Series: I See London #1
Published by Harlequin HQN on Feb 3rd 2014
Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.
When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.
Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.
Hey all! Today I’m featuring a new NA romance, I SEE LONDON by Chanel Cleeton with thanks to INKSLINGER PR! Read on for my review!
I SEE LONDON was a fun New Adult novel with a twist of international flair that entertained me and drove me batty in equal measure but always kept me turning the page!
Maggie is an American girl who always had her heart set on Harvard but when the depressingly slim rejection letter drops through the letter box she is left scrambling for alternate plans. A scholarship to the prestigious InternationalSchool in London, populated by the kids of Diplomats and the financial elite is an unnerving prospect but Maggie can’t help but be seduced by thoughts of strolls in Hyde Park and window shopping on Bond Street. Thrust into a social circle she’s unprepared for Maggie finds herself gaining the attention of two very different men: Hugh, British, older and a successful club owner, he can offer her access to the hottest night spots, restaurants and endless glasses of champagne. Then there’s the seductive and enigmatic Samir, cheeky, half-Lebanese, half-French, he makes Maggie’s stomach twist and turn with a simple glance, he doesn’t do relationships but he does seem more than willing to “do” Maggie. Torn between the two, Maggie must navigate this very different world and discover once and for all who or what holds the key to her happy ending…
I SEE LONDON was definitely an addictive read, I got through it quite quickly and for a début I thought it was quite accomplished. It did however contain a lot of the usual NA tropes which meant it was a bit predictable but overall pleasing. One of its biggest draws and a definite highlight for me was the international cast of characters. I loved the diversity and the clashing of cultures as the school’s big melting pot painted a more accurate picture of London and indeed pretty much everywhere that I haven’t seen in many other NA novels set in similar big cities and I loved how it wasn’t a token gesture.
Maggie as an MC was interesting but admittedly she wasn’t my favourite character. I sympathised with her home life and her absent parents and how overwhelming she felt moving to another continent but as the book went on she became more interested in image and status which while understandable wasn’t really to my taste. She imposed a lot of rules upon herself, that she was a “good girl” and therefore couldn’t take certain steps which she then proceeded to take anyway which was baffling. She also committed the ultimate no-no in my book when she decided that in order to “make it count” and follow her dreams and desires she had to step on another woman’s happiness and did so gleefully, justifying it with no more than a shrug that at least she followed her heart. This really didn’t impress me and while I still rooted for her through the majority of the book this definitely coloured my opinion of her.
I did however love her relationship with Samir, their chemistry was undeniable and for most of the book I was aching for another saucy encounter. I loved Samir with his swagger, laissez faire attitude and general laddish behaviour; he was always real and never hesitated to jump in if Maggie or one of the other girls needs help. Hugh on the other hand was a bit bland so the love triangle didn’t create any level of anticipation for how things should progress. I didn’t get Maggie’s attraction to him as for the most part her attitude towards him blew hot and cold and he was clearly the safe option. I was always pleased when Samir would show up to stick his nose in their business and ruffle a few feathers!
Any indifference I felt towards Maggie was remedied by Cleeton’s addition of awesome secondary characters like Fleur whom I adored. Rich, cold and spoiled, she came across as the typical nasty girl, there as the foil to Maggie’s happiness but she grew to be so much more! I loved her character development and the little clues we got as the book went on which filled in the gaps of her history and as it all unfolded I really felt for her. Along with Samir, Fleur is a definite attraction for me to read the second book and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to. Mya was another highlight for me and I love how she provided balance between Maggie and Fleur and am intrigued to see how her story plays out.
Filled with drama at every turn, sizzling scenes and likable (for the most part) characters, I SEE LONDON is an amusing, fast-paced page-turner sure to delight fans of NA romance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally a Florida girl, at seventeen Chanel moved to London to attend an international university. In the four years that followed, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, learned how to dance, travelled through Europe, and made lifelong friendships. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever. But fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise, when an American fighter pilot with smooth dance moves, swept her off her feet.
Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in South Korea. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Harlequin (HQN) will release Chanel’s New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.