cover image Love Next Door

Love Next Door

Helena Hunting. Montlake, $12.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2930-8

This uneven series launch from Hunting (Kiss My Cupcake) takes readers to a sleepy small town sharply divided between townies and wealthy vacationers. Dillion Stitch fled Pearl Lake right out of high school, but when she loses her job, boyfriend, and Chicago apartment and her father asks for help with the family business while her brother, Billy, recovers from a car accident, she reluctantly returns. Donovan “Van” Firestone also heads back to town to renovate the cottage his Grammy Bee willed to him. He’s not sure he’s ready to handle all the memories of his childhood visits that the house will stir up, but when his father informs him that millions are missing from his late mother’s memorial foundation and all signs point to the innocent Van, his weekend getaway turns into a much longer stay to avoid the media storm. Dillion is the executor of Bee’s will and she’s determined to prevent Van from dividing her beloved neighbor’s property and selling it to the highest bidder. Luckily, Van has no intention of selling—but he does enjoy ruffling Dillion’s feathers. After a slow beginning, the couple’s electric chemistry gets the plot moving, though a rushed, simplistic subplot about Billy’s mental health disappoints. Despite the sweet romance, this makes an underwhelming series start. [em]Agent: Kimberly Brower, Brower Lit. (Aug.) [/em]