Title: How the Other Half Lives (London Lads #2)
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 15, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 65
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Second Edition. 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.
Ooh, I liked this short and sweet story from Clare London about two men who appear to be exact opposites. One is neat, the other a slob. But, despite the blurb, this ain’t “The Odd Couple” … it’s so much better.
Through a nifty plot convenience, Russ and Martin are each other’s “flat-sitters” when they are away or on holiday. At first, they communicate via notes — a “careless, cheerful message on the back of a mango chutney label” versus “Thick, expensive paper with careful script, full of excessive politeness” – and then unexpectedly meet face-to-face.
I adore how their relationship builds from an odd fascination to outright appreciation of each other’s foibles and quirks. The sex scenes are mostly off-page but it’s easy to sense their chemistry – each finds the other equal parts astonishing, shocking and amazing. There’s a sweet HEA ending for Russ and Martin and I hope there are additional novellas in the London Lads series so we can keep up-to-date on their life together. 4 stars!