The Boy Next Door
By Sarah W
Feb 5, 2007 - 11:37:00 AM

When Lindsey Salinger discovers five-year-old Own Rundle playing outside with no shoes or coat in the cold Kansas winter, she is appalled. Unfortunately, the situation gets worse when she discovers Owen’s grandmother does not seem to recognize her. Elsa Rundle has always disliked Lindsey so her sudden kindness is definitely cause for concern. As a social worker, Lindsey knows she has to do something, even if she cannot take on the case officially. She decides to call Zach Rundle, Owen’s uncle and the man Lindsey had a crush on since the age of twelve.

To say Zach was shocked when Lindsey called him is an understatement. Ever since the night Zach’s brother killed Lindsey’s mom in a drunk-driving accident, the Rundles and Salingers have not been on good terms. Though Zach has a major business meeting happening in Wichita, he heads home to Lone Oak to get a feel for the situation, and what he discovers is that things are not right at the Rundle home. And he also discovers he is still attracted to the kind-hearted and determined Lindsey. But with obstacles on all sides, is there even a chance that this time around, Lindsey, Zach, and now Owen, have a better chance at a stronger future, together?

Amy Knupp pens a tale of love, complications, and the passion that drives us to do our best. Ms. Knupp adroitly explores the emotions that Zach and Lindsey are feeling as the past and the present collide in a conflagration of passion, lust and a growing longing for each other. I really liked how Ms. Knupp did not give these characters an easy out regarding the problems they faced. The emotions of the past were very turbulent and not easily forgettable and Lindsey and Zach had to deal with them the best way they could, all while keeping Owen and Zach’s grandmother in mind. THE BOY NEXT DOOR is a very character-driven story that tackles some tough issues but also uses fun, levity, and love to create a more balanced and hopeful story. Ms. Knupp is sure to garner some new fans with this rewarding family-orientated love story.

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