How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan #BookReview #RomCom

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.

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan is a story that will keep a smile on your face from start to finish.  Grace Travis inherits a small beach house from her grandparents, and Noah lives in the large house next door.  He wants Grace’s place to expand his own property and refuses to take no for an answer.  From there, the story takes on laugh-out-loud proportions as neither is willing to back down.

What I Enjoyed:

What I most loved about this story is how truly happy it made me from start to finish.  It’s such a feel-good story perfect for escaping into and while away a few hours or your weekend.

I also loved the home improvement angle that the story takes.  I watch a lot of HGTV myself, so I could easily fall into the designing, competitions, and just general home improvements each was doing.  These aspects also provide the genuinely laugh-out-loud moments in the story, and they are such a pure delight.

The banter between Grace and Noah is a lot of fun also. I’m a big fan of the enemies to lovers trope, so that really wasn’t a surprise that I would enjoy them so much. The relationship felt genuine, and their chemistry leaped off the page for me.

What I Wish:

The only thing that stood out to me was that there is no actual focused conflict in the story – one that the story truly pivots around.  There is a conflict between Grace and Noah, but it is resolved relatively early.  Some minor disputes create bursts of tension but not one overall one.  I missed that in this story, though I did not want the predictable conflict many romcoms use.  I think the elements were there to create a more significant conflict that Noah and Grace, maybe together, needed to overcome.

Characters:

Grace had to struggle all of her life, and through sheer determination alone, she has what little she does.  She doesn’t know the identity of her biological father, and her mother only contacts her when she wants something – usually money.  She is the kind of person who you want to help because she works so hard and doesn’t ask for anything in return.

Noah was born to a family of means and has never wanted anything.  Except when it comes to his own identity in the business world.  He wants to come out from his dad’s shadow and show the world a more caring type of developer, as his grandfather was.  Giving back to the community and making a name for himself is all he really wants if only his father will let him out from underneath his thumb.

Reminds Me Of:

This romcom reminds me of ones written by another writer named Sophie (Kinsella). The lack of gratuitous sex scenes or any really (very PG), the laugh-out-loud humor, and the relatableness of the story are things both Sophie’s share in their storytelling.

To Read or Not to Read:

If you are looking for a story that will put a smile on your face and make your heart feel warm and fuzzy, How to Love Your Neighbor is just what you are looking for in your next read.

56 Replies to “How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan #BookReview #RomCom”

  1. Great review, Tessa! I read this one too and thought it was enjoyable enough but like something was missing. Perhaps it was like you mentioned and what was missing was the bit of tension to drive the story a little bit. I think it would’ve given our characters something to work towards together? Maybe? Lol. I really enjoyed the home improvement aspects though!

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    1. You know, how in many romcoms they break up over a misunderstanding but have to find their way back together. I didn’t want that, but they needed something defining like that, I think. Something with the parents maybe. The potential seemed to be there but then only happened in very small inconsequential ways.

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  2. Reminds you of a Sophie Kinsella RomCom??!! That’s fantastic! I’ve already shelved this but am excited about it now. Excellent review, Tessa💜 I watch a lot of HGTV these days, too.

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    1. HGTV is totally my go to when I don’t know what to watch ❤️. This story made me so happy as I read and totally reminded me of the things I enjoy about Kinsella novels. Hope you enjoy it. Read it when you need a light pick me up. 🤗

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  3. Fantastic review. I hate forced angst but then I dislike bland, nothing-really-happens stories even more! Still the sheer warmth of a well written rom-com easily makes up for those shortfalls.

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  4. I was planning on starting this last night but I’m having issues with my ARC from NetGalley. I reached out to them but of course they are closed today.

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      1. I have the kindle app on my iPhone but I have the NetGalley Shelf on my phone too. That’s actually where my problem is. It’s saying the book already exists when I try to download it.

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          1. I’m sorry.
            And it doesn’t show up on NetGalley Shelf or you just can’t open it/read it? And you tried downloading it again to kindle after deleting the one already in your kindle – completely off your device?
            That’s odd but the publisher will understand if you put it in the note to them once you can finally get into it.

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          2. It shows up on NetGalley Shelf but when I click on the book and hit download it says it already exists but doesn’t give me the option to read it. It never sent to my kindle even though I chose for it to be sent to my kindle. It sent it to the shelf instead.

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          3. I’m bad at Kindle troubleshooting but I poked around a bit and this is what they recommend: Manually sync Kindle for iOS.
            Tap the More icon, and then tap Sync.

            Don’t know if that will do anything but the book downloaded to my kindle fine back when I got it. You maybe could try contacting Kindle support.

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          4. I didn’t think about doing that but it didn’t work either. I’m also trying to see if the kindle email is maybe wrong.

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          5. I changed the kindle email although I’m not entirely sure why it wasn’t right because I haven’t changed anything. NetGalley is still approved to send me stuff but it’s still not sending to my Kindle. I really have no clue what is going on.

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          6. Give it a little time and after say an hour, check again. Also do a search just in case it’s on there but not showing where you expect it.

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          7. Ok I will give it a try in an hour or so and if it’s still not working I give up until NetGalley contacts me. Thank you so much for all of your help.

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      2. I have the kindle app on my iPhone. The book I’m trying to read isn’t working on the NetGalley Shelf. I’ve been emailing back and forth with NetGalley and apparently they know there’s an issue with some books not working in the NetGalley Shelf and they are working on fixing it but they can’t figure out why the books aren’t sending to my kindle.

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        1. Did they have any suggestions? The only things I can think of are the ones we discussed- checking NetGalley to make sure they have the right email and Amazon to make sure NetGalley is on your approved list – which you did. I have had them delayed before but only by a day at most but I’ve never had then not come through.

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          1. They didn’t have anything new to add. They told me to check everything I already checked, had me send screenshots just so they could see that it was right and told me to check under docs instead of books. They removed and readded my kindle address and tried manually sending it to me as well and it’s still not working. The only new thing they told me was to download another app called the PocketBook reader app but I don’t want to have to use another app. That defeats the purpose of having the kindle app. The guy I was talking to sent it over to someone else to see if she could help and she asked me if I had done everything he asked me to do and then asked if we could try sending it to another device but I only have one other device with the kindle app on it and it’s not very reliable. After I told her that she never responded to my email so I don’t know what else to do. I even asked if I should reach out to Amazon and she said they wouldn’t be able to assist with their books.

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          2. Well, I will say this. I just tried PocketBook, and I really like it. It’ll even read to you plus you can do all the things you can in Kindle and set it to any font you can think of. I had to log in or create an Adobe account and a PocketBook account and then went to NetGalley – hit epub – download – at the bottom of the screen it showed the download and open in – I selected open in and then PocketBook and there it was.

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          3. With the way things are going I’m going to end up having to create an account. I don’t have an adobe account so I will have to create that too.

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          4. It’s easy. I’m not sure about Adobe because I already had an account, but they just asked me to enter an email address and password and that was it.

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          5. I created the account. It logged me in and then logged me out and I had to put my password in 2 more times before it fully logged me in. I’m assuming that was for adobe I’m not sure. It’s working though so that’s all that matters. I can now read the book.

            Also sorry for randomly messaging you again for some reason I got a notification again for all the comment last you sent to me the other day and didn’t realize I had already responded until after I commented again,

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          6. The publisher had asked me for my blog link for the book review, so I moved most of our back and forth to unapproved just to shorten it in case they actually went to the post. I guess as I put things back, it notified you. And yay!!!! I’m glad you can read the book and that it is such a feel-good story. I think that might be the best kind to read ATM 🤗

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          7. WordPress can be weird sometimes. Thank you for all of your help with this I really appreciate it!! I’ve really been wanting to read and I’m looking forward to it!!

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  5. Nice review Tessa, I enjoyed this as well, and now that I read your review, that’s exactly what was missing for me. The conflict. Thanks!

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    1. I was happy that something didn’t get between them but then I was like, “wait, nothing major needed to be overcome.” It just created a situation where there was limited build up. And then that relief when it’s all resolved.

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  6. Wonderful review Tessa. I also enjoy enemies to lovers stories. I love watching HGTV as well so that makes it even more inviting and of course being PG is a added bonus. I am so looking forward to reading/listening to this one.

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