The Boy Next Door takes place in Kingston, Jamaica in the Corporate Area and the residential neighbourhood called Hope Pastures. The story takes place in present day.
When Phillip Lee gets the promotion he has been waiting for his entire career, he has no choice but to sell his house, uproot his family – wife, Marie and daughter, Trisha – and migrate to New York. High-strung Noelle Goodison, Trisha’s lifelong best friend and neighbor, is heartbroken and falls into a terrible state of melancholy. But Noelle is not entirely alone in her grief; their mutual friend, Danielle Assamba, steps in and offers her support.
Shortly after Trisha’s departure, Noelle has a minor accident with a stranger. This experience is by no means pleasant – Noelle cusses out the apologetic young man and leaves him mesmerized. He feels a magnetic attraction to her and looks forward to seeing her again.
Two days later he enters his new school for the first time and his prayer is answered. He approaches her, determined to make a better impression on the pretty girl with the razor-sharp tongue but he fails. Although he left a girlfriend behind in Miami, he is unable to get Noelle off his mind. Meanwhile, Danielle meets a new guy on the campus and befriends him. She decides that this charming, drop-dead gorgeous American expatriate named Ryan Reece is the perfect cure for Noelle’s malady. She tells him that she wants him to meet her friend but he tells her he is interested in someone else. She tells Noelle that she thinks they would make a great couple but her friend scoffs at the suggestion. Feisty Noelle and Ryan have another run-in and by this time she starts to realize that she is developing a crush on him but begins to fight these feelings. But Danielle is determined to succeed in bringing her old friend and her new pal together.
Danielle shares Noelle’s telephone number with Ryan and he calls her up. While the conversation ends on a pleasant note, Noelle still rebuffs Ryan. She has recently suffered heartbreak and is determined to safeguard herself. Ryan remains steadfast. He finds out that there is an opening at Noelle’s after-school workplace (left vacant by Trisha’s departure) and cops the position so that he can spend more time with her. Ryan worries about how Noelle will react when she finds out about this but she handles it quite well. She begins to rethink her original perception of him and decides that it might not be a bad idea to get acquainted with him.
When she witnesses the way females behave around him, she throws all caution to the wind and invites him out. The first date goes well, sparks fly, feelings intensify and neither wants to leave the other’s company when it culminates but Ryan has an argument with his girlfriend, Karyn Priestley, when he returns home and it ends with him breaking up with her. Love-spurned, borderline-psychotic rich-girl Karyn is convinced that he has replaced her and plans to go to Jamaica to get revenge.
The following day, Noelle goes next door with her big sister to finally welcome the new residents of Trisha’s former home to the neighbourhood. The gentleman introduces them to his wife (who seems familiar to Noelle although she cannot figure out why) and sons and Noelle gets the shock of her life.