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Lakeside #1

Love Next Door

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When Dillion Stitch left her hometown, she had no intention of going back. But when her brother gets into trouble, Dillion reluctantly agrees to return home to take her place at the family business.

Being back in Pearl Lake after all these years feels familiar, but also brings a few surprises. She’s quick to notice that someone new has shown up at the cottage next door. Dillion gets more than an eyeful when she goes to check out the newcomer and meets Donovan “Van” Firestone—her beloved neighbor’s grandson—in all his unclothed glory.

Having gotten off to a rocky start, it’s not long before they begin bickering with each other all over town. All that back and forth inevitably sparks an undeniable attraction. But Dillion’s family has issues, Van’s family resents him, and neither Dillion nor Van feels truly at ease in the small town. For these Pearl Lake exiles, home isn’t just where the heart is—it’s where things get complicated.

299 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 27, 2021

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About the author

Helena Hunting is the author of The USA Today and NYT bestselling PUCKED Series. She lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes everything from romantic sports comedy to new adult angst.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,079 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
September 15, 2021
the best way to describe this would be hallmarky. its not exactly cheesy, but the city boy and the small town girl meeting and falling in love in a lakeside town, while navigating family struggles, is classic hallmark material to me.

this doesnt add anything new to the genre, but its a great book to pick up if you are wanting something safe and reliable. its has good pacing for being considered a ‘slow burn’ (it didnt feel like one to me, personally), the characters are easy to like, and the story is predictable/not difficult to follow.

if you are wanting summer to last just a bit longer, this book will help!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Cristiina♡Reads.
574 reviews3,303 followers
May 17, 2021
A slow, yet riveting romance that will surprise all Helena Hunting readers with it's tenderness and realness...

With high anticipation of falling in love with yet another brand new romance novel by Helena Hunting, my hopes were high and for it's rom com appeal when it comes down to her writing, and low for her emotional writing style. But when I say that this was a slow integration between both character Dillion and Van, it indeed was angsty. You cannot dive into the normal rom com that comes with Helena's name. You are signing up for the story of two characters, with a deep past that connect in a very intense emotional level of convenience.

Living in a small town where everyone knows everything and coming back to this small kale community, is not something that Dillion was looking forward to. Especially when she encounters upon Van seeking refuge from family/business drama that spurt all in the moment. When the off chance arises where Van and Dillion have to work together to fix a family death's wishes, things take a turn for another where their just simple encounter turns from being enemies, to friends.

And when a male and female friend are involved, alongside with attraction and lust there is no denying that there will be a physical connection involved. With the slow romance aside, we also get family connection and family rejection something that is truly appealing for those small town romance trope lovers. With that being said, the angsty side of it did not do it for me, hence my rating but everything else was truly a breath of fresh air in which I look forward to seeing more of hopefully an upcoming series.

ARC kindly provided by Montlake Romance, in exchange for an honest review...

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Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
459 reviews1,032 followers
September 12, 2021
A cute, cheesy and predictable small town romance with some steamy scenes, which is what I was craving in my mini slump!

Dillion escaped her small town but after losing her job, boyfriend and apartment, decides to move home to help her family after an accident.
Van spent his summers at his grandmother's home, and now has to sort out her house, which was left to him.
Both there temporarily, will they find love?

Likeable characters, a lovely lakeside town, family issues, friendships and romance made this an easy and pleasant read. It was nothing new or groundbreaking, but comforting because of that?!

However the issues with Dillion's brother were resolved way too easily and made me roll my eyes, it wasn't handled well at all, and Van's family issues were so obvious. It was all a bit too convenient! The book was also quite repetitive, with both main character's thoughts going round in circles quite a bit. There was also one scene where

Also Dillion's nickname? Weird! It made no sense to me and grated on my nerves!

However, I liked both Dillion and Van, and his grandma sounded like a hoot!

So it had a few issues, and was quite slow moving to begin with, but it was an OK summer read if not a memorable one 🤷🏻‍♀️
Profile Image for Christy.
3,818 reviews32.4k followers
August 3, 2021
3.5 stars

Love Next Door was a slow burn small town romance that I enjoyed.

Dillion has just moved home after a few unfortunate events including losing her job and breaking up with her long term boyfriend. And it's just in time, as her family desperately needs help with the books for the family business. At the same time, Van is coming back to the same small town to finally handle his grandmother's estate, which was left to him.

Dillion and Van are both only back to this small town temporarily, but during this temporary hiatus from the real world and their big city lives, they find love. I liked both Dillion and Van a lot and rooted for them to be together. Van had a lot of family stuff going on, which I found predictable.

This book felt different than a Helena Hunting book to me. It's not a bad thing, just not what I was expecting. Overall I liked it and I'm curious to see who's book will be next in this 'Lakeside' series.

Audio book source: Audible
Story Rating: 3.5 stars
Narrators: Teddy Hamilton and Andi Arndt
Narration Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 8h 47m

March 8, 2022
Helena Hunting scores again, this time without a puck!

The following ratings are out of 5:
Narration: 🎙🎙🎙🎙🎙
Romance: 💛🖤💜💚❤️
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📕📗📘📙📔
World building: 🌎🌍🌏🌎
Character development: 😳☺️🤫😍🥰

The Hero: Donovan “Van” Firestone - He arrives in Pearl Lake to clean out his Grammy Bea’s house on the lake only to find out he has been implicated in the theft of millions of dollars from the foundation he founded. Due to the accusations, he loses his high paying job in Chicago. So he is staying at the lake and out of the limelight while the investigation continues.

The heroine(s): Dillon Stitch - after breaking up with her boyfriend and losing her job, she finds out that her brother broke his leg and her parents need her to come to Pearl lake and help out with the family business. She never wanted to move back to the small town, but doesn’t have much choice.

The Story: Dillon and Van meet in unusual circumstances and neither are in a good mood at the time. They take it out on each other and the next time they meet things don’t get much better. Each of them thinks the other is attractive and Van kind of likes to piss off Dillon.

I like how these two met and the fact that Dillon was angry at Van for the first part of the book while he loved to get on her last nerve. He throws her a few curveballs that really confuse her as well. These two are both mid twenties and were successful in the careers they had in Chicago. Neither wanted to slow down in a small town like Pearl Lake.

As the story goes on they each find that their lives in Chicago were pretty shallow and that in the city they were each focused on making money and buying things to keep up with the Joneses. I like the whole idea of finding what is important in life.

Both Van and Dillon are dealing with family issues in addition to their own and the storylines are all great. I also like that they both really loved Grammy Bea, so can commiserate and reminisce about the beloved old woman who sounded like quite a character.

The narration was perfect. It was done by Teddy Hamilton and Andi Arndt who are both consummate professionals with terrific voices. I love them both and they were perfect for these two characters. This one was another great listen.

Profile Image for Heather Adores Books.
752 reviews242 followers
February 14, 2023

Featuring ~ dual 1st person POV, enemies to lovers, neighbors to lovers, small town, slow burn, good amount of steamage

Dillion couldn't wait to get out of her small town, Pearl Lake, and move to Chicago. Everything goes well for a few years until she loses her job, her boyfriend and her apartment. When her father calls asking her to come home to help out with the family business, she agrees.

Van and Grammy Bee had a special bond, so he was obviously devastated when she passes away. She has left her cottage to him and he takes some vacation time to see what state it's in. There's a scandal going on back home with his family, so he ends up staying in town longer than planned to fix the place up.

Dillion lives right next door and, also, happens to be the executor of Bee's estate. There are a few misunderstandings along the way, but once Dillion and Van get over their issues they were super cute together. Grammy Bee was quite the sneaky one.

I am a big fan of this author and I loved the references to other characters from her other books.
Teagan and Aaron were great side characters, so I look forward to reading their story in the next book in the series.

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Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,150 reviews1,206 followers
March 2, 2022

Dillion + Donovan

Dillion escaped her family and her little lake-side hometown as soon as she finished highschool. But now she's out of a job, out of a boyfriend and out of a place to live. So off she goes back home to help her family with their construction company. Her idiot brother broke his leg - so he's no help at the moment.

Donovan - Van - is in town to check out his late grandma's house - which he inherited. And he kinda is out of a job too, because someone is framing him for stelaing three million dollars from his own charity foundation!
Looks like he'll stay a while to do some renovations and to bicker with his new neighbor.





This was such a cute small-town romance. Of course it's not all cute and funny and sparky and sexy - even though it is all that too. But we have some very serious and mysterious moments too - who is trying to frame Van? What's wrong with Billy? What happens when Dillion and Van or only one of them have to go back to their real lives?
I really enjoyed reading this. I love these gossipy small-town vibes! Everybody knows everbody's business. Adorable!
I wish we could've met Van's grandma - she seems like the greatest person!

Can't wait to read the next book in this series!

Oh .. one tiny little thing. Dillion and her brother never met Van when he visited his grandma for two months every summer! His whole life basically. How is that even possible? I just don't understand. If a new kid shows up in the neighborhood - especially the house next door - you're all over that! You'll hang out, play, swim in the lake, ride your bikes around town and by the end of the summer you're all sad but also excited for him to come back next year, right? So weird!

LOVE NEXT DOOR was an adorable + funny + sparky + sexy + mysterious + just beautiful small town love story! I loved it! Run to your nearest amazon for your own Van - he'll be sold out in no time!

💜 💜

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Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,347 reviews1,419 followers
July 29, 2021
4 Stars!
(ARC provided by Social Butterfly PR/ Montlake)

-"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."


Dillion Stitch left her hometown over a decade ago for life in the big city. Now she's packing up her life in Chicago and returning to Pearl Lake to help with the family business when her brother gets into some trouble. She's twenty eight, and feeling a little lost after a few setbacks, but could use the time home to figure some things out.

So much in the town she always wanted to escape has stayed the same. It's full of nostalgia and the familiar. She's settling in when she notices there is someone new at the house next door. Donovan Firestone is her neighbor's gorgeous grandson, and she soon learns he's also quite annoying. They clash from the moment they meet, and he loves to get under her skin and push her buttons.

Donovan has taken time off work and is looking forward to a peaceful vacation in Pearl Lake. His grandma's cottage on the lake was his haven growing up. Every year he looked forward to spending his summers there. He is there to take care of a few things when he crosses paths with a feisty beautiful woman that intrigues him. She's so fun and easy to rile up, and just the distraction he needs from his troubles. Sparks fly and soon he wants to explore their chemistry. Will his stay be temporary, or will he start to see the town in a whole new light?


Love Next Door by Helena Hunting is an enemies to lovers, small town, slow burn, neighbors summer romance full of fabulous banter and undeniable connections. It has angst, emotion, scandal, family drama, and a ton of heart. I really enjoyed this story about community, friendship, family, trust, love and fate bringing two people together, and I can't wait for more in the Lakeside series! <333


Profile Image for Natasha.
298 reviews306 followers
July 29, 2021
I don't know what's the problem with me lately and the books i pick up🤦‍♀️
When i saw that this is an enemies to lovers i knew that i needed to read, plus small town vibess, yes pls.🤷‍♀️

Andddd i didn't like it😭 It has veryyyyy slooooow start,it's also a slowburn which okay i get it, i love a slowburn when it's enemies to lovers but it was so boringg. There was so much inner monologues and other ppl drama like i don't care who is Sue's baby daddy🤦‍♀️
There was too much going on with the side characters lives that i felt like the romance between the MCs took a backseat.
Yes their banter was cute when they had a scene together which in the beginning was not very often and then when they started getting along and developed a friends with benefits relationship i lost all interest and it became even more boring.
Also i didn't feel any chemistry between them and the enemies part was out of nowhere, like there wasn't any reason for the "hate" other than i saw you i don't like you.🙄
Profile Image for Alba and Her Secrets..♥.
808 reviews1,016 followers
July 27, 2021
4 'Forever summer love' Stars!
ARC provided via Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.

I love an author that wants to dip her toes in romance sub-genres / troupes she hasn’t tried yet so I was definitely excited when Helena Hunting announced her new series with Montlake, focused on a small town and its residents. This is not what you would normally expect from Helena, but it still has all the aspects you enjoy in her creations. Get ready to fall in love with Pearl Lake and the sweet and slow burn romance between Van and Dillion!

So, Love Next Door is the first installment in Helena’s new series called Lakeside. This is an enemies-to-lovers / neighbors romance between Dillion Stitch and Donovan “Van” Firestone. These two have a rocky start and every time they face each other, the back and forth between them becomes stronger. However, that “hate” is not the only thing in their way since they find impossible not to act on the tension and chemistry between them. Will their summer romance be only that or have Van and Dillion found their home in each other?

“Do you, Dillion?” The end of his nose brushes my knuckle. “Like what you see, that is.”
Another shiver runs through me. “Tonight, I do.” It’s a breathy whisper.
He peeks up at me and grins. “And before tonight?”
“I was on the fence.”
“What changed?”
“Tonight you showed me the real you.”

I do love a sweet romance from time to time and Helena definitely delivered on that with Love Next Door. This is not her typical style, which leans more towards romcom steamy romance. This was a slow burn, simmering love story that started with two characters “hating” each other and it turns into so much more when they realize they have more in common than either expected. Their connection starts from their relationship with Van’s gram and a cottage full of summer memories. I loved how Helena developed the interactions between these two and also the relationships between families and friends. It definitely got me excited to read more and made me enjoy even more Van and Dillion’s love story. These two were so cute together and I am so glad they found this beautiful connection!

“You’re my person, Dillion. You gave me a reason to put down roots. You make this place home. You’re my summer love that turned into forever.”

Therefore, I am rating Love Next Door with 4 STARS because it was a sugary sweet start to Helena’s new series and a wonderful introduction to this world and characters. I am a sucker for small town romance and this series looks it will be right up my alley! I loved Van and Dillion together, I loved the secondary characters and how this love story was developed. I cannot wait to read more and I hope Teagan’s book is next because I need it after those teasers towards the end!

Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,206 reviews927 followers
August 19, 2021
Dillion Stitch left her hometown of Pearl Lake over a decade ago and never looked back. Her dream was to live in the city (Chicago) and it began with college, which led to a job she loved following graduation, a boyfriend and her own apartment. Now the boyfriend is gone, her company folded and she’s got to find a new place to live. Then her father calls and asks for her to help with the family construction business over the summer while her brother recuperates from injuries sustained in a car accident. So, she returns home, reluctant to face her friends she left behind, feeling like a failure. That’s only compounded when she discovers her beloved next door neighbor’s grandson, Donovan (Van) Firestone, has moved in and their first encounter was less than harmonious to say the least.

I guess you could call this an enemies-to-lovers romance but Dillion and Van didn’t have much of a history prior to their first meeting as adults. They got off on the wrong foot and found ways to continue irritating each other until they didn’t. What happened in between that time was fun and engaging. He’s returned to Pearl Lake to work on his grandmother’s house following her death, leaving his life in Chicago behind, which has suddenly soured. Dillion is also trying to mend relationships with her former friends and her own family. The story has a lot of layers and the developing romance between these two is only one aspect of the many issues both face.

This was my first time reading the author, despite having many of her books! I enjoyed her writing style, even though others familiar with Hunting feel this is a slight departure from her norms. I found Dillion and Van to be well developed characters who were surrounded by other strongly defined ones, which is a good foundation for the start of a series. I’m glad two narrators were used because both of them had strong points of view and shared equal time. Andi Arndt is one of my favorites and she shone here. Teddy Hamilton is fairly new for me and I liked his voice for Van. Everything about the story worked, including the family drama on both sides and how tough it can be to return home but also redefine old relationships.

Posted on Blue Mood Café

(Thanks to Brilliance Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,940 reviews1,552 followers
August 2, 2021
I let this go a couple of days and had a hard time remembering much about it. Like, it took a few minutes for major plot points to re-emerge. That's seldom a good sign.

I liked both main characters well-enough. Dillion irked me a bit for putting up with crap and being a bit of a shirker with hard things. Like, it takes her days to do things she knows need to be done (and the sooner the better). And Van isn't much better. I mean, he gets stuff done, but he's a "stand back and see how things play out" kind of guy and that doesn't do well for me, either. So the plot feels a bit slow, even though as I remember stuff that happened, it's quite a lot.

It was nice to be along as Dillion rebuilt relationships she had abandoned in her immature flight from her hometown years before. Though some of it seemed a little too easy (like the girl group going all tight-knit so fast). It was less nice for the whole bit with her brother. I think the author leaned a little too hard on the eventual reveal of . Which meant that things wrapped up with that seemed way too easy.

And the villain of the piece a) took their time manifesting and b) was exactly who it had to be. Only with a side of mustache-twirl that dissed my gruntle more than a little. Also there was a lot of deus in the machina in that plot ending, too.

Anyway, it was good enough that I stayed on to the end. And enjoyed it while reading. But it wasn't more than a solid three stars when all is said.

A note about Steamy: I wish I hadn't left it so long to review. There was explicit sex. It was within my steam tolerance. I can't be more detailed because reasons. Sigh.
Profile Image for Heroesinbooks.
1,052 reviews280 followers
August 17, 2021
4 Dillion and Van Stars

I am very excited about this new series by Helena Hunting, She is one of my 'go to' authors and I think she writes awesome stories and this was no exception.

Set in Pearl Lake , Dillion is the local girl who returns home after her own life takes a bit of an unexpected turn and her family back home good really use her help. Van has also returned to the small town but he is there to sort out his Granny's estate (D's old neighbour).

Grammy Bee , Van's Grandma , had a lot of time for Dillion when she was young and she probably spent more time with her than her own family did. Van would visit every Summer but the two of them don't recall meeting - D would stay away when Grammy Bee had people to stay.

Van is a gorgeous hero. He is having family issues of his own and despite on the surface having a privileged life , he actually seems very much on his own. I felt sad for him being by himself , sorting out his beloved Granny's cottage by the lake.

Dillion grew on me. I thought that she was trying hard to deny her roots at the start. She was a contradiction in many ways - on one hand doing everything she can to get away from small town America and almost resenting the town and the life she had had but then once she settled back in she was really protective of her fellow townspeople and I loved that she is very loyal to those she loves. When the chips are down , Dillion will have your back.

Initially they set out as enemies of sorts , but it's more down to some misunderstandings. The attraction between them is strong but they have a delicious slow burn and once that emotional and physical connection happens ...whoa! It's hot. If I had been living in D's trailer , I would have been distracted by the hottie in the cottage too.

This was a lovely read. It's funny , sad , romantic , sexy and I am looking forward to more about the residents of Pearl Lake especially if the next couple might be Teagan and Aaron....

Also, I just have to ask - do you ever read a book by a well loved author , discover they have included characters from another series and then do a complete fan girl whilst reading? I did!

Seriously , the Bowman's ( A Lie for a Lie ) and the Kingston's (A Secret for a Secret) live on the other side of the Lake and every time they were mentioned I was thinking , "OMG , I know them!" They were off page but it makes me happy when previous characters come up and when there was mention of an unfortunate incident with a dock spider I was all , "That's Miller's spider junk incident!!" (Pucked Up).

I listened and read - great narration by Andi Arndt and Teddy Hamilton. Listening time 8hrs 47 mins.

HEA? More HFN , because I am sure we will catch up with them in future books.
Cheating? No
Profile Image for book bruin.
1,143 reviews282 followers
July 5, 2021
2.5 stars

This was a cute small town romance, but unfortunately it lacked that usual Helena Hunting spark that I love so much. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with the characters, but I just didn't feel invested. It was a very slow start and it wasn't until the 30-40% mark that things started to pick up. The enemies trope felt very forced and though the banter between Dillion and Van was playful, the progression of their relationship didn't feel natural. There were also a lot of characters and subplots to keep track of that bogged down the central romance. The overall story was entertaining, but it was very formulaic and some of the subplots (especially the ones concerning Van and Dillion's families) wrapped up very quickly and conveniently after so much build up. The epilogue was very sweet though and I appreciated that both Dillion and Van made compromises to find their happily ever after. I'm curious about Van's sister, Teagan, and her sparks with Aaron, but I'm not sure if I'm curious enough to continue on with this series.

CW: death of loved ones (aneurysm, complications from surgery), DUI and drunk driving accident (minor), mentions of cheating (not the H/h), mental illness - bipolar disorder and paranoia, blackmail/fraud

*I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*
Profile Image for HeyitsMony.
45 reviews82 followers
July 10, 2022
Лятно четиво.
Книга, която е идеална за плажа или ако сте някъде на почивка.

Историята разказва за Дилиън, която живее в Чикаго, но се налага да се върне в родното си градче Пърл Лейк, защото брат ѝ се забърква в неприятности и тя трябва да помага на него и на родителите му.

Когато се завръща там, хората реагират по различни начини на нейното завръщане, защото някои са обидени, поради причината, че Дилиън не се завръща в Пърл Лейк близо 10 години. Градчето е малко и клюките се разпространяват много бързо.

Бившият ѝ приятел е там и веднага, след като тя пристига попада на него и продължават да имат караници и несгоди помежду си.

Дилиън разбира, че съседната къща вече не принадлежи на старият собственик, а е завещана на нов човек, именно Ван Файърстоун, с който Дил е задължена да се запознае, понеже вече са съседи. Двамата не се разбират много един с друг, но с времето се сближават.

Повече няма да казвам, главно историята се върти между Ван и Дилиън. Романтична книга. Ненатоварваща и интересна.
Profile Image for Auntee.
1,282 reviews1,382 followers
August 14, 2021
Not bad after it finally got going. I understand that with a first book in a series, there’s lots to establish with setting and characters. This one just took some time to hold my interest. And I can’t really pinpoint why. But 2 weeks to finish a book is unusual for me. Maybe it’s because it reads like women’s fiction rather than a contemporary romance to me? Anyway I’m going to chalk it up to being because it’s the first in the series. Looking forward to Teagen and Aaron’s story and hopefully it will grab my interest.
3 1/2 stars
Profile Image for Jeeves Reads Romance.
1,400 reviews495 followers
July 25, 2021
Sorry to say that this bored me - from start to finish. I typically love HH's books and jumped at the chance to read this series starter, but if I didn't know that it was written by her, I wouldn't have known. And I would've DNF'd it without hesitation. Unfortunately, this has a VERY laidback, small town feel that doesn't really focus on the romance. It gets distracted by so many different side characters, non-essential interactions, and family drama. There are actually very, very few scenes between our couple in the first half, and then they just felt like friends with benefits after that. While this is technically well written, I was so bored that I didn't really care about anything that was happening - and at a certain point, I was reading more to get a peek at characters from future books. And I don't like many of them either. That's not ideal. There's nothing terribly "wrong" with this book, it's just not compelling.

The story follows Dillion and Van, two people who have returned (temporarily) to the small town they once called home. Dillion has come home to help her family, and catching up with former friends has made old memories come rushing back. She never planned to stay in her small town, and doesn't now either. When Dillion officially meets her neighbor, Van, their interactions never seem to go as planned. Van is staying in his grandmother's home and dealing with his own issues. As the two get to know each other better, they discover that they might have more in common than expected, and their futures could look very different than anticipated.

I'll say this: HH does a great job of making this feel like a small town romance, even if some things rubbed me the wrong way. It's a slower-paced, family-focused kind of read, as much about rediscovering yourself as anything else. It's also very stereotypical, with few surprises and a lot of tired tropes. I can't say that I love the representation of small towns or the people who live in them, nor did I particularly like ANY of the characters (the cheating ex, the sleazy brother, the sister who slips pills into drinks). Van had a lot of potential, but he never lived up to it. Dillion never won me over, and the romance wasn't prominent enough for me to like them together. If the rest of the series is the same way, then I probably won't stick around past the next book. We shall see - this was definitely disappointing. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this small town romance.
Profile Image for Jessica Alcazar.
3,926 reviews446 followers
November 7, 2022
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 :)
Profile Image for Fanny.
2,134 reviews54 followers
October 7, 2021

He disfrutado leyendo Love Next Door, es cierto que no deja de ser un romance sencillo y con unos toques predecibles, pero a pesar de eso, la lectura me ha parecido muy ligera y entretenida, tal vez si hubiesemos llegado a conocer mas profundamente a la pareja protagonista me hubiese encariñado mas con ellos, aun asi, fueron unos personajes correctos.

La novela como todo lo que escribe Helena Hunting es agil de leer, sobre todo porque todo el libro tiene un aire tan relajado y de vacaciones que pasar los capitulos es casi una " obligacion ".

Quizas le hubiera cambiado ciertos detalles, creo que la subtrama de Billy pudo haber sido mejor desarrollada, especialmente, debido a que es un tema con mucho valor que deberia tener la importancia que se merece, no obstante, en general considero que la escritora hizo un buen trabajo con la historia, tiene un buen equilibrio entre el romance y las tramas secundarias.

Para finalizar, Love Next Door fue una experiencia amena. No es el libro de tu vida pero para leer entre historias mas intensas, es ideal, creo que es la opcion idonea para un dia de playa o piscina, tiene ese aire simple que busco en ese tipo de momentos de relax.

2.75 Estrellas!
Profile Image for Carmen Rae.
1,460 reviews174 followers
August 2, 2021
I read the blurb for this and thought it sounded sweet. Then I read a few reviews, and someone wrote that it wasn't what we have come to expect from a Helena Hunting novel as it was emotional. And although I get what they mean I have to disagree with that opinion. Helena Hunting has plenty of emotions in her books it's just that you can normally expect to laugh out loud while reading them.

This didn't have those laugh out loud moments. It also didn't have her usual quirky characters. Both Van and Dillion were just normal people dealing with the curve balls life throws. And yeah, their curve balls were coming in fast and hard, but it was all real, family drama. And it was a lot for them to deal with.

I seriously loved that it felt so real. There was so much depth to both characters and the things they were going through were so relatable. The relationship developed so organically, and they both dealt with it perfectly.

So, while I didn't get a typical Helena Hunting novel, I feel like I got an awesome read. And although I missed the laugh out loud moments the story was so captivating and easy to read, I actually forgot that they were missing.
Profile Image for ❤️ Nanda ❤️.
673 reviews304 followers
June 29, 2022
I absolutely adored this book!
It was sweet, funny, romantic and even if there's some predictability to the story, like every other small town novel, I really enjoyed my time listening to this one!

Donovan was perfect and Dylan was strong and independent, something that usually is missing in this trope, so I adored her!

The point of conflict wasn't a break up and I'm so glad that I've been reading books with different plot twists! I'm definitely happy about the change!

I certainly recommend this audiobook!
Profile Image for Shamashtika.
199 reviews
August 4, 2021

Great read, good characters. Story was good too, nothing too memorable but it was nice light read to pass time while working or multitasking
Profile Image for Simply Love Book Reviews.
6,952 reviews827 followers
November 4, 2021
I love that Helena Hunting is writing more main stream contemporary romances not that I haven’t loved her previous works, but I love seeing authors break out of their norm and move in different directions. I adored Love Next Door. Two people both whose lives have taken strange turns end up in the small town of Pearl Lake where the heroine grew up and couldn’t wait to leave and the hero spent summers with his grandmother and hated when it was time to go home. Somehow the magic of this small town and the people in it, and probably a bit of growing up on both their parts have them realizing how special the town is and how at home they both feel there. There was a bit more angst to this story than I normally enjoy, but not so much that it turned me off from the book. It was a charming, enemies to lovers story that I found hard to put down.

Dillion Stitch left her hometown for college and basically never returned. She came home for holidays and such but spent it with her family. She left behind friends who she didn’t keep in touch with and a town full of people who had watched her grow up and who cared about her. After the company she works for moved out of Chicago, her boyfriend left for a job on the east coast, and the apartment she was supposed to rent isn’t available Dillion is trying to figure out her next move when her father calls and says he needs her help. Her brother had a wreck and broke his leg and without Dillion’s help running the office so her dad can take her brother’s place on the jobsites, they’ll be in trouble. With her life already in turmoil, Dillion agrees to go back home until the new year knowing full well she’s going to have amends to make with her friends she left behind, her family, and the people of the town. She just doesn’t realize she’s going to have to put up with a new neighbor that drives her crazy.

Donovan (Van) Firestone is in Pearl Lake to settle his grandmother’s estate and to work on the lake cottage she lived in most of her life. He has such fond memories of the town and while he knows he can get a lot of money for the place, he’s not sure he wants to sell it. He doesn’t expect to get a call from his father tell him that the foundation they run in his mother’s name is missing millions of dollars and he (Van) is the number one suspect. Advised to stay away from Chicago and let the investigators figure things out, the last thing he needs is some strange woman in his grandmother’s home walking around like she owns the place and to find out that she’s the executor of the estate he’s been communicating with for months. He also doesn’t expect to find her attractive especially when it’s obvious she thinks he’s only out to sell the place and take and money and run.

These two get off on the wrong foot and continue to fight and fling verbal assaults towards each other for awhile, then Van steps in when Dillion is obviously uncomfortable with some of the things her ex-boyfriend is saying and she begins to see him in a new light. I enjoyed watching them learn so much about each other, sharing stories about Van’s grandmother, and being there for one another when things were confusing and crazy. Their support of each other was something I loved so much so I was a bit disappointed when Van made a critical error in judgment sending their burgeoning relationship to pieces.

While I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed, I was also satisfied with how things turned out on all fronts. Helena Hunting has always been a go to author for me and Love Next Door was a delight to read!

Review copy provided for a voluntary review.
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,736 reviews941 followers
August 16, 2021
The sex scenes were hot, but the book just felt too messy. There is a lot going on in this one and things didn't even make a lot of sense concerning Van's grandmother (no spoilers). I don't know. I think that having both Van and Dillion (and her nickname also makes no sense) with huge things going on made it hard to focus the story. Enemies to lovers romance can work, but honestly, we went from heavy duty enemies to an abrupt shift to lovers that didn't work very well. And then the book just drags and drags until we get obstacles tossed our way. I just found myself bored while reading.

"Love Next Door" follows Dillion who leaves Chicago to return to her hometown of Pearl Lake to help her father run his business. Dillion was hell-bent on getting out of Pearl Lake, and now that she is home has to deal with the fall out of her not being around much in the 10 years since she left. Van (Donovan) comes to Pearl Lake to deal with his grandmother's estate. Her home is next door to Dillion's family home and when the two meet, there's nothing but anger on both sides. But as they keep running into each other (and still being nasty) they still feel attracted.

Eh. I don't know. Dillion (or Darlin) I felt for. I was that girl/woman too who was determined to get out of her small town. So I don't think that she should have felt bad for leaving, but not staying in touch with people was definitely on her. Dillion's family has a lot to deal with since her younger brother is having some serious problems that her parents don't want to acknowledge. But considering her background in college and whatnot, I thought she would be used to help resolve Van's issue and she was not.

Van has serious issues going on too (no spoilers) and honestly the backstory on how his mother died was beyond bizarre to me. I laughed at first (which probably was not a great reaction to it) but then finding out why his grandmother was estranged from his dad made me sad. I am still baffled at the whole secret thing she had going on. It never really gets explained.

So the two of them (Dillion and Van) for the most part don't really do anything about said issues, but talk about them with other people. It's the 80 percent point, I think, before some of their issues start getting resolved.

The other characters are not developed very well (Van's family at times comes across as cartoonish) and the small town vibe that I think Hunting wanted to do, was not highlighted very well. I wanted to get a better sense of things and what made it so special.

The dialogue was fine, but the flow was not. I think someone called out the third act conflict, and honestly I agree. The third act conflict was pretty dumb and it made zero sense. And things got resolved in like 10 seconds.

I hope the next book goes into Pearl Lake a bit more.

The ending was ehh to me.
Profile Image for Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•.
2,395 reviews205 followers
September 6, 2021
Dillion may have enjoyed growing up on the shores of Pearl Lake but as soon as she was able to leave for college and start her own career she was outta there. It’s not that she didn’t like it, she just needed to spread her wings - like a lot of people who grow up in small towns.

After receiving a call from her parents needing her help, she decides that seeing as everything else in her life is going in the wrong direction she may as well head home for a while to see what she can do. Upon arrival she finds she won’t be staying in her childhood bedroom but in the trailer home in the backyard. At least she will find her own peace and privacy there. First thing she wants to do is check on the old cottage next door, it belonged to Bee, her beloved childhood old neighbour who recently passed away. The last thing Dillion expected to find in Bee’s living room room is a very naked man - Donovan Firestone. Well that’s one first impression she will never forget!

Dillion’s family own a construction business and after her brother injures himself in an accident, her dad needs to pick up the tools again and really needs help in the office. Dillion quickly sees some changes she can make to improve the systems and proves an invaluable asset to her dad. After being at home for just a few days she can see that there is more going on with her brother than she realised and it’s going to be more complicated than she first thought.

Dillion can’t seem to avoid bumping into her new neighbour Van (Donovan), he seems to have rubbed her completely the wrong way and she is filled with snarlie sarcasm each time they talk. Donovan finds it very amusing, he loves that she is a spitfire and he wants to know more about this beautiful, intriguing woman. This may include finding opportunities to rile her up :)

All of this pent up annoyance Dillion has all comes to an end when she realises that Van isn’t the bad guy she thought he was, in fact they have much more in common that she realised. She sees that he truly loved his grandmother and misses her dearly. Spending time with Van becomes her favourite thing to do and when things move into a more than friendship zone the undeniable attraction they have ignites.

This is a different kind of story from Helena Hunting and is the perfect weekend/holiday read. Low angst, plenty of romance and enough steam to keep me turning the pages.
Profile Image for Ang C.
724 reviews102 followers
September 10, 2021
Bored best describes my experience with "Love Next Door" as the characters and story-line were so uninteresting. Found myself skimming a good amount of this book. Disappointed since HH is one of my must read authors.
Profile Image for Elisa ♡.
652 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2021
summer love with a little bit mystery

if you're looking for a book to listen to while you do other things, this is the book for you.
Profile Image for Jacqueline.
1,628 reviews148 followers
July 11, 2022
I miss the funny, bantering HH, this was a bit meh for me. It stated promisingly with a bit of intrigue but then that was resolved without a whimper and it became about career vs lurve. It was ok but I was hoping for more.

Complete story, available on ku and listen free on ku.
Profile Image for Ambresha Holt.
81 reviews
July 31, 2021
In love with this book.

Dillion gives Van a run for his money and each of their encounters turn into the best set of hilarious scenes.

All I will say is Grammy Bee, shower scene, cabin chair scene, and brother in a lake scene.

Hilarious and heart warming great read. Completely recommend
Profile Image for Nadine.
1,157 reviews222 followers
July 9, 2021
Love Next Door is a fun and cute summer read. Readers follow Dillion as she returns to her hometown to help her parents with the family business. Once there, she meets Donovan and sparks fly. Love Next Door is your typical beach read. It’s a light hearted romance with just enough substance to give readers something to hold on to.

I identified immediately with Dillion. She spent her whole teenage life wanting to leave the town where she grew up only to have to go back. Throughout Love Next Door, Dillion learns a lot about her past and present self. I’m a sucker for novels where the protagonist goes back to her hometown and has to deal with what she left behind.

Donovan strikes a good balance between sensitive and assertive. There are few moments that his assertiveness comes out and they were fantastic. The majority of the plot revolves around Donovan and the reason for his stay at Pearl Lake. It’s an interesting aside that resolves quickly and efficiently.

The tension between the main characters was minimal for a typical Hunting read. If you’ve read her others novels, you’ll find Love Next Door tame in comparison. However, Dillion and Donovan’s connection feels genuine and destined to be.

I wish Love Next Door was a little longer and featured scenes from the past. However, I think this would have changed the dynamic of the narrative, but it would have been interesting nonetheless.

Overall, Love Next Door is the perfect summer read. It features a beautiful romance, wholesome characters, and an interesting side plot.

*** I received an ARC via Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.
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