Just Out of Reach Featured
Book Review, Contemporary, Interracial Couple, Opposites Attract, Romance, Series

Just Out of Reach (The Just Series #1) by Xavier Neal


They say all the best things in life are free. I say all the best things in life are easy. That is until easy gets me put on house arrest where I’m stuck with an estranged aunt, a needy cat, and drinking lemonade instead of tequila.

Easy suddenly becomes hard. I basically have to sweat to get paid. I finally realize that great cheesecake doesn’t magically materialize. And I have to deal with a law-appointed babysitter constantly showing up to c-block my chance of proving to the drop-dead gorgeous neighbor – who I want screaming my name every night – that I’m more than just the crime
I committed.

All the best things in life may be easy, but I’m slowly learning that all the greatest require real work. Real effort. And most importantly, real sacrifice.


I was delighted to review this book at the author’s request. It has a unique theme of a reckless and grieving man on house arrest and a real estate agent with a tendency for picking the wrong men.

Theo is a mess. The loss of his father created a deep hole in his heart which led to drinking, reckless sexual hookups, and driving under the influence. With a tracking device on his ankle, he is staying with his estranged aunt and sentenced to a 2-block radius between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm and not leaving the property between 6 pm and 8 am for a year. He was resigned to the boredom and monotony until he meets his sexy and kind next-door neighbor. Does he have a chance with a woman like her? She deserves so much better.

Lane is done with her cheating ex and ready to move on. Her self-confidence has been battered and her new sexy criminal neighbor is giving her the eye. Should she even consider being friends or more with such a man, or is she just a convenience for him?

At first, I wasn’t a big fan of the cocky and childish Theo, but watching him grow as a person changed my mind. His group counseling and being around his aunt and Lane really helped open his eyes to being a grown-up. He also found a purpose by doing some landscaping on the side for his neighbors. Lane had a sad and isolated upbringing so it was understandable she had difficulties meeting men. It’s Theo’s outgoing manner and respect for her boundaries that helped her come out of her shell and bestow the confidence she needed to stand up to her controlling and creepy ex-boyfriend. Lane’s unconditional kindness and attention to Theo is what a good person is all about. She could have blown Theo off as a two-bit criminal not worth her time, but she actually listened to him and gave him support when all his friends disappeared. They make a great pair and have each other’s backs.

I am delighted to recommend this book filled with humor, romance, and a bit of suspense that kept me turning the pages.

Thank you to Ms. Neal for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Just Out of Reach

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Xavier Neal is a best-selling romance author who enjoys hopping from sub genre to sub-genre like a game of Hopscotch she can’t resist.

In between writing, she loves to read (everything from romance to self improvement books), watch movies (old and new), eat too much Tex-Mex (her Chuy’s t-shirt collection is out of control), and watch AHL hockey games LIVE (preferably against the glass whenever possible). 

She currently resides happily in Texas with her bearded husband “Lumberjack”.

Follow Xavier on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and TikTok.

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