Book Review: Next to Me by Jodi Watters

Nadene June 27, 2017 Reviews 17 Comments

This book includes mature content and is not suitable for readers under 17.

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Book Review: Next to Me by Jodi WattersTitle: Next to Me
Author: Jodi Watters
Series: Love Happens #1
Published by Jodi Watters on October 16, 2014
Pages: 286
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchase
Format: eBook
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: four-stars

Bad boys make good neighbors.
A woman on the run.A man afraid of no one.A plan as old as time.
Hiding from her violent ex, Ali Ross knows the law can't help her. She also knows someone like Sam can. Fearing for her life, she's willing to do whatever it takes to ensure her safety, and that includes seducing the sexy soldier next door. It’s the perfect plan. Until…
A woman falling in love.A man already there.A past that won’t be ignored.
All books in the Love Happens series are standalone novels:Next to Me (Sam)Wrong then Right (Beckett)True to You (Asher)Have a Heart (Jason)

 

I purchased this book a while back but never got around to reading it before now. I must admit that if it were not for Quirky Blind Date group, I would not have remembered that I own this book.  I cannot believe I waited so long to read this book. Next to Me by Jodi Watters is the first book in the Love Happens series and it can be read as a stand-alone.
What the story is about.
Ali Ross is on the run from her abusive ex-husband, but she knows she can only outrun her past for so long.  To protect herself and secure her freedom, she believed her newest neighbour, Sam Gleeson, former army ranger, would make the perfect protector. To have him protect her, she plans to sleep with him and get him to care for her and he would be compelled to protect her. However, she will discover that best-laid plans often go awry.
Ali fascinated Sam Gleeson, former Army Ranger and co-owner of Scorpio Securities Inc., when he first laid eyes on her.  Tired of short-term hook-ups he is looking to have a relationship that is built on substance and Ali may just be the perfect candidate.
My Perspective
 
The Story
Next to Me turned out better than I expected. I enjoyed every moment spent reading this title. I would not consider it to be unique, but I thought the story was well written.   The story engaged me from the start and it got better with each page turn.  Not only was it engaging it was suspenseful and perfectly paced.  I enjoyed spending time with characters and sharing in their camaraderie. There were fun moments that had me laughing and by the time the story ended I was satisfied with how it all played out.
There was another story within the main story, but it had no bearing on Ali and Sam’s story. It was geared towards the work that Sam does as a security consultant. This too was nicely wrapped up and it in no way detracted from the main story.
The story reminded me that genuine love sees beyond faults and accepts a person unconditionally. It is told in dual third persons POV.
The Characters
Although I did not agree with Ali’s actions, I understood why she felt she had to hatch this diabolical plan.  I felt there were other ways to achieve her goal, but I guess she felt this way was the best. I refused to judge her because desperation makes people do irrational things. I empathised with the struggles she faced when she discovered that what she felt for Sam was the real deal. However, I found her actions frustrating as she had every opportunity to come clean but she failed to take it.  Her fears and her struggles came through the pages of the book.
Sam is such a sweetheart.  He is the type of man most women desires. He is intelligent, caring and protective. He certainly did not deserve the deception that Ali dished out to him. He knew she was hiding something, but he was willing to wait for her to trust with what had her so scared. That made me admired him so much more.  He could find out all he wanted to know about her by conducting a simple search, but he decided to wait for her to come clean.
The Romance
The connection between Ali and Sam was instantaneous, explosive, hot and passionate.  This is one of those times whenthe  insta- love connection works out well. They were in sync and it was evident that they cared for each other.
Recommendation
Overall, this was a satisfying read and one I would recommend to readers who enjoy romance filled with heat and suspense. I would definitely read more from this author.

 

About Jodi Watters

My love for steamy romance began when I was in junior high. A friend and I noticed a dumpster of discarded paperbacks behind our local dime store. Covers missing and each book split down the spine, I scanned the pages for any love or lust words—and curse words, too. From that point on, I scoured the public library and the paperback racks at every store, reading anything labeled romance. I said a tearfully grateful goodbye to Judy Bloom, and Jackie Collins began ruling my world. I live with my high school sweetheart husband in the desert Southwest. Awesome in the winter, not so much in the summer. My life long goals are to think before I speak, smile more and swear less, and actually weigh what my driver’s license states I do.

Nadene
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