Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! How to Love Your Neighbor is set to be released January 18, 2022.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: Interior Design School? Check. Cute little house to fix up? Also check.
Sexy, grumpy neighbor who is going to get in the way of all your plans? Check. Unfortunately.
Grace Travis definitely has it all figured out. In between finishing interior design school and working a million odd jobs, she’ll get her degree. She’ll have her dream job. And most importantly, she’ll have a place to belong, something her cold, manipulative mother could never make for her. When an opportunity to fix up—and live in—an adorable little house on the beach comes along, Grace is all in. Until her biggest roadblock moves in next door.
Noah Jansen knows how to make a deal. A real estate developer with a knack for betting and winning big, he’s not one to let a good opportunity slip away. So when a beachside house with great bones is ripe for a remodel and flip, Noah doesn’t hesitate. Except in order to spruce it up properly (is it even a beach house if it doesn’t have a pool?), he’ll need to take over the house next door. The house with the willful and combative and way-too-intriguing woman living in it.
With the rules for being neighborly going out the window, Grace and Noah are in an all-out feud. But sometimes, your nemesis can turn out to be the person who shows you that home is always where the heart is.
My Review: How to Love Your Neighbor is a hilarious and sweet enemies to lovers story! The competitive side of Grace and Noah and their mutual attraction really made things pleasantly interesting.
Grace has worked hard to create a life for herself as a future interior designer. She has had a rough childhood with a mom who wasn’t there for her and liked to play the victim, sometimes blaming Grace for why her (the mom) life turned out badly. This resentment heats up after Grace inherits her mother’s childhood home. But Grace is a go-getter and very resourceful. She truly has an eye for design. I love how she surprises and impresses Noah at every turn.
Noah grew up financially privileged. After working under his micromanaging father, Noah wants to plant roots and make a name for himself without his father’s influence and say. Part of that plan includes buying the house next door, which Grace now lives in. Noah is capable and has good instincts. He’s also easy-going and always on the move, which is possibly why he thinks people underestimate him or don’t think he’s serious enough.
Grace and Noah are very likable. There were plenty of cute moments that made the story fun to read. I like how they made bets to either get an advantage or prove the other wrong. Those scenes plus Grace’s not-so-graceful, clumsy moments were enjoyable.
The two neighbors have a lot in common that help bridge their relationship. They’re both goal-oriented, have a rocky relationship with a parent, and want to find a place to settle. But Grace and Noah also faced challenges as they continued to get to know one another because falling in love wasn’t a part of either of their plans.
I love all the side characters and their respective story-lines. My favorite was Morty, an old man who Grace had been living with and was taking care of for a few years before moving out at the start of the novel. I love that they’d formed familial bonds, Morty being the father Grace never had and Grace being like a daughter to Morty. They became each other’s family when they had no one else. I also liked Tilly (Morty’s girlfriend), Josh (Noah’s assistant), and Rosie (Grace’s best friend and classmate). It was nice to see characters from Sullivan’s previous novel, Ten Rules for Faking It.
How to Love Your Neighbor was a wonderful read that kept a smile on my face throughout much of the story. I loved the plot, the characters, and the romance. I can’t wait to read whatever book the author decides to write next!
More by Sophie Sullivan