How the Other Half Lives (London Lads Book 2)
By Clare London
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
A London Lads Story
Compulsive neat freak meets chaotic slob: Can their living space survive the conflict?
Martin Harrison keeps himself to himself and his Central London flat as neat as a new pin. Maybe he should loosen up and enjoy more of a social life, but in his mind, that’s tantamount to opening the floodgates to emotional chaos. He agrees, however, to join the flat-sitting scheme in his building and look after another tenant’s flat in exchange for a similar watch over his when he’s travelling for his work.
A floor away in the same building, Russ McNeely is happy with his life as a freelance cook and a self-confessed domestic slob. He also joins the flat-sitting scheme, both to be neighbourly and to help keep his flat in order, as Russ also travels for his work.
For a while, the very dissimilar men never meet. Martin is horrified at the mess at Russ’s flat, while Russ finds Martin’s minimalist style creepy. But in a spirit of generosity, each of them starts to help the other out by rearranging things in their own inimitable way.
Until the day a hiccup in the schedule brings them face-to-face at last.
First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2011.
As I was reading the first chapter, I wasn’t exactly sure what I had signed up for… was I going to be able to finish it? This Martin Harrison guy was as odd as odd, and how could his best friend Ethan stand him, anyway? Oh my goodness! As soon as I dove into chapter 2 and was introduced to a completely opposite type of character in Russell McNeely and his friend Don, I quickly became enamored and entrenched in the story (and Don tripping over things in his hallway). What a hoot! The storytelling style was a bit different (ok, a lot different) than what I’m accustomed to, but it was vastly entertaining and upbeat, quaint, and dare I say it… fun. Once Martin and Russell officially meet and start dating, the evolution of their friendship into a full-scale relationship is heartwarming and sweet: their love is so genuine, their mutual affection for and attraction to one another cute, and the joy they get from each other delightful. I’m sounding sappy, but thank you, Clare London, for sharing this light-hearted, heartfelt, and engrossingly enjoyable tale.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of the second edition.
Original review posted on Goodreads on February 11, 2017.