Length: 20,000 words
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover: Tibbs Design
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.
I love a good opposites attract story, and this one hit the spot with its quirky characters, low angst and of course a happy ending. The fact that it’s a quick read with a little bit of heat makes it even better. It was really easy for me to identify with both characters even though they really were total opposites…and even given how opposite they were to each other, they actually do have plenty in common—as their interactions with their own friends clearly show.
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.
Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.
All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!
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