Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Boy Next Door by Ella James

Title: The Boy Next Door
An Off-Limits Romance Standalone
Author: Ella James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 10, 2017


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.

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The Boy Next Door is the first book I’ve read by Ella James and is the second novel in her Off- Limits Romance Series.  It can completely be read as a standalone.   Dash and Amelia meet when they are very young, childhood friends who somewhat tiptoe that boundary of innocent crush and love that are separated when Dash graduates leaving Amelia behind.  It’s a second chance love story that has lots of potential but just missed that mark for me.

In The Boy Next Door, James gives us a nicely paced story with good characters however, I felt like something was just missing the mark to make me infatuated with them. I had a hard time understanding either of the characters motives.  Dash  is brooding but it comes off as weak and even sometimes depressing.  Amelia can’t seem to make her mind up giving me whiplash. She’s hot and cold at the drop of a hat.  Then there is this secret.  Throughout the story, James builds up this super, tormenting secret that supposedly tore Dash from Amelia. Without giving the plot away, I will just say seriously, that was it? I wasn’t sold completely on the idea.  Maybe with some flashbacks from Dash’s perspective or having the secret be revealed way earlier in the book it would have made so much more sense.  However, the way it was written came across gapped at times.  

With all that being said, I do think this book has great potential with some minor changes and some editing.  (Not sure if I received an unedited copy since it was an ARC). Dash and Amelia’s basic storyline was intriguing and with a little character improvement this book would have went from a good book to a great book.  While I wasn’t completely sold, I still think I would one click another book by this author.  Her ability to write thought provoking stories with a touch of angst has me wanting to check out other titles.  

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Author Bio

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, 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

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