Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC on March 20th 2017
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Shay Matthews moved to Boston for a fresh start...new apartment, new job, new routine. After too many years being coddled by her overbearing older brothers, Shay’s ready for some freedom and maybe a nice, easygoing guy. She wasn’t expecting to literally run into the scowling, brooding, (and unfairly smoking hot) guy next door.
Fresh off a haunting undercover assignment, detective Wyatt Daniels is jaded about life, relationships, and especially happily-ever-after. But there’s something about the independent and beautiful Shay that makes him want to dig deeper. Or stay away, which is definitely the smarter option of the two.
But the more Shay tries to convince herself that her sweet building manager, Brady, is the guy for her, the more Mr. Completely Wrong-for-Her Wyatt invades her mind and her heart.
“The Bad Boy Next Door” feels like a complete misnomer for a rather light-hearted story between a detective and a coddled young woman attempting to find her feet in a new city. But I pushed on, wondering if this was going to be part-suspense, part rom-com and for me, it was really neither as it wasn’t a story that resonated with me at all. Much like a drama centred on a building and its occupants, Shay and Wyatt get pushed together mostly because of proximity and a series of events that neither could have foreseen.
As far as pairings go, it was hard to see Shay and Wyatt as a convincing (and likely) couple because they did seem like a forced pairing. As they were so far apart in terms of experience and personality, I found myself constantly looking for the spark or the strong tie between them but there seemed to be nothing apart from the inexplicable inability to forget each other after an accidental meeting in the basement. But while attraction does and can work in mysterious ways, most of their relationship also felt bland as they tried to find their footing with each other because of the vast differences in their outlook on life. In fact, Wyatt seemed drawn to Shay because she represented the innocent part of life that his months of undercover work took from him; Shay’s reasons for wanting him seemed more nebulous to me apart from him being the grumpy but nice guy next door. Shay did seem too naive however, and too coddled and sensitive for the secretive nature of Wyatt’s work—her own hysterics and tendency to jump to conclusions caused the usual rift at the end…and yet it was Wyatt who found he needed to apologise for being the unfeeling tool.
It’s hard to recommend a book when nothing worked in the story for me, but unfortunately, this was one of those that I needed to pass on.