Welcome to the next stop on the blog tour for Adventures Abroad, a new adult contemporary romance series by Jen McConnel from BloomsburySpark. Over the next four days, I’ll review each of the books in the series and provide an overview of the series as well. Today, I’m reviewing book 1, What Happens in London. Be sure to see below for information on the books, buy links, and details on Jen’s giveaway.
Sarah landed in London, just hoping to leave her home behind and escape her family. But she didn’t plan on falling headfirst into Carson’s arms.
Get ready for a summer of self-discovery and romance in the first of the New Adult novella series, Adventures Abroad!
Praise for What Happens in London:
“Travel through London with Sarah, you’ll squee, laugh and swoon at her adventures, I know I did!”- Lisa Burstein, author of Sneaking Candy
What Happens in London starts off a little like The Nanny Diaries before taking an unexpected turn. Sarah is in London working as a nanny for a sort-of-single mom of two. She bullies Sarah into working on her day off, only to fire her for teaching expletives to her daughter. Armed with a generous severance package and a ticket back to the States, Sarah decides to see a little of London before going home with her tail between her legs.
She soon meets Carson, a charming bookstore clerk with a wicked accent and eyes for Sarah. Sarah was raised by an emotionally abusive father and a spineless mother, and her self esteem needs work, but Carson is just what the doctor ordered. Sarah’s inability to believe anyone could be interested in her for herself makes it difficult for her to trust Carson.
For just the first book in a tetralogy, What Happens in London has a beginning, a middle, and an end, plus a character arc and a complete story arc. Author Jen McConnel has done what so few authors have, broken a story into smaller parts while still telling a complete story within a story.
The characters are limited. This is Sarah’s story and she’s well-developed. I have less of a sense of Carson, but so does Sarah, so that’s not a problem. In fact, I believe it was deliberate on the part of the author. I love Sarah. She’s hopeful, but jaded, adventurous, yet guarded. She’s so conflicted about everything, including herself, and yet she’s consistent in her seesawing inconsistencies.
I haven’t been to London in a long time, but I loved seeing the city again through Sarah’s eyes. I traveled for business, staying in an American hotel, being provided with a Radio Taxis London charge card, so it was a blast to see the other side of London, the one with youth hostels and the “tube”.
The story is told in first person, drawing me into the story. The descriptive details, incorporating smells and sounds as well as sights, brought the scenes to life in very vivid fashion.
I liked the ending, but I can see where some people wouldn’t. I felt like the author remained true to her character, and wrapped up Sarah’s story in a completely believable way while leaving the door wide open for more.
Top Five Things I enjoyed about What Happens in London:
1. Sarah’s relationship with the kids she cares for. Even when they puke on her, she clearly loves them.
2. Carson. He’s sweet, and I love that he can see the Sarah beyond her insecurities.
3. London. One of my favorite cities in the world is beautifully portrayed.
4. Hostels. I have to admit, the only hostel I’ve seen is one in Ocean Beach near where I used to live, but they sound like an awesome way to travel.
5. Amsterdam. Known best for it’s red light district, I love that the story doesn’t set foot there, and instead shows the rest of this amazing city.
What Happens in London is a quick read that packs a lot of emotional power into its less than 100 pages.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Title: What Happens in London
Series: Adventures Abroad #1
Author: Jen McConnel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Release Date: June 15, 2015
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Bloomsbury Spark
About the Author
A Michigander by birth, Jen McConnel now makes her home in the beautiful state of North Carolina. She writes NA, including the recently released Adventures Abroad series (Bloomsbury Spark), the award winning YA novel Beautiful Curse, and various other works.
When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure.
Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.
Where to Find Jen McConnel
Goodreads | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
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Thank you so much for participating in the tour! I’m thrilled that you loved London and Sarah 🙂