As promised, here’s part two of Carrie Elks’ Love in London series.
4.5 out of 5 Stars (The nice thing about posting on my own blog since I can’t give half stars on Amazon or Goodreads)
*I was gifted an ARC of Coming Down in exchange for an honest review.*
Carrie Elks does another wonderful job on this story of real life. Coming Down is beautifully written and had me turning page after page.
Book one of the Love in London series tells Beth’s story. While it is definitely a romance, it’s also so much more. The story goes back and forth between present day and nine years ago, when Beth had a brief but memorable relationship with Niall Joseph. In the present day, Beth is married to an older man named Simon, yet thoughts of Niall are never far from her mind. It’s not only because of their intense history, but also because of a tragic event that tore them apart and damaged Beth’s self-esteem.
When Niall walks back into Beth’s life, she can’t help but make comparisons between the fire they shared and her current relationship with her husband. Things with Simon get rocky, not only because he’s older and treats her more like a daughter than a wife, but also because she can’t help realizing what’s truly important in her life.
Beth and Niall work together on the after school program at a drug clinic, and Beth not only grows closer to Niall, she also grows closer to one of the children. She loves helping the kids, but her position also makes her realize one more thing she’ll never have in her life on its current track—a child. That’s what she agreed to when she married Simon, since he already had a daughter who is almost as old as Beth.
Once upon a time, this half-life of protection and security was what she thought she wanted. But now? Beth has to make some tough decisions about what’s right for her and realize that her life is truly worth living.
As always, Carrie Elks has put together a wonderfully realistic tale and weaved in lots of supporting details. The subplot of Allegra and Daisy, a child in the after school program and her drug-addicted mother, adds depth to the story while allowing Beth to realize what’s really important to her.
I enjoyed the structure of the story, how it switched between past and present, giving the reader bits of information on Beth and Niall’s relationship and what brought Beth to her present situation. The way Carrie weaves London into the story feels natural and comfortable, allowing me to picture the disparities between Beth’s beautiful home with Simon and the rundown area where Daisy and Allegra live.
Carrie’s writing also pulled at all of my senses. In several scenes from the past, I could practically feel the drugs and the high right along with Beth. It was intense as I read it, and it gave me a good understanding of where Beth’s mind was and how all of the events played together to create the perfect storm.
If there was anything I didn’t like about this story, it was the way Beth let Simon treat her like a child. Not every heroine will be strong, but there were times where I couldn’t understand why Beth held her tongue. Thankfully it didn’t take her too long to realize what was important to her and start fighting for it.
Coming Down is book one of the Love in London series and can be read as a standalone book.