Monday 23 June 2014

This Time Next Door by Gretchen Galway

Twenty-six-year-old Rose Devlin may shop in the plus-size department, but she’s never had a problem attracting men—with disastrous consequences. Recovering from her latest mistake, Rose has sworn off casual sex and moved to California to grow up, help her best friend, and make something of herself.

When Rose asks the cute-but-geeky Mark to help her land a job in high tech, she never expects to unearth his quiet strength, stunning accomplishments—and hidden talents. With a secret in her own past, Rose tries to keep her distance, but she finds that nerdy Mark isn’t so nerdy when the lights go out. And that maybe, just maybe, she’s not too grown up to risk one more disaster…

I can't even remember why I got this, probably just a cheap, cute-looking find. Luckily, it was pretty cute and funny. it started with Rose auditioning with a plus-size model company, only to find she was too big. Ignoring the cruel irony, Rose sucks it up, picks herself up and walks out with her head high. I knew immediately that I would love her. 

Annoyingly easy to relate to, Rose was mid-twenties and struggling to find work after university. This was made slightly more difficult by her following her best friend across the country for a place to live rent-free. Rose was a pretty great friend to Blair, especially as it turns out that not only is she pregnant, but pregnant as a result of a one night stand with Rose's ex. Yeah, I know; I probably would have ditched her. 

Their new neighbour was Mark, nearly thirty and living back at home, a computer nerd and full of the socially awkwardness that comes with it. At first a little scared of Rose, with her sense of humour and confidence, Mark and she grow somewhat close. He manages to get her job with his company and their friendship grows into something more. Even though Rose had sworn off casual sex after what happened with John, their relationship evolved at an odd speed that was both really sweet and way to quick. So in that sense, it was very realistic and I actually really liked how they both grew to like each other without realising.

Of course, it wasn't easy. Mark had a surprising secret about his work. Ok, so he's rich and didn't tell her, I don't really understand why that made Rose run away. He might have kept it from her but she was practically a stranger, plus it was self-preservation. It's a good thing he's cute and very easy to like, or I might have wanted to smack him for being so annoying. 

All in all, it was funny and light-hearted romance, full of quick wit and real-life work problems that made it cute and realistic. 

Self-Published 2nd July 2012.

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