Cover Image: Love Next Door

Love Next Door

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Member Reviews

Love Next Door was such a fun read. All Dillion wanted while growing up in Pearl Lake was to leave the country life and make it to the City (Chicago). Everything was great, she had a steady job and a live in boyfriend, until it wasn't. With no job or boyfriend she makes the move back home. Donovan is back in Pearl Lake where all of his favorite memories with Grammy Bee are, and the pretty next door neighbor that he secretly crushed on. After Grammy Bee's passing she leaves Donovan her home and land. When he decides to work on the home at night, a little firecracker has something to say about that. Dillion is a feisty little thing who is all bite and bark, the spitfire had me rolling. These two and their banter. I loved it from the beginning to end.
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This is the first book in the Lakeside series. Dillion has returned home in order to help in the family business after her brother gets into trouble. She never intended to go back after she left once she finished high school. And being back feels familiar but at the same time different. And when she notices someone new next door, she goes to see who it is and gets more than she bargained for with Donovan (Van)! And that starts the bickering back and forth! But these two have more issues than just the ones they have with each other. Neither feel at home in the small town, and family drama is a huge part of it. But can they figure out that they can be each other's home?

I was slightly iffy about reading this one. And part of that is the author for me, some of this author's books I love-others I am so so with. But the blurb made it sound interesting and different, so I thought why not? So this is was definitely slow for me to start. That's why I knock it down a bit because it was something that I had to push through, but once I got past that? It was well worth the read! There is so much more to it than just them going from bickering to something more. You get the back drama with their families along with the sweet and small town. Some parts were still just a little too slow for me, but they were still a good read and interesting to the overall story. So while it wasn't the best book that I have ever read, it wasn't bad either. And I am sure some people will love it as it's more to their tastes than to mine. Now with that being said, I will say that if there is a story about Van's sister, I will probably read it because she intrigues me and I want to know more!
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A love story that seems like fate. Small town. Lovable hero. Bad ass heroine. Family drama. 
Fun and light summer read. Very different than her other books, and love when writers can do that.
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****I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for a fair review.****
I am a huge fan of Helena Hunting's books and this love started with her Pucked series that I could not put down and Love Next Door did not disappoint. In fact it is probably in my top five of her books that I've read and I can't wait for any more books that come out of the Lakeside series. I found that it was different from her Pucked series and it's related books and more like her Kiss my Cupcake book, it still had all the comedy that so many of her books have it just had a different vibe to it.
They say that coming home is hard, and that is especially true for Dillion Stitch, when she left Pearl Lake after high school she had no intentions of ever moving back again. But after the company she's been working at goes under, she breaks up with her boyfriend, and her younger brother breaks his leg in a DUI accident leaving the family construction business short handed Dillion feels she has no choice but to go home, at least temporarily. What Dillion didn't expect is her surrogate grandmother, Bee's beloved grandson, Donovan “Van” Firestone to be at Bee's home, or for him to be such an inconsiderate jerk. 
When Donovan arrives at his late grandmother's cottage to clean up the house he wasn't expecting to receive a phone call saying that he is being accused of embezzling 3 million dollars from the charity he set up in his late mother's name, or to receive another call from work firing him because of the suspicion. So Van decides he should lay low at his grandmother's until everything blows over in Chicago. But when a strange woman breaks into the cottage while he's showering he isn't expecting that stranger to be the Dillion that was the executor of his grandmother's estate that he had been emailing with. Van was expecting a man, not a prickly woman who gives him nothing but grief about any and everything. As time goes on their bickering becomes sparks of attraction, but can their relationship overcome both of their messy lives?
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Dillion has to move back home to help out with her family’s business. She would enjoy her time back home better if she wasn’t exposed to her next-door neighbor, Donovan. Dillion and Van have an instant dislike for one another once she discovers he is trying to sell his grandmother’s property. Dillion is rediscovery her love for her hometown as she and Van continue to fight and bicker all through the town.

I love a small town romance and then add in an enemies to lovers theme and I’m in heaven.

I really enjoyed the banter between Dillion and Van. They couldn’t help themselves. I liked that they never got too heavy and bitter with the things they said. They were both going through a lot of issues in this book. The family, medical and discovery drama at times were never too heavy in this story which ai appreciated.

The only reason why I didn’t give this book five stars is that the storyline is low angst and I wanted more drama. The author tries to throw in a twist or two but it is kind of obvious when it is first mentioned. There is no real surprise there.

There could have been a bit more character development of the main characters and even the secondary characters. I have to admit, I’m curious about some of the people in the town and what they have going on. I guess the author is keeping that a mystery for future books.

While I enjoyed this book by Ms. Hunting, it is not my favorite one. This is book one in a new series so I do look forward to what is store for this small town.

~ Samantha
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My Review 
Five Stars!

After Donovan’s grandma passes away he heads back (from Chicago) to the small lake town he spent his summers. Dillion has lost her boyfriend and her job and is headed back (from Chicago) home to help her dad out with his business. Growing up next door to Donovan’s grandma Dillion became very close with her so when he’s back to her home she is very cautious of his intentions, especially after the few interactions they’ve had.

This small-town romance was so much fun, it was sexy with likable characters that had you rooting for them from their first encounter. Speaking of Dillion and Donovan and their first encounter, it was pretty hilarious and awkwardly uncomfortable. I love a friend to lovers romance that checks off all my boxes. The banter was there, the chemistry was hot and just all the interactions and dialogue were exactly what I want in a book. Helena has a way with her words that just touch me in so many ways, she knows how to make you laugh when you need to, she brings in the drama, the suspense, and also in this particular book mental illness.

I lived in Chicago for almost 17 years and loved the references to it, as well as the small-town folk calling it, “The City” so true. I can’t wait to get more of this series, it was a book that I didn’t put down until the end. And I loved loved the characters that pop up in the book, it was a nice surprise.
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j'ai adoré ma lecture de la première à la dernière page ! Je savais en commençant un roman de l'autrice que les personnages allaient m'emporter et me faire sourire et je n'ai pas été déçue de mon voyage en leur compagnie. Ils vont se retrouver un peu malgré eux au même moment au même endroit et l'un comme l'autre sont à un tournant de leurs vies. J'ai adoré voir Dillion et Donovan se battre au départ, ils pensent connaitre l'autre mais vont petit à petit comprendre qu'ils se trompaient du tout au tout et leur romance va alors avancer petit à petit. J'ai adoré l'ambiance petite ville, la manière dont ils nous touchent et nous font vibrer et forcément, j'ai adoré les voir apprendre à s'aimer ! J'avais assez facilement deviné certaines choses mais ça n'empêche que j'ai passé un excellent moment avec eux qui m'a redonné le sourire !! Une très belle aventure !!
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Really enjoyed getting to know Donavan and Dillion’s story. We start of by getting a bit of background on their characters and we meet a few side characters that definitely peeked my interest in future books hopefully. D &D’s banter was fun to watch as they grow closer but of course in all stories it wouldn’t be nearly as fun without a few curveballs thrown in. Definitely recommend to contemporary romance readers.
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Helena can always be counted on for a chemistry filled romance and a book that keeps my attention. This one features a couple of my favorite things: unrequited love, small town, and girl on the wrong side of the tracks. I love so much that Dillion may be on the lower end of the economic hierarchy but her love for her family shines through.
Dillion comes home nursing a job loss and recent break up. While she isn't devastated, she certainly doesn't want to face her past. Her brother's DUI and laundry list of troubles unwillingly encourages her return. She re-meets Van under less than stellar circumstances, but bickering turns to banter. Ultimately they begin to work together over shared interests.
This was a really quick read and I'd love to see where Helena takes us in the forthcoming books of this series.
Thank you to Montlake and NetGalley for the advanced copy. All thoughts in this review are my own.
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Dillion has always known that she wanted more than her hometown could offer so she left at her first opportunity and wasn’t looking back.    The combination of her life imploding and her family needing her help has taken that decision out of her hands at least for the short term. 

With the turmoil that Van is facing in his life right now return to Pearl Lake to the cottage he inherited from his grandma seems like the perfect getaway.    He was expecting some time alone to reflect on his life and how to emerge from the situation he finds himself in unscathed, but nothing could have prepared him for Dillion.

Their time in Pearl Lake was supposed to be a respite are the challenging time they are facing in their lives, but it is beginning to feel like so much more especially since there is no denying the chemistry between them whether it is the sarcastic banter they exchange or the heat they can’t seem to deny.   This is a sweet and sexy romance that is sure to bring a smile to your face.
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If you have read any of Helena Huntings other books that you know you are probably going to get another great summer read!  This one was so cute and fun.  I did find it at times a little slow and was often frustrated with the characters.  The story is following Dillion who reluctantly returns home after her brother is in an accident to help her family with their renovation business.  Dillion couldn't wait to leave town after graduation and was hoping to only ever come back for visits.  Along the way she realizes maybe it wasn't the town she was trying to escape but her circumstances.  Van is in town to finally put his grandmother's property into probate and hopefully start clearing out the home.  His first day at the cabin Van learns he has been accused of stealing 3 million dollars from the family's non-profit that was set up in honor of his mother.  He also then looses his job as well.  Dillion and Van seem to butt heads a lot at first but then realize that their first impressions may not have been correct. At times while reading it felt a little more YA than Adult with the conversations and interactions between Dillion and Van, this really only seemed to be an issue in the beginning and by the end it was flowing a lot better for me.

Overall I enjoyed this one as I do almost all of her books.  I believe this is also the first in a new series and I am excited to read more about the characters that were introduced in this book.  I am especially interested in Dillion's brother Billy who was going through a tough time in this book.  I also liked Dillion and Billy's childhood friend Aaron, it was briefly mentioned that he disappeared for awhile and then came back to town and no one knows where he was and that really has me intrigued. Thank you Montlake and Social Butterfly PR for gifting me a copy for review.
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This was a delightful, slow-burn romance.

"I feel like you see me. Like it doesn't matter what I say or do. I'm transparent, and you're already under my skin.”

Dillon and Van get off to an inauspicious start! LOL. Things seem to go from bad to worse, until they find even footing and all the snarkiness between them smoulders into something more.

This was a fabulous, sweet, sexy romance. Dillon and Van had great depth as characters, as we follow their interactions with each other and their friends and families. They had a great connection as they found more common ground between them and I just adored how their romance developed. This was an ideal feel-good summer read with fun characters, a fab small-town setting, a little bit of angst, and a little bit of mystery.
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Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
Characters: Dillion and Van are the main characters of this romance. Dillion grew up in Pearl Lake and when she had the opportunity to move to the big city she was up and off. Now post-breakup and out of a job she is back to help her family out and to have a place to land for a bit. I really loved Dillion’s character as she is that fun mix of strong-willed and stubborn. She was a great heroine and Van was a great hero. Van ends up being Dillion’s neighbour as he inherits the house next door from his late grandmother and returns to pack it up. Van spent some summers there as a kid, but by no means is he a true local. Van matches Dillion in hardheadedness, but also an immense sense of determination. All around two A+ characters. There were so many interesting side characters so I am excited to see whom the next Lakeside story would be about.
Setting: The story is set in Pearl Lake. Helena has discussed how the setting is directly inspired by Cottage Country, Ontario, Canada. I have never been because I am a bad Canadian who has never been to Ontario. Cottage Country is very special to my boyfriend and if the pandemic had not happened. We did have plans to go to one of his friend’s place but naturally, it was not safe to go. The setting was great for this story, as it was two older people returning home to a place they both loved in their youth. I loved the dichotomy of the tourist side and the locals' side. I cannot wait to read more about the town’s dynamics in future installments.
Pacing: I really enjoyed the pace that this story took. Nothing felt too rushed, either learning about each character and the romance itself. I read this book pretty fast, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a vacation read for this summer.
Romance: This romance was great. Dillion and Van have a major roadblock in front of them, whether or not they will both stay in Pearl Lake. It is a classic burden put in front of many romance characters. I loved how much they struggled to stay away from each other. There were so many great scenes, that I for sure do not want to spoil. So I beg you pick up Dillion and Van’s romance and get whisked away to Pearl Lake.
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Dillion and Donnovon (Van) have known “of” each for most of their lives.  Their connection is Dillion’s neighbor and Donnovon’s Grandmother, Bee.  And when Bee passes, it brings them together. Their meet cute is hard to forget and will have you laughing like only Helena Hunting make you.  To say these two do not hit it off is an understatement, but their paths continue to pass in the small town of Pearl Lake.  I adored how Hunting described this little town. It reminds me so much of the small town where our family cabin is.  
Both Dillion and Van are struggling with personal setbacks that are really making them take a step back and evaluate what is really important to them.  This is probably the aspect that I appreciated most in this book.  This pair was successful on the outside, seemingly having everything that they had worked for.  This really spoke to me as a reader.  I could feel them each debating about the choices they made and decisions they were working on to create the life that will fulfill them.  
I would be remiss if we did not talk about the side characters in this book, they are fabulous. While Bee might have passed, she was there.  And as a reader you could feel the impact that she had on both Dillion and Van.  The way they reminisced about her, funny little tidbits they each shared, and they knew her so well.  It was beautiful the way she was honored and recognized as a guiding force for these two.  And of course there are few of our old favorites that happen to make an appearance or two!  And it wouldn’t be a Helena book if she didn’t introduce us to characters we need more of…..hello, Teagan and Aaron….I definatiley feel like they each need their own happily ever after! 
Throughout this book Hunting tackles some difficult topics that many families are facing, and she does it with grace and care.  She recognizes not only the struggle that someone facing mental health struggles is dealing with but those around them that love and care for them do.  Find yourself a quiet space to curl up with this book because it is the perfect summer read to enjoy at the beach, the lake, the boat or the pool.  I promise Dillion and Van’s story will not disappoint!
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I don’t think there’s anything I wouldn’t read by Helena Hunting. I’d gladly even read her grocery or to-do lists, so it should come as no surprise that I’ve had this preordered since Feb. I was thrilled to have received an e-ARC to read. 

Love Next Door is a perfect small-town summer read set in Pearl Lake where the locals all know one another.  Dillon gets quite an eyeful when she first meets her new neighbor Van in their meet cute. 

I loved their transition from neighbors to enemies to friends to lovers.  They have such an easy going connection at times and at others it was enemies to lovers banter. This was sweet and a slower burn than most of HH books and less romcom and more family dynamics and relationships.  Pearl Lake felt like a real town complete with the locations, long time friends and quirky residents.  The pacing of the book matched the setting with a slightly slower laid back pace. I loved the overall message of finding yourself and putting down roots. 

For readers of HH’s hockey romances, you’ll delight in a few of the names mentioned throughout the book. What a fantastic start to this new series.  

This is out now and for you Kindle Unlimited fans, you can read AND listen to it for free on KU!
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Oh my goodness! Love Next Door is a perfect small-town romance with all the Hallmark feels! I think this book had a different vibe than other Helena Hunting books, and I was all in for it!

The snark that flies between Dillion and Van from the get-go was hysterical, and I couldn't wait for their interactions to see what they would snipe about next! And because there's a fine line between love and hate, each one of their interactions were supercharged with sizzling chemistry!

In between the romance that blossomed between the main characters, there was a mystery surrounding an embezzlement scandal with Van's family foundation, as well as some issues with Dillion's brother, Billy, that had me very intrigued.

I thought that this story was a fantastic start to a new series and I can't wait to see what comes next in Pearl Lake! I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
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A charming, fun, and funny read!

Dillion has complicated feelings about her hometown and now she's facing spending at least a few months there. She's recently jobless and boyfriend-less, so she heads back to Pearl Lake to help her family run their business.

Van is in town to spend time at his Grandmother's cottage. Growing up he spent summers there and she left it to him when she passed away.

Dillion and Van have a memorable first meeting and find themselves arguing. However, it isn't long before their bickering turns into something more. Their banter and chemistry were excellent and it was entertaining watching their relationship develop.

I loved the small town setting and Pearl Lake and its residents were a big part of the story. I am looking forward to reading more from this series!
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Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

I sometimes think that Helena Hunting is several different people (NO! I’m not accusing her of ghostwriters). She has this incredible way of finding different places to write from for different works. There is a general thread of humor that runs through her books, but given the different personalities of her stories, she mutes or heightens that thread. And what you find is a deep abiding adoration for her storytelling. Whether she’s writing the stories of horny hockey players or enemies to lovers in competing businesses or a hate-to-love story between neighbors, Helena Hunting shows her ability to take you along for her romance ride no matter the story. 

So let’s talk about Love Next Door, her newest story. Let’s name all the tropes you’ll find in this story: hate-to-love/enemies-to-lovers, small-town romance, on some level, and forced proximity (that one’s a stretch). Without my tropes cheatsheet in front of me, these are the ones that find immediate purchase in this book. With those key tropes as a guide, it’s interesting to note that this story is a sweet one. Even when her heroine and hero, Dillion/Darlin/Dee and Donovan/Van, are fighting, their burgeoning/evolving romance has an underpinning of sweetness to it. There is clear chemistry from the start; Hunting isn’t doing anything different with this story. In fact, I think Love Next Door exists as an ode to Hunting’s own lakeside cabin experiences and a story for her fans. Coming through the Montlake Publishing line, you’ll find this one to be the least steamy of anything she’s written as of late. There is no kink here, no overwhelming number of bedroom scenes. 

What you find with Love Next Door is a treatment on a few distinct messages: don’t live life to spite your past, work a job that you love and loves you back, and family is incredibly important. Tangential to that is Hunting’s focus on mental health as well. There is some suspense in this story which is a bit predictable, but it adds some spice to the story because, from the start, it’s clear that Dillion and Van are fated. From the beginning to the end, Hunting writes all the signs in her story, even with an ending that compels you to put a smile on your face as you realize their relationship was set in the stars. 

The revelation of the villain of this story aside, I adore Dillion and Van’s story in Helena Hunting’s Love Next Door. It’s the type of book that you read on the beach or in a lounge on the back patio or in bed during a lazy afternoon and evening. Will it make you laugh out loud like some of the stories of her Pucked or All In series? Not really. There is a simplicity and sweetness to this story that makes you fall in love with it. If you’re looking for the perfect read for the coming weekend, then this is your book.
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Love Next Door brings all the feels and charm in this small-town romance. I loved the witty banter and family aspect of this story. There is an element of suspense that adds a little bit of angst to the storyline. It is a bit of a slow burn between the H and h. The initial meeting between Donovan aka Van and Dillon was hilarious and slightly awkward. The witty banter and obvious sexual tension were entertaining. Overall, it is an enjoyable laid-back summer read that I really enjoyed. The epilogue is the sweet cherry on top to finish the story.
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Love Next Door is the first book in a new series from Helena Hunting. I’d say this is a little different than some of her other books. It’s more serious than previous ones. It’s an enemies to lovers set in a small town. Dillion has just moved back from Chicago to her small hometown to help out with her family’s company after her brother has an accident. Van is in town to help clear his late grandmother’s cottage out. Unfortunately, as soon as he arrives, he finds out he will need to stay for awhile after some allegations come out about fraud from his late mother’s nonprofit foundation. This is absolutely untrue but he is forced to hide out here until they find out exactly who did it. 

Dillion really has a chip on her shoulder about small towns and her upbringing. She’s had some bad past experiences with people from her hometown (nothing serious). Van is honestly a good guy yet he and Dillion get off on the wrong foot and things escalate from there. I have to say the enemies portion of this was over quickly. Dillion and Van were together for most of the book. They were dealing with a ton of family drama from both sides as well as issues with townspeople throughout. 

I did have a few issues with the story. There were so many characters throughout including townspeople, family members, friends. It was hard to keep track of who’s who. I didn’t love or hate the main characters. They were just kind of there. Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel the romance or even the hate towards each other. There was also so much drama throughout but then it just kind of disappeared. We did get some resolution to some of these problems though, just not all. 

I did really enjoy everything with Bee. While she wasn’t alive in the book, everything related to her, her home and her life was so beautiful and interesting. I did enjoy Teagan and Aaron and hope they get a book too. I’m in the minority but this was just okay for me. I do still plan to read the next books in the series though.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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