Review of ‘The Girl Next Door’ by Chelsea M. Cameron
At twenty-two, Iris is reluctantly coming back to live with her parents in Salty Cove, Maine, the small town she couldn’t wait to escape when she finished high school. While she loves her parents and is very grateful for their support, she feels like a failure for not having been able to find a job that would have allowed her to stay in Boston. The good news is, her next-door neighbour is uber hot and seems open to some sort of friendship.
Jude was a few years ahead of Iris at school so they never had any kind of relationship at the time. She’s the last person Iris expected to see in Salty Cove, especially as she now works as a lobsterman, or rather a lobsterwoman. The attraction is instant and mutual, but both fight it, if only because Iris makes it clear from the start that she’s only back temporarily and will run to Boston as soon as she can. Jude is also hiding a dark secret, the reason why she’s lived a very lonely and isolated life for the past two years.
The problem with trigger warnings is that they are also spoilers. In this case, what Jude went through didn’t come out as such a surprise because of it. The author did a good job of bringing it up gradually, which makes it all the more unfortunate.
I often wonder why book people think you can stop yourself from falling in love, like that’s something you have any power over. I’m also glad they do since if they didn’t, there would be a whole lot fewer romance novels around.
I found Jude interesting from the start, not only for her name (duh). I had a little more trouble figuring Iris out, so I decided to trust Jude, who very quickly seems to think she’s bright and shiny and wonderful. Also, her dog is called Dolly Parton, so that helped. I liked the way the relationship evolves, a little too fast but not in an artificial way. There were a few issues with the timeline, as if some paragraphs had been moved around, which added to the feeling of things moving a tad too quickly.
This was my third book by Chelsea M. Cameron and, while I didn’t like it as much as ‘Style‘ or ‘Chord ‘(which I both listened to, and loved how they were narrated by Sophie Daniels), I enjoyed it well enough.
A sweet small town lesbian romance book. 3.5 stars.