A Good Neighbor, by Clare London
Series: A London Lads novel
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Rating: 3.5 put of 5 stars
A secret affair can’t go on forever.
Dylan Philips admits it himself: he’s a relentlessly single man in a small suburban town, both proud of and resigned to being a good teacher and a devoted nephew to his mischievous great-aunts.
When the aunts take a hand in matchmaking him with Josie Whitman, the girl who lives along the street, Dylan doesn’t tell them what kind of soul mate he’s really looking for—and the fact that he’s already found the man in question. It’s not Josie who’s travelling from London every month to her town property, but her journalist brother Neal. And Dylan meets up with Neal whenever he can.
But decisions must be made for their future. Dylan is risk-averse to everything from overseas travel to coming out, whereas Neal embraces adventure—and now he wants to take Dylan with him.
Horrified that his chance at love will move even further out of his reach, Dylan realises it’s time for him to own up to what kind of man he really is. He needs to find courage and compromise. And who knows whether the great-aunts will be a help or a hindrance with that?
First Edition published as A Good Neighbor by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2009.
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
In the Closet
Years ago, someone asked my friend about his “coming out story” and he said he didn’t have one. It surprised my husband, but when I thought about the answer it made sense. He said for whatever reason (and he grew up in a small town, is 6’4 ish and a really “manly” man) no one ever thought he was straight, and it never occurred to him that maybe they should. Strangely it is true; when I thought about our friendship and my assumptions about him, I, for whatever reason, didn’t assume he was straight either. I’m not sure why… he’s not effeminate, and he doesn’t broadcast his sexuality, but for whatever reason I just never really considered that he would be interested in women.
This book reminded me of that because it really is about a character, Dylan, a teacher in a small town outside of London, who has a perception of what he thinks others think him to be, that I think ends up being a misconception. Dylan is also in a “relationship” with his next door neighbor, Neal. I put “relationship” in quotes because there is a lot of miscommunication– or lack of communication– on both Dylan and Neal’s parts that is the crux of the story.
Dylan also has two meddling “aunts” that were two of the best side characters I’d read in a long time. I enjoyed them and really felt like they were more knowledgeable about who Dylan was attracted to than they led on. I didn’t know if they were messing with Dylan in an attempt to make him admit that he was with Neal or not.
Neal was lovely. Also the chemistry between the two was *fans self* SOMETHING. In the end, the story was less about Dylan and Neal and more about Neal working through his feelings about what truly being out would mean. Was he resistant to it for Neal’s sake, his aunts sake, or because he really wasn’t comfortable being seen as a gay man by others.
Clare London is a published author of gay romantic fiction, often erotic, usually contemporary, but sometimes in other worlds entirely. She publishes with several publishers, in print and ebook, and also offers free fiction on her website http://www.clarelondon.com. Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes.
Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters. 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.
Find Clare online at: http://www.clarelondon.com
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.