Book Review

ARC Book Review: Eloise and the Grump Next Door (Oakley Island Romcom #1) by Emma St. Clair and Jenny Proctor

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Emma St. Clair and Jenny Proctor
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: August 15th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


I’m not sure which is worse–the lawyer handling my grandmother’s estate or the attack pelican living on the screened-in porch. Just kidding–I’ll take the pelican any day.

After graduation, I thought I’d be off to grad school, doing research on my favorite poet. Instead, I’m renovating my late grandmother’s home and posting about the process on Instagram. Talk about a detour …

But here I am. Turning Gran’s beach house into a bed and breakfast–a process that would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to deal with the grumpy lawyer living next door. It doesn’t help that the night Jake and I met, I got a little tipsy, and he had to carry me back to my hotel.

But the longer I stay on Oakley Island, the more I feel a connection to my childhood and to my grandmother. This isn’t the life I dreamed of, but dreams can change. Especially when new dreams include a future with Jake. On the outside, he might be pricklier than a puffer fish, but I catch glimpses of a delicious, cinnamon roll center.

Did I mention the tattoos he hides underneath those crisp button-down shirts? Yowza.

When I’m suddenly presented with the academic opportunity of my dreams (former dreams?), my picturesque life on Oakley starts to unravel.

A part of me wants to stay. If only a certain tattooed grump didn’t seem so determined to send me away …

Eloise and The Grump Next Door is a grumpy sunshine, closed door romantic comedy. The Oakley Island Romcom series follows three very different sisters as they renovate the house they inherited and find love on the island along the way. Each book will have sizzling chemistry but no spice.

Thank you to the authors for an eARC!


I expected nothing less from this duo. It is the pairing I didn’t know I needed and now want ALL THE TIME. Bless them for giving us a full series together.

The chemistry between Lo and Jake was off the charts. I am hit or miss on age gap and this one HIT. It was played so well and I loooooooooved it. And the forced proximity? THE BEST. I LIVE FOR FORCED PROXIMITY. Add in a house that needed renovated and a grandmother who has passed away and still subtly matchmaking. The rest of the charming side characters (like Jake’s nephew) won me over too.

And the KISSING SCENES? THE SIZZLING HEAT Y’ALL. This is what I love about an amazing closed door romance. The heat can still be brought with without actual spice. I loved all of the little moments watching these two fall in love.

I couldn’t put this down and easily read it in a day. I just loved everything about it. It made me feel good, happy, light. And those are the kind of reads I often reach for. I’m so excited to continue this series and can’t wait for more.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a grandmother, divorced parents

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