This Time Next Door by Gretchen Galway
Synopsis – goodreads
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…
So I usually just dive into the review and tell you what I liked or didn’t like about the book. BUT! I realized this year I’ve only reviewed books I tend to like more than dislike. And I put a lot of pressure on myself to review every book I read, which then takes the fun out of reading and writing these posts. So for the second half of the year, I’ll make two pledges.
- I’ll also review books I didn’t like so much (my 0,1 and 2 stars)
- I’ll only give long dissertation-esque reviews of the books I want to review. Other than that, expect a star rating from me with no explanation.
Now let’s jump back into the book, This Time Next Door.
I … I’d say I like-loved it. When I first picked it up from the romance section at my local Half-Price Books (which is a god-sent btw) I was excited for two reasons. 1. The cover was that soft-felt thing I like and 2. It was a contemporary romance with a plus-size main character. After reading and loving The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory , I found myself more in the mood for the accidental love trope kind of books.
I loved, loved, LOVED Rose Devlin. She’s fierce, witty, sarcastic a bit of a liar lol and SHE was DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. You know, according to the other guys in the story. And that’s what hooked me immediately. I was expecting to read a lot of the same plus-size insecurities and some fat-shaming from other characters.
But what I got was a curvy woman blowing the heels off the skinny best friend in the dating and love-making department. And to be honest, as a plus-sized woman myself, that made me feel great about myself somehow. I loved that she wasn’t really ashamed of her body, that men turned their heads when she walked by, and that SHE was the one who had all the experience with men and her best friend Blair was the inexperienced shy one. That’s not to say Rose didn’t feel self-conscious at all.
Throughout the story, there is one thing she longed for that she hadn’t gotten from most of the men she’d been involved with. (no spoilers)
And now we turn to my other favorite character, Mark. Ahh man… if only I could find a Mark in real life. Mark is your regular geek-nerd social recluse. Sort of the complete opposite of social butterfly Rose. But he was sexy, and witty, and when he knew what he wanted he went after it… in his own weird way. I loved reading from his POV the most.
Their love story, unconventional as it was, kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved all of their interactions and of course the ever-expected ending of a non Nicholas Sparks romance novel.
I will say that I skimmed through a couple of chapters toward the end. And there were some small grammatical errors throughout the book. But overall I gave it a 3.5 stars (rounded up to four on goodreads)