- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2042 KB
- Print Length: 71 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 2 edition (15 Feb. 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N26G87S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #352,128 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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How the Other Half Lives (London Lads Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I liked how the leads were so different, how they connected, became friends and dated quite innocently by some standards - another refreshing thing - before getting together. I liked the ending, that they'd found more stuff in common and that for both, they seemed to have found something lasting. However, because the tale was so short and the leads had very little actual time together, I wanted an epilogue and to see them living their lives as a full-on couple.
ARC courtesy of SignalBoostPromotions and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.
To appease their respective friends, they sign up to a house sitting rotation within their building, which as they both work away a lot, suits them. They end up looking after each other's flats and rather cheekily begin making changes from re-arranging Russ' CD collection into alphabetical order and generally tidying his home, to over watering Martins Bonsai trees and hanging up the hidden abstract art that he hates. Over time, they come to appreciate what they other does for them and the notes they leave along the way.
When they do finally meet, they don't find the person that they had envisioned and they very quickly become attached to one another.
If you're looking for wild sex and lots of nakedness, then this is not for you but if you do want humorous, rambling inner monologues, a couple that are so wrong they're perfect together, a story that will have you with a perma-grin on your face and a (dare I use the word 'sweet' again?) super-sweet innocence that makes them adorable, then you have to read this. There's a happy ending that gave me warm and fuzzies and I wish I knew these guys. I hope the next instalment is half as good.
Copy received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed for Alpha Book Club.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Martin (“M. Harrison, no unsolicited mails accepted”) is an antiquities dealer who keeps his home as carefully as the items he purchases, as sparse as his personality. “I straighten the top right edge of the coaster so that it lines up with the base of the nearby lamp, then nudge it a fraction the other way, which is much better.”
Russ (“abandon hope all ye who enter here”) is a prankster slob, too brash to land a full-time job. He cheerfully works as a freelance chef, because, “I’m apparently virtually unemployable, or at least my attitude towards authority is…Something about my sense of humor and the company’s job security policy being largely incompatible.”
The men have constructed their stances to keep a self-protective distance. “I know what he means, and it inevitably includes sexual relationships…Such interactions can-and do-so often lead to mistakes, confusion, and embarrassment.” … “Dating is a hell of a bother for a fairly unreliable outcome.” After all, intimacy requires compassion.
When their respective friends chide them for their unsociable ways, they agree to enroll in their building’s flat-sitting arrangement, especially since they’re often away from home. And thus, they miss one another for the first 40% of the story.
Martin takes the initiative to organize Russ’ place, while Russ adds food and homey touches to Martin’s. They leave notes for one another, and their friends notice they are changing. Of course, when they finally meet, they have chemistry. But is that enough? “Are you scared of stepping on my toes Russ?” … “Are you scared of falling over mine, Martin?”
While Martin will always count minutes and Russ will always joke inappropriately, London allows the men to develop from caricatures of themselves into nuanced personalities. “He has no idea how his steady care can steer such a comforting path through my chaos.” … “He has a strange and robust capacity for sentimentality that I’m learning to treasure.”
Sometimes I can tell the quality of a book by the sheer number of quotes I simply must put into a review. And How the Other Half Lives is one such book. Despite the brisk pace of a novella, London meticulously creates language consistent with the men’s personalities and behaviors.
In so doing, she creates a tale which resembles more of a photograph than a painting. Like a dew drop can magnify the object it covers, this little drop of clarity is a truly delightful read!
How the Other Half Lives is a ridiculously adorable short story/novella which stars stereotyped odd couple Martin and Russ.
Russ’s apartment is a mess. He has piles of dirty dishes, clothing all over the floor, homemade booze fermenting in the bathroom and he lives surrounded by packing boxes. He’s happy, and his apartment suits him.
Martin’s apartment is practically sterile. Neutral colours, tasteful antiques, drink coasters are a must, and god forbid he actually cook in his kitchen and risk a mess. He’s also happy, and his apartment suits him.
Neither man sees anything wrong with the way they live their lives and can’t understand the constant badgering they cop from their friends. But giving into pressure to socialize more, they agree to sign up to flat-sit, although this is all organized without the two men ever meeting.
The story actually progresses well; despite the fact the author keeps our main characters apart for the first few chapters of the story. Usually stories of this length rush to get the MCs interacting and into a relationship, but Clare London cleverly begins building their bond through some very amusing ventures into each others homes.
In fact, I think the whole story could be described as clever. The author does a great job of delivering these fascinatingly contrary characters to the reader in a way that makes their romance almost an after thought. Each man has his own turn of narrating through a first person point of view, but the changes are clear and there’s no confusion. I enjoyed the interactions between the MCs and their friends just as much as the interactions between Russ and Martin themselves.
This isn’t the first book that I’ve read by Clare London, and as before I was struck by the quality of her writing. It takes skill to tell a complete story in seventy pages, but this book did just that.
Now I think I’ll go check out book number one in the series, although this book is definitely a standalone.
Review originally posted at Love Bytes Same Sex Book Reviews
Martin is almost borderline obsessive-compulsive with his neat-freak ways, and I really got a kick out of his reaction to Russ’s flat. Both men are at the far ends of the spectrum from each other, and I really loved watching as they each slowly pulled the other towards the middle ground, evening each other out and truly complementing each other the longer they’re around each other. If any couple is an example of two puzzle pieces fitting together, it’s Martin and Russ.
With the author’s smooth writing and the fun exchanges between all of the characters, How the Other Half Lives pulled me right in and had me smiling from start to finish. It’s a fun and fast read, great for a pick-me-up when you just need a story to put a smile on your face. I’m looking forward to more in this series-I need more of these London Lads! 4.5 stars for How the Other Half Lives, and I’d recommend this to any M/M romance reader, especially if you love opposites attract stories.
Martin talks to his friend Ethan - Russ talks to his friend Don - both about the other 'neighbor'
The first one is very tidy and punctual - the second one totally opposite in every way.
They both never met but taking care of each others apartment now and then when one is away for a weekend. Not entirely voluntary, more imposed by their friends. Because both need some neighborhood connection and there was a notice on the communal board downstairs, suggesting a flat-sitting scheme, for when tenants go away.
Martin is a grumpy man, very neat and when he sees Russ his apartment he is stunned by the disorder.
Russ is frivolous, sloppy and messy and when he sees Martin his apartment he is stunned by the mausoleum before his eyes.
But somehow despite all the differences they miraculously fit well....very well :)
Martin makes a big shift from mop a sweat drop... to lick it....
Absolute adorable read. I was reading curled up on the couch and enjoyed it very much.
The vivid way of writing is absorbing. It's utterly funny, (i laughed out loud and smiled constantly) it's endearing and realistic, it felt amazingly like 'home'
Hooray to this story.... I couldn't get enough <3
~ ARC received from Divine Magazine given by Publisher ~
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