London, Can You Wait?
I rarely read new adult romances, because – to be honest – they make me feel old. I can rarely relate to the issues facing a twenty-year old any more, because it feels like I have been there and done that and I have no wish to go back and do it again! But I took a chance on Jacquelyn Middleton’s new adult romance London, Can you Wait?, and I am glad I did. It’s intelligently written, quite entertaining and sweetly romantic with a complex and layered plot and thoroughly developed characters, including a hoot of a secondary cast. I actually did relate to the story, because Ms. Middleton does an outstanding job of covering some issues that are ageless.
London, Can You Wait? is actually the second book in the series London Belongs to Me, and the protagonists, Mark and Alex, have already been in a relationship for almost two years when this story begins. I have not read the first book, also called London Belongs to Me, and I can say that I do not think it diminished my experience. Ms. Middleton does advise reading in order, but also says it is not a necessity. I would label the book as stand-alone…ish.
Mark Keegan is a famous, successful, twenty-five year old Irish actor, who is a heartthrob with a loyal female following and a favorite of the paparazzi. He and twenty-four year old American playwright Alex Sinclair met in London and have been in a committed relationship for twenty months. They love each other to distraction, but Mark is a hot commodity in the acting world and focused on his career. He believes he needs to strike while the iron is hot and is accepting quite a few acting jobs, which means he is away filming quite a lot. Alex and Mark are apart more than they are together nowadays, and the distance is really wearing on them both, especially Alex.
She’s stalled creatively and having a hard time writing, which is difficult after receiving acclaim for her previous project. She’s not as busy as Mark, and she worries he’s doing too much and not taking care of himself. She has suffered from panic attacks for most of her life and has been stable for some time, but the stresses in her relationship and worry over her career are proving to be too much and she’s started having attacks again. Both Mark and Alex desperately want to make things work and are committed to each other, but in an effort to keep the relationship going, they are both keeping secrets in order to prevent the other from worrying or getting upset. Alex isn’t forthright about her recent panic attacks and anxiety medication, and Mark doesn’t reveal everything about his acting jobs.
Of course, secrets meant to protect someone often end up causing more harm than good and that is exactly what happens to Mark and Alex, which sets off a chain of events that will test their love. Their journey is not predictable or guaranteed, which is one of the key factors that makes London, Can You Wait? as enjoyable as it is. The reader is pulled into the story and becomes invested in its outcome hoping for the best, and undergoing a bit of breathless anticipation as we wait to find out how things will play out.
Alex and Mark’s relationship is relatable and believable as both struggle to deal with their own issues while also struggling under the complications in their relationship. They, like most, have to do some soul searching and personal work in order to be able to be their best selves and a strong partner. They’re both mature and endearing as they make their way through the muddy waters of self-improvement and love, and the reader is right there alongside them.
London, Can You Wait? also has a marvelous cast of secondary characters who really add to the reading experience. They are fully developed and have their own stories, giving the book further depth and adding to the entertainment. I’d definitely love to read more stories featuring this group of friends.
I believe anyone should find much to love about this book, even if you are not normally a fan of new adult romances. The only reason I haven’t given the book an A grade is because the punctuation used in the dialogue is distracting, which sometimes made it hard to read. Some readers will not care, and many will not even notice; but it bugged me and I can’t not mention it. This small quibble aside, I can wholeheartedly recommend London, Can You Wait?