With banter, heart, and steam that will have the reader blushing, Next of Kin by Hannah Bonam-Young is a true underdog story of two young adults redefining what family can look like.
Two bickering strangers, Chloe and Warren, are partnered by Child Protective Services to qualify for next of kin fostering of their younger siblings.
After reading the second book of the Next series, I could not skip this one. And it surpassed Matt and Lane’s story. Hannah Bonam-Young’s writing is a delight to read, so much so that this series is one I’ve re-read more than once since its release.
Next Of Kin – Hannah Bonam-Young
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUB DATE: June 1, 2022
TROPES: forced proximity, found family
With banter, heart, and steam that will have the reader blushing, Next of Kin is a true underdog story of two young adults redefining what family can look like.
When people-pleasing Chloe learns that her birth mother has unexpectedly had another baby, she doesn’t hesitate to become a next-of-kin guardian. But when she fails to pass Child Protective Services’ financial evaluation, she is faced with a choice: see her baby sister placed in foster care or participate in CPS’ new initiative, TeamUp.
Enter Warren, a surly mechanic’s apprentice attempting to get custody of his deaf fifteen-year-old brother after failing CPS’ housing evaluation. The two strangers immediately clash but agree to live together until Warren can find housing elsewhere and Chloe can further grow her freelance career.
As their lives intertwine, Chloe and Warren both realise that they’re far more similar than they could have imagined. What started as forced begins to feel natural—and far less lonely. Chemistry soon intensifies beyond what either of them can stand, but they must each decide if what burns between them is worth risking their arrangement.
Hannah does a splendid job of creating multi-layered and realistic characters that you can’t help but root for. The witty banter between Chloe and Warren was hilarious and cheeky.
And they both complimented each other very well. She was his sounding board and kept him grounded while he gave her the confidence she needed to step out of her shell.
Chloe is a long-haired, fiery girl with a huge heart. Imagine going for groceries on a regular day and coming home with the responsibility of a brand-new baby. Life throws her for a giant loop, and she handles herself with grace.
I loved how Hannah showed the realistic struggles of a new mom while giving Chloe the bravery to step up when she needed to.
Despite her loud and colorful style, she has a quiet heart that readers can easily relate to.
Warren’s cockiness is adorable without coming off as arrogant. He uses his anger as his shield, but that’s expected because of his challenging childhood.
But underneath that rough and tough exterior is one of the sweetest book BFs you’ll ever encounter (just wait till you read the chapters detailing their first date).
“To know you is to love you, and I consider myself privileged to know you.”
The story progressed smoothly as the MCs learned to trust each other. I never felt a lack of emphasis on the baby’s storyline/progress amidst the main plot.
The conflict was believable and somewhat predictable based on their relationship dynamic, but it was dealt with so sweetly that it’s one of the sweetest conflict resolutions I’ve read.
Mild spoiler alert: I loved that they were already completely in love before they slept together.
Some stories have the MCs falling in love after they’ve slept together a few times. But the emotional gravity of Chloe and Warren’s first time was beautiful to read.
There are intimate scenes that I would say are moderately spicy but the chemistry is so tender-hearted and sweet that I’ll bet closed-door romance fans won’t mind giving this one a try.
Much like Matt and Lane’s story, this is a quick and easy read with short chapters and dialogues progressing the story well. The theme is not too heavy, and this book can be finished in one sitting (which I certainly did).
I liked the inclusion of ASL (American Sign Language) as it fits in seamlessly with the spoken dialogues and adds another layer of richness to the story. I was fascinated to see how the characters switched between both languages throughout their day-to-day lives.
If you’re interested in reading other ASL-incorporated romance books, check out Funny Feelings by Tarah Dewitt.
At the end of both books, Hannah gives you the chance to sign up for her newsletter to get a bonus epilogue chapter from the male MC’s POV, and it is completely worth it. If you thought the books left you smiling, wait till you read the extra chapters.
I loved both of her books so much that I messaged her on Instagram to say thank you for writing such great stories. And she replied with the sweetest message.
This book had me smiling from ear to ear with its swoon-worthy characters and dialogue. If you love sweet, solid, and authentic characters mixed with witty humor and a little bit of ASL, then Next of Kin is definitely for you.
After finishing this series, Hannah Bonam-Young has undoubtedly become an auto-buy author for me. I can’t wait to read her upcoming new book – Out On A Limb.
Enjoyed this review? Then, add ‘Next Of Kin’ to your TBR. And if you have already read this book and have some thoughts to share, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear them!