Between a Rock and a Hard Place, by Clare London
Series: London Lads, Book Five
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 30, 2017
Garry’s at the end of his tether. He’s waiting at Glasgow Airport to meet his friend Will, on their way to a holiday in a Scottish Highlands hotel. Now there’s a ten-hour delay to incoming flights, the seat in the lounge is more like an instrument of torture, and he’s beyond tired of airport food.
He’s also dreading having to apologise for the pass he recently made at Will, his colleague at a London bank, under the influence of too many beers and a long-held crush. Now Will’s been offered a new job offer on a continent thousands of miles away, Garry realises it may be the end of their close friendship—let alone anything more.
To add to Garry’s stress, he’s treated to the company of Emily and Max, two young people who think he needs educating in the ways of the world. Struggling with their well-meaning help and the startling mess from spilled ketchup and noxious-smelling sweets, he’s encouraged to re-examine how he feels about Will and to decide what kind of journey he’d really like them to take together.
First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2010.
Friends to Lovers
Clare London can be pretty hit or miss for me, but I have leaned more towards liking books from the “London Lads” series and was sad to see this was an exception.
Most of this book is spent inside Garry’s head as he waits from his best friend to arrive at the airport so they can go on vacation. Garry’s friend and co-worker, Will, has spent several weeks in the United States, where he’s interviewing for a position that could possibly relocate him from London. Garry is actually in love with Will and now sees that he needs to make his feelings known or risk losing the potential for more with Will in the future. I loved the premise of the story, but the execution left me frustrated.
To start, very little of this book shows the couple together. Sure Garry told us about the time the two spent together (most evenings and weekends, taking annual holiday trips with their friends, etc.), but it was just a recollection of memories as he tried to work through what he should do.
A TON of time is spent on these children who appear while Garry is napping and kind of keep Garry company as Will’s flight is unexpectedly delayed for hours. Now while others may have found the presence of the children cute I felt it was not well written. I spent most of the book thinking they were either figments of Garry’s imagination (he’d been sleeping after all) OR the most annoying thing ever. Like, where are the children’s parents? After 30 minutes, I would have suggested we either find their parents OR security because who leaves their elementary school-aged children to causally roam and solicit money from strangers? When the identity of the children was revealed I was like, “really?”
Then when Will FINALLY arrives and Garry makes his feelings known, it felt… well odd. There was one particular issue I had, which was the need to have the two engage in sex in a public airport bathroom. These two had been “friends” for YEARS, and Garry had waited hours, if not weeks, to discuss his feelings with Will, only to have things cheapened by a restroom quicky. I got the two were going on vacation with a group of nosy friends and didn’t expect to have a ton of alone time, but I would have at least suggested an overnight at a local hotel. Romance me or something. Overall not a bad 45 pages, but I think the length may have hurt this story.
Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. 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.
You can purchase Between a Rock and a Hard Place from:
Or add it to Goodreads
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.