Series: Love in London #1
Published on September 24, 2014
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
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Beth finally has her life back on track. A job she loves, a wealthy husband and a beautiful home are a far cry from the tragedy that struck when she was nineteen. But now that her past seems firmly behind her, an old flame walks back into her life. Bringing back painful memories of a time she's worked hard to forget, reviving a passion she tried to bury years before.
Niall is an up-and-coming artist, recently returned from success in America. Volunteering to teach in an inner-city drug clinic, the last person he expects to see is the girl who broke his heart nine years earlier. Working closely together allows their old wounds to heal, forging a deeper connection between them. One that slowly starts to burn.
As she becomes tangled up with a neglected child and her drug-addict mother, Beth finds herself drawn to Niall. But neither of them can anticipate how hard it is to tread the thin line between friendship and desire.
Coming Down is a story about love, second chances, marriage, drug abuse, and addiction. It’s well written, has awesome characters and is told with so much heart.
Beth has been married to a wealthy lawyer, Simon for a few years now. It’s not a marriage of passion, but she feels happy and safe in the protection he provides her. When Beth first met Simon she was not in a good place. She was really unsure of her and was suffering from panic attacks brought on by a tragic event in her college years. Now though, she’s well adjusted, content and works at a substance abuse clinic running an afterschool club for the children of addicts.
I have a husband who loves me, who takes care of me, who soothes away the nightmares and makes me feel protected. In return, I try to behave the way he wants me to.
Niall is a very successful artist. When he volunteers to teach at the clinic for the kids’ weekly art class, he doesn’t expect to run into someone from his past. Beth and Niall had a very intense, passionate affair in college. Back then they were both young, impulsive, using drugs frequently and in excess. They haven’t seen each other in nine years, since they were both expelled from their University when their mutual friend overdosed.
I know from first-hand experience that drugs kill, but it’s the way they maim, breaking minds and hearts, that’s as hard to take.
Beth is very committed to her work at the clinic. She has a hard time keeping things professional and not getting too attached to the kids, one in particular. Simon has never approved of Beth’s job, but tolerates it as long as it doesn’t affect their marriage. When Beth becomes more and more invested in a certain patient and her child and potentially puts herself in danger, problems start to arise between Beth and Simon. Meanwhile, Beth is also dealing with unwanted feelings springing back up for Niall.
Niall and I imploded like a dying star, burning brightly one moment then fading into blackness the next. That sort of excitement, emotional highs and lows, may be something to live for when you’re a teenager. Now, though, I should long for comfort, for steadiness, for Simon. I need to keep reminding myself of that.
It may sound like this is going to be an angsty love triangle dealing with a bunch of cheating, but it’s really not. It’s first and foremost Beth’s story. Even though she’s almost thirty, it’s about her kind of coming into her own. She went from being a wild teen, to a scarred woman looking for comfort, to being the wife of an older distinguished man. When she encounters problems in her marriage and with Niall coming back into her life, it takes Beth out of the nice little bubble she’s built for herself. It forces her to reevaluate everything and find out who she is on her own.
I want him to know me. The real me. The one I’ve been trying to suppress ever since Digby’s death. The one I thought I’d left behind. It turns out she was here all along, waiting for me to find her for real.
I loved this book! Beth was a fantastic narrator, vulnerable yet she shows more strength as the story progresses. I enjoyed seeing her falter and mess up, but she overcomes and it really showed her growth. She’s so caring and selfless and I admired that about her. I also loved Niall! He’s playful and carefree but has this deeper artsy side too. It was interesting to see their relationship now versus the scenes we get from the past and how much things have changed for both of them. It really brought everything to a whole new level and made me care about them so much more.
“I’ll wait for as long as it takes,” he tells me. “I’ll be here; you only have to say the word.”
I’ve totally become a fan of Carrie Elks writing. I always think its kind of fun reading a book written set in the UK, especially when the author is from there as well. There’s soulfulness about this book and at times it’s pretty sad seeing the effects of substance abuse and addiction. I think how the author balanced the heavy subject matter with the romantic aspects were really well done. Everything flows very nicely, feeling very well thought out, and realistic for the situation. I’ve definitely become invested in these characters and have already started the next book, Broken Chords, which is about Beth’s best friend, Lara.
“You’ll always be Rain Girl to me.”
(These CAN be read as stand alone novels.)
Coming Down (Love in London #1) – (Beth’s story)
Broken Chords (Love in London #2) – (Lara’s story)