A Girl Called London by Clare Lydon is the latest in the London franchise, following on from London Calling and This London Love. In this book Sophie London keeps running into (quite literally) a beautiful but rude woman who turns out to be her new upstairs neighbour, Tanya Grant.
With a new job, and a messy family life that she is trying to navigate, Tanya is preoccupied and not herself when she meets gorgeous blonde, dog walker Sophie. When Tanya’s beloved grandmother dies leaving behind her dog Delilah, her life seems to start falling apart, but with the help of her new friend Sophie she begins to put back together the pieces, and will discover a new one, love, that was not there before.
Tamara: Life just kind of happens to Sophie London, she manages to lose her job and lover in one fell swoop and then falls into being a dog walker. On the opposite end of the spectrum there is ambitious and prickly Tanya Grant who is a corporate lawyer.
However despite these major differences, these two just fit together, they are a great counter balance to each other and they make a charming pair.
Tara: I first read this book last year, and I really enjoyed it. Because I hadn’t read This London Love yet, I’d had NO idea what Tanya was like in that book and thought she was just lovely. Needless to say, I got a major shock when I recently listened to both books back-to-back, because I didn’t like Tanya AT ALL in This London Love. She was such a jerk! That left me all the more impressed when I read A Girl Called London, because she has such a tremendous character arc. She keeps herself apart from everyone, including those who love her the most, but we learn she’s that way for very good reasons. I enjoyed seeing her start to let Sophie in, and how she works through her baggage in a way that’s very good for her and ensures they can have a future together.
Sophie was so lovely. She’s warm, thoughtful and just all around wonderful. Unfortunately, she’s been notoriously bad at choosing romantic partners, and the most recent was particularly awful. She’s understandably wary of a new relationship, and I love that she puts herself out there, while also standing up for herself when she needs to.
The Writing Style
Tamara: Clare Lydon is the queen of British contemporary romance, she manages to spin a well paced story that does not rely on excessive drama to drive the story. The writing in A Girl Called London is snappy, clean and at times funny.
Tara: I totally agree with Tamara. And, I mean, come on! It’s a romcom from Clare Lydon! Of course it’s going to be funny, sexy, sweet, and just a joy to read. At the same time, not everything is easy to read (or listen to). There’s a lot of difficult stuff there, especially with Tanya’s family, and I love how it keeps the story real rather than adding angst for angst’s sake.
Tara: I really enjoyed Lucy Price-Lewis’s narration. I don’t know that she did a lot to differentiate the two leads, but I never had an issue telling them apart. I particularly like how she handled voices for older people and for men, which are sometimes odd or offputting with other narrators.
Tamara: What I enjoy about this particular lesbian romance fiction franchise is that it is not a series in the traditional sense, following two characters over several books. Instead each of the London novels focuses on two new main characters while old friends from the other books pop in as peripheral characters every now and then. This is amazing for world build and building familiarity without having to rely on two characters to drive the story.
Tara: Everything! The writing is great, the character work is flawless, and it’s just an overall excellent read.
Okay seriously nothing that I can think of.
Tara: I don’t have anything either!
Tamara: A Girl Called London is a lovely contemporary lesbian romance which can be enjoyed even if you have not read the books that come before it. If you have never read Lydon, go ahead and pick this up. If you are already a fan of this series, what are you still doing here? Go get it!
Tara: This is such a good book! Whether you’ve read the other books in the series or not, if you’re a fan of British romcoms, you’re sure to love A Girl Called London. It’s also a great place to start if you’ve never read Clare Lydon before, because it captures the best of her talent. I will definitely be listening to this one again!
Excerpt from A Girl Called London by Clare Lydon
“I’m dying to meet her. You think she might be lured out here by the scent of you moving in?”
“The scent of me arriving?” Tanya repeated. “What on earth does that mean?” Alice gave her a slow smile.
“You know, lesbian speak. When one moves into the building, the others get a tingle in their spider senses and flock to help. Or offer herbal teas, that sort of thing.”
“I don’t drink herbal tea.”
“That’s because you’re a very bad lesbian, we’ve already established that. Meat-eater, no pets, capitalist, severe lack of chequered shirts.”
“When you’re done with my character assassination, let me know,” Tanya replied as lift stopped at floor 30.
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A Girl Called London
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781912019564
- Publisher: Custard Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Audible Studios
- Narrator: Lucy Price-Lewis
Clare Lydon Online
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Note: I received a free review copy of A Girl Called London by Clare Lydon. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.