A Caryn Review: A Good Neighbour (London Lads #3) by Clare London


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Another very cute, very SHORT little novella in the London Lads universe.  I kid you not, the blurb covers 95% of the story.

It all starts with Mitzi and Bess, two feisty little old ladies who only want the very best for their great nephew Dylan.  They have a standing date for tea and cakes with him every week, and have been not so gently encouraging him to find somebody special.  They’re a little bit manipulative as well, and clearly know more than they are letting on as they tease Dylan about his neighbor Josie.  And her good-looking brother Neal.

Dylan is very conscious of how conservative and gossipy his little town is.  He’s a teacher, and feels he has a certain reputation to uphold, and being gay doesn’t really fit with his ideal.  So he hides it.  Neal is a journalist who covers stories all over the world, and his life is full of excitement and freedom.  He’s only in town for a few days each month, and though they’ve been together since they first met months ago, Dylan has been extremely careful about making sure that they aren’t seen together so no one will suspect the truth.

How can these two men, from such different worlds, find a way to be together for good?  Who will be the one to compromise?  Will Dylan finally admit to his aunts that he is gay and obtain their blessing?  Will the aunts get fed up with all the secrecy and expose everything???  (Personally, I also wanted to know how the aunts identify, the initial set up made me think they were lovers, but then they started flirting with another old man, so maybe there is a geriatric threesome going on?  They may be gossips, but these little biddies clearly had some secrets of their own!)

For answers, you have to read the book!  It will take you an hour, tops.  Don’t expect any great characterization or extensive plot, the story is way too short for that.  But it was a nice way to fritter away a bit of an evening at home…

Cover art by Valerie Tibbs shows two smiling men I could very easily imagine as Dylan and Neal.  Too bad Mitzi and Bess didn’t fit on the cover with them!

Sales Links:  

Dreamspinner Press 

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Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 60 pages
Published April 19th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published 2009)
ISBN 163533411X (ISBN13: 9781635334111)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLondon Lads #3

A Caryn Review: How the Other Half Lives (London Lads #2) by Clare London


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

how-the-other-half-livesThis was a cute, quick, funny read, perfect for an hour of pure, angst-free entertainment!

Martin Harrison is an uptight, obsessive neat freak who has trouble tolerating disorder in any part of his life – or in other people’s – who is perfectly happy with his regimented, solitary life.  His best friend Ethan nagged him to at least try to interact more with people, so Martin promised to get involved with the flat-sitting scheme his apartment set up (which was the first thing he thought of) to get Ethan off his back.

Russ McNeely is a free lancing chef/food critic with an admitted authority problem.  He’s enthusiastic and creative, but flighty and forgetful and has no idea why his best friend Don gets upset that he still hasn’t unpacked after living in his apartment for 6 months.  He’s OK with his cluttered, chaotic apartment, messy clothes, and lack of a social life, but he agrees to sign up for the apartment’s flat-sitting scheme as a way to meet some new people.

So of course these two are assigned to each other, and both are horrified to see how the other one lives, so they start making little changes in the other apartment that gradually lead to changes in themselves as well.  I loved the difference in their voices as they talked to their friends – Martin was ever so posh and snooty, Russ was emotional and earthy.  By the time they finally met each other, romance was clearly inevitable.

The meddling best friends were awesome, the descriptions of the completely opposite ways the men saw the same things were hilarious, and of course the way they finally met was just adorable.  Finished off by an over-the-top, wildly successful collaboration that let the two men ride off into the sunset while their best friends applauded from the sidelines.

Normally a book I’d give 3 stars, but this gets another half star for sheer cuteness!  And for the very clever introductions to each chapter.

Cover art by Valerie Tibbs doesn’t exactly indicate that this is a comedy, but it’s OK.

Sales Links



Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 65 pages
Published February 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 5th 2011)
ISBN 1635333156 (ISBN13: 9781635333152)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLondon Lads #2