I enjoyed Lola and the Boy Next Door but not nearly as much as the first book. While the characters and settings were beautifully created - as in the first one - there just didn't seem to be as much meat to the story. Lola's boyfriend is so obviously wrong for her and the boy next door (Cricket) is so obviously right, and so obviously still in love with her since his childhood. It all seems a little too easy plot-wise. The book boasts some wonderful settings in and around San Francisco - but it still doesn't compare to the wonderfully rendered Paris of the first book (hey, c'mon, it's Paris, okay?) Another nice thing about the second book is that the heroine's parents are a gay couple. It's in keeping with the San Francisco/Mission District setting, but again is perhaps a little too obvious as a matter of plot. But at least it's nice to see an example in modern writing of a functional family consisting of a gay couple (two men) raising a young woman and doing a great job. So props to Perkins for that. It also gives the heroine the chance to struggle a little with her identity as she comes to terms with her birth mother, although that is a relatively small subplot.
At the end of the day, I enjoy this series and probably will read the third book, but I hope that it's more like the first. In other words, I hope that the heroine has greater challenges than simply deciding she's good enough for the obvious love interest which is really the case in "Lola".