Review: How the Other Half Lives (London Lads #2) by Clare London

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.

How the Other Half Lives is opposites attract done right. You really aren’t going to find two dudes more different than the MC’s in How the Other Half Lives. And I don’t mean the extreme tropey differences where one guys a biker and the other is a baker. Martin and Russ are both pretty regular guys living pretty regular lives, it’s just that the details in which they live their lives are total and complete opposites. Martin is a neat freak, Russ is a slob, Martin is a planner, Russ wings it, Martin is compulsively organized, Russ is a lesson in chaos. The two should drive each other completely nutters.

What the author got so right in this one is, they do drive each other a little nutters and the lust doesn’t make everything alright and the differences aren’t immediately written off as charming quirks. Nope, these characters are written as regular guys, so they react like real people and I appreciated that reality.

The meet/cute these guys have takes some time to develop and each chapter is told from a different perspective. One chapter is Martin’s and the next belongs to Russ and it worked well for this story. Each of their voices was completely unique and I liked getting both of their perspectives. I don’t think the story would have been nearly as charming without it. For a quick read, the development of the relationship was not at all rushed and I could believe that Martin and Russ were actually getting to know each other, irritate each other charmingly and slowly but surely falling in lurve.

The moments where the guys found themselves compromising by accident were my favorite. It made the whole story feel more real as Martin let Russ make his mark on his kitchen and Russ began to actually make his apartment a home rather than a storage facility. I don’t think either of them made the changes consciously, but just really wanted to make the other happy, and the honest reactions were worth leaving their respective comfort zones.

Overall, completely adorable and highly recommended for all the book hugs.

For more info on How the Other Half Lives, check it out on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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