Book Review: How to Love Your Neighbor (ARC)

Expected publication: January 18th 2022

Author: Sophie Sullivan

Enemies-to-lovers meets HGTV in this frothy, effervescent romantic comedy from Sophie Sullivan, author of Ten Rules for Faking It.

Interior Design School? Check. Cute house to fix up? Check.

Sexy, grumpy neighbor who is going to get in the way of your plans? Check. Unfortunately.

Grace Travis has it all figured out. In between finishing school and working a million odd jobs, she’ll get her degree and her dream job. Most importantly, she’ll have a place to belong, something her harsh mother could never make. When an opportunity to fix up—and live in—a 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. As a real estate developer, he knows when he’s found something special. Something he could even call home. Provided he can expand by taking over the house next door–the house with the combative and beautiful 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 show you that home is always where the heart is.

How to Love Your Neighbor features Noah, who is the brother of Chris, one of the main characters from Ten Rules for Faking It. While there is some crossover with the characters, it is not necessary to read the other to understand this story. This novel revolves around Grace Travis, a design student who works at a coffee shop and as a dog walker in California. When she is walking some dogs for her clients where she first runs into Noah Jansen, although their initial encounter is brief. Both Grace and Noah come from different backgrounds where she grew up poor and he came from a financially wealthy family.

Grace inherits her moth’s childhood home, where she wants to use her design background to renovate it. The house is a mixed blessing, as Grace does not have the best relationship with her mother as her mother blamed Grace for things that went wrong in her life. On the other side is Noah, who also has his own contentious relationship with his father, a controlling individual. Noah has moved into a beach house that happens to be next door to a rundown property. To increase his own property’s value, he is determined to buy it; however, that property happens to be owned by Grace. This begins a fun enemies-to-lovers story as the two butt heads while also fighting their initial chemistry. Both characters have something to prove as they search for a place to settle down and each wants to accomplish their goals on their own.

Overall, the moments between Grace and Noah were very cute and they had great chemistry. As this is an enemies-to-lovers story, I wish that there were more of a build-up before their relationship started moving towards the next step. It seemed that they were towards the lovers side a lot quicker than I initially expected and then it moves to them just trying to make it work along with their own family tensions. The home renovation and design elements were very fun as they connected to the HGTV-lover side of me. Both characters are involved in this DIY-type world in some way, so it was nice to see their approaches to the subject and it weaving together with their budding romance.  While I would have loved a little more with the romance, the two characters were very enjoyable and the home projects were very entertaining. All in all, this was a fun story that makes me want to read more from the author!

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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