Mr. Right Next Door
by Naima Simone
Rose Bend - Book 4
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
As the ex-mayor’s daughter, Jenna Landon has spent her life aiming for perfection—and missing. The pressure and disappointment turned her into a bit of a mean girl, but now she’s tired of protecting her soft heart, of hiding her losses—she’s ready to leave Rose Bend and start over. But before she can leave, she has to endure the town’s carnival fundraiser, her father’s reelection campaign…and the pain-in-the-tail giant who just moved in next door.
Wrestling coach Isaac Hunter didn’t mean to disturb his neighbor with his music while fixing his car. But if anyone could use “messing with,” it’s prissy, perfect, sexy Jenna Landon. Soon their clashes turn into something hotter. Recently divorced, his focus should be rebuilding his life, not an… entanglement with a woman who spells nothing but trouble. Because Jenna is leaving Rose Bend. And they both know he can’t go with her, and he can’t ask her to stay...
My first impression of Jenna Landon, in book one of Naima Simone's Rose Bend series, was that she was a bitter, self-absorbed, nasty piece of work. My second impression, in book two, only reinforced my opinion. But then, along came book three and one single scene where Simone pulled back Jenna's curtain just a bit and suddenly I found myself wondering if I, like the rest of Rose Bend, had it all wrong. Was there actually more to this character than I had thought? And, holy wow, did Naima Simone actually have plans to redeem her???
To say I have been anticipating this story would be a massive understatement. I went into it with very high expectations and I'm happy to say that Simone not only met those expectations, she blew them out of the water. I would even go so far as to say this was my favorite book of the series so far. I loved the complexities of both Jenna and Isaac. These two set off sparks from the get-go, with their snappy banter, sizzling chemistry, and snarky nicknames that over time became endearing.
It wasn't an easy road to Jenna and Isaac's happily ever after but it never is with a Naima Simone book. That's one of the things I most enjoy about her writing, the way she keeps it real. She populates her stories with flawed, complex characters, people like you and me who face adversity and react to challenges in a myriad of ways. She also excels in writing complicated, dysfunctional families and, boy howdy, does Jenna's family ever exemplify that. I won't go into the things I wanted to do to her parents. And then she gives me deeply emotional, heart-tugging, steamy romance that renews my faith in enduring love...every single time.
If you aren't reading Naima Simone's Rose Bend series - and why aren't you? - you're missing out on some of the best contemporary romance out there. I highly recommend it. Mr. Right Next Door can be enjoyed on its own but for the full impact of Jenna's redemption I strongly recommend reading the series books in order.