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Published by Hachette Australia on March 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance
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The third standalone novel in CJ Duggan's HEART OF THE CITY series - a very sassy, super sexy New Adult romance from the internationally bestselling author of the SUMMER and PARADISE series.Like so many of her university friends, Kate Brown is London bound, but unlike her friends - who had the chance to enjoy the beer, sights and attractions of the UK - Kate is instead visiting her grandmother (who may or may not be the devil). Wanting nothing more than to be a normal, independent twenty-something living it up in ol' London town, Kate finds herself a prisoner in her grandmother's Kensington terrace, daydreaming about the holiday that could have been. But when Kate is almost run over by posh,smirking playboy Jack Baker, it leaves her wondering if being out and about is such a good idea after all, especially when she catches herself laughing at his jokes. One thing Kate knows for sure is that she has to avoid Jack at all costs. But with her balcony facing his, you can pretty much guarantee Kate's London adventure is going to be anything but boring
Kate’s London experience wasn’t like she thought it was going to be. Instead of exploring the sights and starting her career as a style blogger, Kate finds herself at her grouchy grandmother’s beck and call only leaving the house to run errands. To make things even more complicated, Kate’s new neighbour confuses her with his odd behaviour but he might be the key to making the most of Kate’s English adventure.
London Bound as a book had so many elements I love to read about but it just missed the mark for me. And not just because I wanted the title to rhyme with the other Heart of the City novels (London Sights? To be followed up with my imagined sequel Vegas Fights 😉 ). I loved the European setting and quirky characters. The romance is lovely complete with a unique meet cute and dashingly handsome leading man.
But Kate’s problems didn’t feel authentic to me. I did not believe Kate as a 25 year old. Despite having being an adult for years, Kate is fairly immature and I had a hard time sympathising with her. She came across as materialistic, petty and childish when it came to her interactions with her grandmother. I felt like the only reason why she was aged 25 rather than 18 was so she was a more appropriate match for Jack. Had Kate been just out of high school her behaviour would have made much more sense to me. I would have understood her relationship with her grandmother and her dreams of blogger grandeur.
So I decided to read this book imagining Kate as fresh out of school rather than full-fledged adult. And I enjoyed it so much more.
Kate’s relationship with Jack was adorable to read. He may be the boy next door but he’s from a completely different world from Kate. She doesn’t think she has anything in common with him but when their paths keep crossing, Kate finds herself attracted to the suit clad, sports car driving mystery man. Their banter is fun and sexy at times with their chemistry being present from their first in-book interaction. I looked forward to any time Kate would bump into Jack and was never disappointed.
Over the course of the novel it was great to see Kate find success with her business endeavours as well as find some sort of relationship with her grandmother. But I did feel some of that development happened in spite of Kate’s actions.
Overall London Bound is an enjoyable read. Whilst this book was my least favourite in the Heart of the City standalone series, it is sure to please CJ Duggan fans. Cheeky leading lady, dashing love interest, family complications and a fun setting – this book does have it all. I just think that in terms of character age and their behaviours, there was a bit of a disconnect.
Many thanks to Hachette Australia for the review copy.