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January 16, 2022

How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan ~ a Review

by MK French

Grace is finishing school, working odd jobs, and has a fixer upper home, eager to have a place to belong. Noah Jansen lives next door and wants to expand by buying the cottage next door. She won't sell, and the two engage in an all out feud.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

How to Love Your Neighbor
January 2022; Griffin; 978-1250624185
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); Romantic comedy

Clearly, this is an enemies-to-lovers kind of novel, and Sophie Sullivan knows how to bring on the humor. Grace's life is hectic as she moves from one job to the next and interacts with all the grandfather figures in her life. Her mother isn't in her life much, and the house was left to her by her grandmother. Noah is determined to buy her house and use the land to recreate the home life he had as a child when his family was all together and happy. We automatically see the conflict between them, and they keep going back and forth, irritating each other during home repairs and renovations on both homes. Grace is doing much of it herself, using her interior design knowledge and practical life skills, and Noah is used to hiring on people.

As a romance, we get to see different sides of Grace and Noah. Admittedly, I like Noah a lot more when he's around other people and not Grace. The two needle each other so much in the first third, mostly because Noah insists on pushing her to sell her home and won't take no for an answer. Once he starts realizing how he comes across to others and softens his approach to people in his life, he becomes far more likable. As renovations continue, Grace and Noah continue to orbit each other, getting to know each other and their families, their likes and dislikes, and what matters most to them.

The friends-to-lovers aspect was gradually and realistically done as they worked together for the sake of a magazine spread that would have given both of them positive exposure. I gradually liked Noah as the book went on, and could see what Grace saw in him. Some of their friends served as foils to their relationship, showing what they could be if only they let go of their preconceived notions. It was a fun read, and makes fixing up houses sound easy even when I know it isn't!

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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