cover image The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

Chelsea M. Cameron. Carina Adores, $14.99 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-335-14694-6

Cameron (My Favorite Mistake) conjures an idyllic coastal Maine setting for this pleasant tale about second chances between two perfectly mismatched heroines. Iris Turner always harbored dreams of leaving her small hometown of Salty Cove, so it’s particularly galling to be back after college with hardly a penny to her name and few plans for the future. But when her sexy neighbor, Jude Wicks, catches her eye, Iris begins to wonder if her summer at home might be more worthwhile than she first assumed. Jude works on a lobster boat while grieving her first love, who recently died of cancer. Though she tries to resist her feelings for Iris, it proves impossible given their close proximity. Iris and Jude savor a summer fling, but Iris is still determined to prove to herself and her parents that she can make it in Boston come fall—unless Jude can find the courage to ask her to stay. The plot is straightforward and allows the characters the chance to take center stage, and though Iris’s immaturity grows frustrating, deeply empathetic Jude provides an excellent foil that makes their pairing work. This simple, emotional story may not have much depth, but it has plenty of charm. (June)