Nina Barnes thinks Valentine’s Day should be optional. That way single people like her wouldn’t be subjected to kissy Cupids all over the place. That is, until her mom moves them next door to the brooding hottie of Greenbrier High, West Smith. He’s funny, looks amazing in a black leather jacket, and he’s fluent in Harry Potter, but she’s not sure he’s boyfriend material.
West isn’t sure what to make of Nina. She’s cute and loves to read as much as he does, but she seems to need to debate everything and she has a pathological insistence on telling the truth. And West doesn’t exactly know how to handle that, since his entire life is a carefully constructed secret. Dating the girl next door could be a ton of fun, but only if Nina never finds out the truth about his home life. It’s one secret that could bring them together or rip them apart.
Review: This was a fast paced book that flowed smoothly but didn’t have the depth of the characters I’d hoped for. Nina and West are in high school and happen to be next door neighbors but each have family issues they are dealing with that are revealed a little at a time along with how they’re affected. They become friends after a fashion but could there be more? Each chapter is told from Nina or West’s point of view. There are hugs and some kisses and lots of dog hair flying from Nina’s family dog, Gidget.
His support system are his twin cousins, Matt and Charlie, and her support are her mom along with her friend, Lisa. They all hang out together occasionally but Lisa is hoping for more from Matt but he only wants to be friends. Nina and Lisa are working on a project to save the town library until the new one is built and West and his cousins and others are working towards converting the library into a recycling center. Which side will prevail?
This was a sweet, clean romance with some angst, embarrassment, heartache, sadness, sorrow, insecurities, apologies, arguments/debates, some joking and lightheartedness, laughter, Harry Potter stuff, family and friendships. The friendships and the family dynamics played out nicely. There’s a shared driveway and backyard that sometimes causes havoc. There is some closure with a happily ever after in the offing especially with the epilogue. There are some loose ends but knowing this is the first book in the series I’m hoping we are reunited with Nina, West and the others.
Cannon is a new to me author. I’ll give some of her other romances a try.
Favorite Quote: …He had tried to speak to me today, but that didn’t make up for him ditching me, after kissing me like he wanted me as his girlfriend. I should have known this story wouldn’t have a happily ever after. Brooding hotties didn’t fall for bookworm hippie chicks. And bookworm hippie chicks shouldn’t waste their time on boys who weren’t emotionally available.