Tuesday, July 8, 2014

London Falling (ISL #2) by Chanel Cleeton

* * * 1/2

We weren't a relationship, we were a ticking time bomb...

Maggie Carpenter walked away from the hottest encounter of her life when she left the seductive glitz of England for summer break in her South Carolina hometown. Now that she’s returned to the International School in London—and sexy, privileged Samir Khouri is once again close enough to touch—she can’t help but remember the attraction, the drama … the heartbreak.

She can’t help but want him even more.

Samir can’t afford to fall for someone so far removed from his world, not when his time in London is running out. It's his senior year—his last chance at freedom before he returns home to Lebanon. There, he’ll be expected to follow in his father’s footsteps—not follow his heart to Maggie. But when a scorching secret hookup becomes a temptation neither can resist, they’ll both have to fight to survive the consequences … and find a future together.

Don’t miss this explosive sequel to I See London, and the riveting conclusion to Maggie and Samir’s story. 

This is a New Adult romance recommended for readers 17 and up.

How freaking adorable is this cover? Seriously, that's what drew me to this series in the first place. And I'm thrilled to say London Falling is even better than its predecessor with the addition of Samir’s point of view making it a more rounded and engaging story. Where I See London was brimming throughout with sexual tension, London Falling has that combined with trepidation about what the future holds for each of them. I'll try to avoid any spoilery so here goes ...

After a heated ending, Maggie and Samir spend the summer apart and it's complete radio silence between them. When they return back to school neither knows what to expect. So they’re both jittery and awkward around each other. How their friends haven’t picked up on this, I have no idea. But when it comes out that Samir’s future is spoken for by his parents and that there’s no place in it for Maggie, her heart is broken and he’s a wreck.

My favourite aspect of London Falling is coming to know Samir as more than the international playboy we’re used to. He’s a guy with the burden of his family’s legacy looming over him. His unaffectionate father has high expectations of him to return to his side in Lebanon.  He has no tolerance for any of Samir's shenanigans or his indulgences. Knowing this makes you realize that Samir has been taking a very slow march toward kissing his freedom goodbye.

London Falling also highlights further the disparities between them such as their cultural differences and familial obligations which are laid out plainly before them. Maggie doesn't want to destroy his brilliant future and Samir doesn't want to lead her down this path that she can't accompany him on. These two are simply too afraid to be honest with each other about their feelings or about what they truly want for themselves. They play a very uneasy game by deciding to live in a fantasy for the next few months at school until Samir graduates and has to return to his family. Someone is undoubtedly going to get hurt once their bubble has to burst. It’s unavoidable but they’re both big kids and they know what they’re entering into. 

There are quite a few sweet surprises in London Falling that are well, bittersweet. Moments where you’ll smile and go “aww” and others where you’ll just feel sad because it'll make their goodbyes that much harder. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful sequel with plenty of sizzling scenes as well as emotional ones. The only thing that could make this better? If Ms. Cleeton would be so kind as to give us a follow up with life moving forward from Samir’s point of view. I truly believe there’s a genuinely compelling story right there. Read London Falling and you'll understand what I'm on about!

~ Bel

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