dillion always wanted to escape small-town life and for Van, this town was a summer refuge with his beloved grandmother. But Dillion and Van's connection is strong, something they'll discover as summer passes. Small town culture and family drama come together in this summer fling read that'll make you think about what really means to be a family, whether blood or found.

Readers know Ms. Hunting's brand of quirky humor and her sports romance series, however, while you see some of that in this book, it is not a rom-com, and it is important to make that distinction so readers aren't expecting that from an author that it is known for this subgenre.

I always admire authors that take risks and Ms. Hunting is known for doing that. However, Love Next Door read like a small-time version of Handle With Care, a book I didn't find as successful due to the other the top, soapy, villainous characters. I also felt the family drama definitely stole attention from the romance development itself. I wanted more Dillion and Van and less ridiculous, cartoony bs from Van's smarmy brother.
And for those reasons, I did not find this a great read.
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I enjoyed going on Dillion & Van’s journey.  Even though not my favorite by Helena Hunting, I still couldn’t get enough!  I love a good small town romance and Helena Hunting definitely delivered that in Love Next Door.  A great start to a new series.  I look forward to reading more in this series to come! 

I voluntarily reviewed this book.
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Sexy, sassy small-town romance
5 stars

I’ve enjoyed Helena Hunting’s writing before and this book sounded like a winner - small town, enemies to lovers, second chancey goodness. I was all in from page one.

Dillion is reluctant to return to her home town and all the demons that come with it. Sadly for her, she doesn’t have much of a choice and soon she’s back. From the first, she comes across as a strong and confident woman who is sarcy, sassy and just a bit grumpy. She was hilarious! Not once did I think she was too moany, and I really related to her, especially as she berated herself for how she was acting round Van.

Van himself was like two perfect heroes smooshed together to make one ultimate perfect hero. He was a hot suit from the city but, much like Dillion, had little choice but to come back to the small town he’d spent his summers as a boy. He managed to embrace small-town life really quickly and soon he was wearing ripped jeans, ratty t-shirts and hanging out in the local hotspots. So a hot bodied city suit meets hard bodied local guy bit of perfection. And that’s even before he and Dillion get to bickering.

I love, love, love an enemies to lovers story but it’s even better when the banter between our couple shows just how much chemistry they have. These two are on fire. And absolutely hilarious. Each gives as good as they get and I couldn’t get enough of them. Happily, when their relationship evolves, they still keep both the spark and the banter making me adore them as a couple.

I also loved the fact that the conflict - when it came - was realistic and believable. It was well-resolved, too. And Van fell just as hard and fast as Dillion did. In fact, he was adorably smitten which made me fall in love with him - and him and Dillion together - even more.


There is some family drama involved in the story although it never overshadows the romance and is never overly heavy or changes the tone of the story as a whole. I wasn’t sure who I thought was “the baddie” until it was revealed. Not that it was supposed to be a mystery, but I always like to pretend I guessed correctly regardless. The mental health aspect was surprising and handled so well. I applauded Ms Hunting in my head as I read, for treating it so believably but also for including it in a story without it being overwhelming.

As I read, especially towards the end, I was hoping so hard that this was the first book in a series… and it is! Van’s sister and Dillion’s friend, Aaron, only had a 30 second scene together and I’m already crushing on them so hard. And based on absolutely nothing, I’m hoping Dillion’s brother and one of her best friends are destined for their own romance. Gah - I can’t wait for the series to continue!

I have absolutely no clue how Dillion’s name was supposed to be pronounced. It’s that pesky extra ‘i’ that munched my brain! She also went by Darlin’, Lynnie and Dee - but I’m pretty sure it was meant to be said like the name Dillon, rather than Dill-ee-on. This has nothing to do with my review - I just wanted to put it out there! 

Don’t be fooled by the cover (which is cute, don’t get me wrong) - you still get a sexy, sassy and laugh out loud romance with enough chemistry to burn this small town to the ground! Ms Hunting’s writing is, as always, exemplary and this story is a delight and one I couldn’t put down. Easily a 5 star read and one I would very much recommend.
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This story swept me away and had me grinning from start to finish. Dillon and Van didn’t start out on the right foot and never really saw eye to eye. Dillon thinks Van is in town just to sell his grandmother’s estate and she hates that idea because she loved his grandmother dearly. Even though she was desperate to get out of her small lake town and never planned on coming back family circumstances has her returning where she is in constant contact with Van, and he seems to always bring out her surly side. There were many times I would laugh out loud, swoon over Van, and my heart hurt for everything that they went through even her brother. This small-town romance has you rooting for them to not only be together but that they find their happiness along the way whatever it may be. Can they stop fighting long enough to see what is in front of them? Will Van run off back to the city leaving Dillon behind? Will Dillon want to flee small town life once again? I loved this book it is my favorite from this author, and I thought all her other books were my favorite but the back and forth banter between the main characters kept me entertained and loving every second of it. I hope we get more from some of these characters.
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This story was delightful! I really really liked it! I don’t have a lot of experience reading Helena, so I don’t really have a point of reference to compare to but for me, she nailed the small-town vibe with precision. The romance journey even matched the laid-back feel of a small town. It was a sweet slow burn that just put a huge smile on my face.

There’s not only an undeniable spark between Van and Dillon but also in the story. Their meet cute was hilarious and the story just took off from there. They had the banter and the chemistry to light up the sky and reading their story just had me sighing contently. Have no fear tho, their story has its share of conflict *wink* (lol) but even then I enjoyed the read!

This is a great start to a series and I can’t wait to return to Pearl Lake real soon 🙂
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Helena Hunting delivers a fun, small town summer read with Love Next Door! It’s got a lot of feels, a slow burn romance and ultimately a wonderful love story. I loved Dillon and Van and how their relationship develops, it makes for a special story.

Dillon wanted to leave small town life behind, she was all about the city life, but circumstances have her back in her hometown to help her parents and brother. Donovan has taken some time off for a vacation and to deal with his grandmother’s cottage after her passing.  These two don’t have the greatest of introductions, in fact they don’t seem to like each other at all, at first at least. But, these two share a special connection and  have great chemistry that they cannot deny so there’s a slow burn relationship that develops between these two.

I really liked the blend of romance, mystery and angst with this story, there is a lot going on and it definitely kept me reading. These characters have great personalities and outstanding banter. It really feels like a meant to be love story, with all that small town greatness.   It’s definitely a great summer read and will make you want to spend time in Pearl Lake!
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Sigh. Let's talk about this cover first... shall we?
It's gorgeous ain't it? It's what drew me to the story to begin with..... and then the inside! Wow. Holy feels.
This is exactly what you want in a small town romance! Not to mention, you will devour this read in one sitting and want more.

If you're looking for the perfect summer read-- this is the one for you!

I can't wait to see more of Lakeside with all the other incredible characters!!

5 "hidden" stars from me.
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Love Next Door is a different kind of Helena Hunting novel. It's wonderful, with great character and plot development. It's a slower paced romance, with less raucous humor than her Pucked series, but it is still a genuine Helena Hunting romance that leaves you satisfied.

A large part of the book deals with Dillon coming to grips with her return to her hometown and her family business after 'escaping' that life at the first opportunity. She never expected to come back to town, let alone fall in love there. Both Dillon and Van have complicated pasts that they have to deal with separately as well as together to move forward.

This is a bit of a redemption tale for Dillon, married with an enemies-to-lovers story, but Dillon and Van weren't really enemies for long. Plus we have all of the hallmarks of a great small-town romance - family connections, complicated relationships with other people in town, trying to move past prior perceptions.

I love the various sides of Helena Hunting. I thoroughly enjoy all of her books, whether they are angsty, outrageously hysterical, instalove, slow burns, etc. One constant in each and every one of her books is that the writing is top-notch.
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Dillon left her small hometown to head to the city. I loved how Hunting comments on how everyone calls Chicago the city as if there is no other and this is 100% true!  She needs to return home after her brother’s accident and help out the family business. 
.
Donovan returns to Pearl Lake to clean out his beloved grandmother’s home. Dillon and Van get off to a rocky start but they have the love of his grandmother tying them together. For two people who wanted a big life in the city soon come to realize that home is where the heart is, even if you have to fight for it.
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Helena Hunting deftly blends humor, heart and emotion in her captivating new novel, Love Next Door.

When Dillion Stitch left her hometown, she had vowed never to set foot in Pearl Lake ever again. Dillion had kept her promise until her brother found himself getting into a spot of bother leaving her with no other choice but to go back home and reluctantly take her place at the family business. Dillion is not exactly thrilled at being back in her home town, but there are some surprising new developments and some eye-catching perks – namely her beloved neighbor’s grandson Donovan ‘Van’ Firestone!

Their first encounter is one which Dillion will certainly not forget in a hurry when she catches an eyeful of Van in all his unclothed glory. Sparks begin to fly between the two of them from the very first moment they clap eyes on one another, however, their bickering quickly gives way to an attraction that simply cannot be denied! As they juggle red-hot chemistry with relentless family drama, long-held resentments and feeling like outsiders in a town that hasn’t exactly brought out the welcome mat for the two of them, will Dillion and Van find what they are looking for in Pearl Lake? Or will they high-tail out of town the first chance they get?

Helena Hunting’s Love Next Door is a zesty, sparkling and irresistible contemporary romance that makes for perfect summertime reading. A captivating charmer about going back home, forbidden attraction and the ties that bind, in Love Next Door Helena Hunting hits all the right notes by penning a fun, emotional and satisfying romantic page-turner readers are going to thoroughly enjoy.
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If you are looking for a cute small town romance this is perfect!It was a great read, I loved the characters and the secondary made the story enjoyable.It was a little bit slow in the beginning but then everything goes fast..
 I loved how  Dillion and Van started their friendship and then relationship it was fun!They had a great banter and there was tension, not as much as I wanted yet it was good!It has a little bit from different tropes, from neighbors to enemies, then friends turned lovers..
This is a bit different from her usual books not in a bad way , I like this side of Helena and cannot wait to read more like this.
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When Dillion returns home to help out with her father's business, she's determined to get back to the city as soon as possible. It doesn't help when her deceased next door neighbor's grandson Donovan arrives at the same time. Believing his purpose of being there is to sell Bee's property, Dillion has no desire to be friends with Van. But things aren't always what they seem and they both will need to put aside their stubbornness to help each other out.

I thought this was a great small town story with a lot of issues surrounding Dillion and Van's families. Even though they had a bumpy start they realize that they have more in common than they realize. The longer Dillion stays the more she starts to feel like she may not want to go back to the city, whereas Van's life is and always will be in the city. How will they say goodbye when it's time for Van to go home? Love this story and looking forward to reading more from this author.

Thank you Netgalley and Montlake for the opportunity to read this book.
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This is a new small town romance from Helena Hunting. Dillon is back in Pearl Lake, not necessarily by choice and Donovan has his own reason for being there. What I love about small town romances is very real in this one. The towns people themselves are like a character, one that's always in your business and usually adding to your issues, but also giving that sense of community. Dillon and Donovan were okay, but I appreciate their open communication and support of one another once they got past their rough start. Overall, this book is for the reader looking for a small town romance with a lot going on.
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Im loving small town romances atm. This had a bit of everything for me. It was a rom com mixed with enemies to lovers, a bit of mystery and intrigue and a sprinkle of steam. I loved the small town vibe. Dillion has tried so hard to escape her home town but when a family drama unfolds and her life has taken a different direction she comes home. Donovan is the grandson of Dillions beloved neighbour. Hr turns up to sort out the house and his grans belongings and his presence rubs Dillion up the wrong way. I loved the pairs first meeting it was full of sass and humour. The pair go out of there way to wind each other up and I loved it. I loved the family drama and the mystery that surrounded Donovan. Dillion was a great leading lady. Full of spunk and doesn't take any rubbish yet. She really comes through for her family and owns up to her mistakes. I cant wait for the next instalment and I hope its going to be about Donovans sister and a certain hunky builder. Bring on book 2
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A small town romance about two childhood neighbors falling in love as adults. Lighter on the steam, this is a forced proximity novel with elements of mystery, mental illness, and family dysfunction. A sweet and easy read with summer vibes and a quaint, romantic feel about childhood acquaintances quickly falling for each other. I need more of this town and these characters!

After losing her job and breaking up with her boyfriend, Dillion moves back home to help with the family business. She’s also the executor of her deceased neighbors will. While exploring her neighbors house, Dillion runs into Donavan, the grandson of her beloved neighbor. The two are immediately attracted to each other and pursue a no-strings attached relationship, but can they make it work for longer than one summer?

The setting and circumstances surrounding Dillion and Donovan’s family drama make for an atmospheric and intriguing summer read full of surprises. I loved the added mystery behind who was stealing money and the gifts Donavan’s grandmother left behind. Hunting even left nuggets from previous books. A cute and hopeful romance with a lovable cast of characters and plot with a unique twist.
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Love Next Door is the start of a new series. Pearl Lake is the perfect small town where everyone is in your business and where the townies are always up against the rich vacationers.

Dillon is called home to help out the family business while her brother is laid up. Van is also in town to take care of his Grandma's estate. In an excellent meet cute situation these two end up together. While this story was very different than HH usual it was still a sweet one. The whole "going home again" is always interesting and with a bit of mystery this book held my attention. Great vacation read!
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Thank you to Montlake, Social Butterfly PR, and Helena Hunting for my advance copy of Love Next Door in exchange for my honest review.

Love Next Door is filled with sweet coincidences, that perfect friends-to-lovers chemistry, family drama, and some of that raunchy Helena humor that I love sprinkled in! 

When Dillion Stitch left for college, she never intended to be back in her hometown for more than a few days at a time during the holidays. But when her brother finds himself in some trouble, and her lease is up, and she is also jobless at the moment, she gives in when her father asks her to come home for a few months to help with the family business. And she realizes that maybe it isn't so bad afterall to be back in her small hometown. 
When Dillion sees Van for the first time since they were kids, it is an entertaining scene that is so very Helena... there's a lack of clothing, some snarky comments, and sparks right off the bat!  

And here's a few other highlights for me:
I liked that there were several other smaller things going on in the story with both Dillon and Van's families.
There are so many great side characters! I loved Dillion's childhood friends, her cousin, Van's sister, and even the Van's grandmother that just passed away. 
I really appreciated how Helena hit the point of supporting small/local businesses so often throughout the book.

Helena is one of my favorite authors and an Auto-Read author for me, so I didn't even read the synopsis for Love Next Door before reading it. Honestly, I would read anything she writes at this point, it doesn't matter what it is about! My trust was put in the right place, because I absolutely adored this small town romance. This is a must-read for all my fellow Romance readers that enjoy the trope. It just came out this week, so I hope you will pick it up soon! It is also available on KU, for those that subscribe to it!
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2.5 stars
Love Next Door is the first in Helena Hunting's new small-town, contemporary series. It's been categorized as General Adult Fiction-Romance. My original interest in this book was spurred on by the promise of an enemies to lovers, small town romance but the story itself focused less on the romantic relationship between the main characters and more on their familial relationships. Those relationships were dysfunctional and problematic, but did lead to some interesting character growth for the heroine. That aspect of the story definitely felt as though I was reading more of a women's fiction story than a romance. The various subplots got to be a bit too much for me. Honestly, I could care less who was cheating on who in the town. I just wanted more romance between Dillion and Van. Grandma Bee's influence in their relationship was sweet and charming, and one of the best aspects of the story. The towns' inhabitants were largely characterized in a stereotypical way, which I found to be unflattering, and the focus on their lives took away from the romance between the main characters. While the story was well-written and easy to follow, it did become predictable and a bit tiresome towards the end. I wasn't happy with how easily the plot points were wrapped up, but the story did deliver a happily-ever-after. 
I definitely think that this book will be enjoyed most by fans of small-town women's fiction series like the Cedar Cove series.
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