Book Reviews

How the Other Half Lives (London Lads 2) by Clare London at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 15-February-2017

Book Blurb

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.



A Perchance to Dream title.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2011.

Book Review

This book is totally hilarious! Not just in its premise of matching two men who couldn’t be more different, but in the way it is told, in alternating first person, and with some brilliant tongue-in-cheek humor. But it’s so much more than romantic comedy as well – the deeper truth behind each man’s phobias and behaviors is as fascinating as seeing them slowly thaw and mellow to the point where they can meet without killing (or at the very least hating) each other. This process is very cleverly set up and managed, and kept me totally fascinated from the first page to the last.

Martin is a recluse of the first order. Meticulously neat to the point of anal retentiveness, he lets nobody into his space for fear of his peace being interrupted. The fact that he is very lonely never even enters his mind, well, not really. His job does get him out and requires him to travel, but if he were working from home, I doubt he’d ever even talk to another human being - except maybe his best friend Ethan who keeps needling him to get out more.

Russ is just as much of a recluse and a total slob by choice (or so he tells himself). His chaos has some order, but few others would recognize it as such. He, too, has a best friend who keeps reminding him that he needs companionship as much as the next guy. His reason to get out is because he loves cooking and travels a lot to work on a contract basis. His proclivity for chaos doesn’t mesh too well with the corporate environment but he’s found a very profitable niche for himself.

If you like unusual stories, you have to read this. The plotline and the way it is put together is extremely clever, entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time. This is excellent romantic comedy, and a psychological study of human differences as well. If you want to laugh, wonder about relationships and what makes them work and come away with a smile on your face, I can only recommend this novel.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 65 pages/20029 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-February-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
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