Jeremy Brookes is having a mid-twenties crisis. After losing his mother, he’ taken up his father’s offer to move from Canada to London to start a new life. The problem is, he has no idea how to do it. His billionaire father as some ideas… Once Jeremy is installed in the exclusive neighbourhood of Queens Crescent, he will have to sort his life out pretty damned quick if he’s to avoid a lifetime at the pharma company where his father is CEO and his stepmother rules HR.
Jeremy isn’t cut out for that life or that of a spoiled rich kid, worrying where his next designer label is coming from. Then he happens upon Stuart Monroe, the handsome Scottish florist with a shop around the corner. As the only socialist in Kensington, Stuart’s lowly background makes it a challenge to be surrounded by such wealth. Instantly drawn to this rebel in their midst, Jeremy decides to do the sensible thing: go undercover as Stuart’s new shop assistant to get to know the enigmatic stranger better.
What could possibly go wrong?
Jeremy exhaled. “She’s a force to be reckoned with.”
Stuart leant against the counter, grinning. “So are you. You’re going to be running the place if I’m don’t watch ma back.”
Jeremy’s neck burned. “I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t overstep the mark. I saw you letting go of an opportunity just because she pissed you off. Nose cut, spite face came to mind.”
Shaking his head, Stuart straightened up. “And a bit of psychoanalysis on the side? Is there no end to this man’s talents? Well, how about you show me how talented you are at emptying a van? It’s parked out the back.” He handed Jeremy the keys.
“You’ll be thanking me,” Jeremy said with a grin. “I like expensive champagne.”
“Duly noted.” Always an advocate of quitting while he was ahead, Jeremy wandered into the storeroom, painfully aware that Stuart would be watching him.
When he got to the van, he allowed a smile to creep over his face. It was going to be interesting working here.
This book is all about starting over after a huge loss, and finding something completely new, and hopefully amazing. Jeremy lost his mother to cancer recently, and moves to London to start over…with his life and with his father, and hopeful for a love interest in there also. I loved the idea after such a challenging time with a dying parent that you adored (having been there less than a year ago), he gave himself permission to just see where his new life would lead him, and be open to it.
Stuart, the florist around the corner, had been bullied as a child by rich kids in his private school, that he’d had a scholarship at. He was understandably wary of anyone with more money to spare than sense. However, even with all that, he moved his business to this neighborhood. I struggled with that idea. If it was as triggering as it seemed to be, why would he put himself in that space, no matter how good the space was? And he seemed to at least like some of his clients, but never said anything but negative things. His back and forth with Jeremy, also was a bit exhausting. He was a good hardworking, lovely Scottish man, who just wanted his business to do well.
Meanwhile, Jeremy went about it completely the wrong way, lying to get into the job, to get to know Stuart. It showed a lack of maturity on his part, although in his defense, he went to college, and then right into caring for his dying mother, so he hadn’t learned how to deal with people in the outside world as much. However, he also didn’t learn any sort of humility. At one point he says “I’m not going to apologize anymore” and I just thought it was too soon to make that type of statement.
However, I really liked their interactions, and that they had fun together no matter what they did. Jeremy showed that even though he hadn’t gone to many of the places he tried, he was willing. He just didn’t know how to hide that he had money.
The side characters were great. His stepmother turned out to be so kind and gentle with him (as a child with a stepmother that I adore, I am always happy when I read about good stepmothers). His father, while a bit overbearing, also wanted only the best for his son. And the neighbor, Mrs. Wimpole…I kind of want to be her when I grow up.
All in all, a nice holiday story, with a great visual backdrop.
3 pieces of eye candy
I have written for as long as I could write. In fact, before, when I would dictate to my auntie. I love to read, and I love to create worlds and characters.
I live in the English countryside. When I’m not writing, I like to get out there and think through the next scenario I’m going to throw my characters into.
Inspiration can be found anywhere, on a train, in a restaurant or in an office. I am always in search of the next character to find love in one of my stories. In a world of apps and online dating, it is important to remember love can be found when you least expect it.