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#BookReview: Next to You (A Phlox Beauty Novel #1) by Julia Gabriel

Title and Author: Next to You by Julia Gabriel
No. of Pages: 283
Series: A Phlox Beauty Novel #1
Publication Date: December 23rd 2014 by Serif Books 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Review:
Next to You by Julia Gabriel is the story of Jared Connor who got burned in a childhood accident and now lives in hiding doing menial jobs despite being a billionaire and Phlox Miller who has returned to her country house to adjust to her changed life and return back as the old, dedicated Phlox. But sparks fly when they meet and it is not something either of them wants.

I love reading romances about reclusive heroes and independent heroines and this one had all this and more in it. The cover, blurb and title are all very interesting and had me intrigued right from the start.

This is the first book by Julia that I have read and it wont be my last!

Her writing style is simple and yet engaging and she had me intrigued and invested in the story right from the start. The plot is beautifully conceived and executed and the author throws well calculated twists and turns in the story to keep the interest alive.

I love Phlox who is geeky intelligent and a strong character. Her life has been spent balancing the expectations of her parents both of whom want different things from her. An accident leaves her battered and struggling with her identity and it was interesting to watch her get up and gain her confidence again. I empathized with Jared at the start but later on could not understand the reason over which they fought and thought they had to stay apart. The other characters like Jared's younger brother and Phlox's business partner and best friend are also some very interesting people and I am so eager to read their story too.

The story is fast paced and held me engrossed but despite the crispness of execution, I felt the intimate scenes were too many and often times did nothing to take the story forward. These could have been toned down a bit.

All in all, I enjoyed reading Next to You by Julia Gabriel and give it 4 out of 5. Seeming a bit like Beauty and the Beast, it appealed to my fairy tale loving self and I recommend it all lovers of romance above the age of eighteen.

I received the book from the publishers via Netgalley and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.

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