Review: Coming Down by Carrie Elks

Coming Down CoverI am a total sucker for stories about second chances at love. I’m also a sucker for books set in the UK. It’s been this way since the mid-90s when I first began reading chick lit by authors like Victoria Routledge, Jane Green, Abigail Bosanko, Dorothy Koomson… so when I first heard about Coming Down (the first book in the Love in London series) I immediately added it to my TBR list. The cover was already enough to hook me–Big Ben and double-decker buses against a sunset sky? Yup, I love London and this was enough for me. Then I read the blurb and was intrigued–a man from the past, a woman trying to make up for her past mistakes, a neglected child who needs love and security? Okay, now I was totally hooked. Of course I bought it. How could I resist?

Coming Down by Carrie Elks tells the story of Beth and Niall’s shared past and what happens when their paths cross after so many years apart. Beth is in a comfortable marriage that lacks passion and Simon, her wealthy and much older husband, feels more like her doting (though sometimes a tad bit controlling) guardian rather than the man of her dreams. While he provides her with financial security, he’s also scrubbed away any of Beth’s rough edges and honed her into the perfect pretty trophy wife–always beautifully turned out for social events, always knowing the right hostess gifts, etc. But what he hasn’t managed to do is stop her from working at the inner-city drug clinic where she helps the children of recovering addicts. When the clinic needs a new volunteer art teacher, Simon’s daughter recommends an artist who turns out to be Niall, the man who once turned Beth’s life upside-down and who introduced her to a world of drugs that ended up pulling her into a downward spiral.

Both Niall and Beth are different people now. They’ve conquered their drug problems and they’re both trying to make up for a past mistake that led to the death of a friend. Initially, they pretend there is no connection between them, but it’s obvious the years apart have not dulled their attraction to one another. And their love of the children at the clinic keeps bringing them together. Well, I won’t reveal any more details. I’ll just say I thoroughly enjoyed reading their story and can’t wait to delve into the next book in the Love in London series, Broken Chords, which comes out later this week. 🙂

My rating? 5_Star

Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Wallbanger_Cover-e1352210304296I’m always on the lookout for books that speak to me. Now, of course, I realise books are inanimate objects that won’t literally speak to me, but you know what I mean. You read the blurb, it sparks something inside you and you just know you must read that book. Well, that is exactly what happened with Alice Clayton‘s novel, Wallbanger.

I first heard about it on Facebook. I was on a book blog page (I think it was Novel Grounds) and some people were raving about it. Now, I usually avoid books people rave about because they don’t always live up to the hype. I glanced at the cover on Amazon every now and then, read the blurb, thought it sounded interesting but still didn’t buy it.

Finally two friends in the US read it and loved it and, since our taste in books is similar, I finally caved in and bought it. It took another few months before I finally read it, which I did last weekend while en route to London for the London Author Fair.

Was I disappointed? Absolutely not! Wallbanger is a fun read and the repartee between Simon and Caroline is quick, sexy and just a little silly (in a good way). And I rather liked Clive the cat. His antics made me laugh and snort a few times on my flight from Stockholm to London. 🙂

I think the only thing that didn’t work for me in Wallbanger were the text messages from her friends–since the entire novel was from Caroline’s POV, it felt a bit strange that there would suddenly be text messages between other characters and Caroline wasn’t a part of these conversations.

Still, that didn’t deter me from reading. I thought Wallbanger was nice, fluffy fun and, even though I’d figured out a few things halfway through the book, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment.

So now I’ve decided to read a few more Alice Clayton novels. That should take me through the weekend, especially since I have a cold now and feel like I need something to cheer me up. 🙂