The boy next door. That’s what he was. Dash Frasier—my hero from the day we met, when I was six and he was nine. His sister was my best friend, the three of us one happy crew. Then one sweaty summer night changed everything.
No one understood me like Dash. No one made me feel so loved. That’s why, when he skipped town, it wrecked me.
Now I’m older. Wiser. I’ve just snagged my dream job, writing at a film studio. The lead animator on my project? You guessed it.
He’s not the boy next door. Not anymore.
I’m guarding my heart this time.
But Dash has secrets that could break us both.
I didn’t expect that at all.
Ella James’ new book, The Boy Next Door is a friends to lovers’ romance that hooked me immediately. Amelia Frank meets Dash Frasier and his sister Alexi when she moves into her father’s new home after her mother dies. The three grow up together. Amelia crushes on Dash, who is three years older her whole life. They are close until high school when things change. Dash is planning on college out of state. Alexi is running with a wild group that doesn’t include Amelia and Amelia wants Dash.
The story has alternating points of view although more of the story is from Amelia's perspective. Amelia is all in with Dash. She loves their talks, and the hope is always there that something more can happen when the three year age difference isn’t so significant. In the beginning, it feels like Dash is in love with Ammy, as he calls her, but he is always pushing her away. At first, it is because she is three years younger and a relationship isn't appropriate.
However, Dash promises to keep in touch with Ammy then he doesn’t. It feels like desertion and goes on for several years until they have a big split. There is a reason. Dash has a secret that explains his behavior unfortunately he can't bring himself to share with Amelia.
Dash is a good guy. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone if only he could share what’s on his mind. It weighs heavy on his heart and makes him feel worthless. The reader doesn’t find out the problem Dash is concealing though most of the book. At different points, I came up with a lot of different scenarios that could make him act the way he does. I was wrong...so wrong.
The Boy Next Door kept me engaged throughout the entire story. There are times that I want to thumb through to find the secret. Every time I'm tempted I convince myself that it will ruin the reveal even though I like spoilers. The story and events are tied together with a little suspense. The story is well-written with several subplots that add to the suspense and enjoyment.
I thoroughly enjoy every book I read by Ella James. The Boy Next Store is another good read from her. It moves at a steady pace through most of the story. My only criticism is that I wish the “big secret” be addressed earlier. I’m not sure how that would change the story it just feels like a little more discussion is needed. Regardless, I love a story that can surprise me and The Boy Next Door certainly did that. I highly recommend that you add The Boy Next Door to your reading list ASAP.
Ella James is the USA Today bestselling author of sixteen teen and adult love stories. She's an angst-a-holic who loves exploring difficult situations and the emotions of the people caught up in them. Also, smut. But always, always romance.
Ella's obsessions include vanilla cream soda, hiking, other weird, crunchy things like rock collecting, and the antics of her three little monsters.
To find out more about her projects, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ellajamesbooks, tweet her at author_ellaj or follow her on Instagram (authorellajames).
Interested in the foreign rights for one of Ella’s books? Contact her agent, Rebecca Friedman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.