Series: International School #2
Publisher: Harlequin HQN on July 7, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2014 Prequel and Sequel Challenge, 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge
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We weren't a relationship, we were a ticking time bomb...
Maggie Carpenter walked away from the hottest encounter of her life when she left the seductive glitz of England for summer break in her South Carolina hometown. Now that she’s returned to the International School in London—and sexy, privileged Samir Khouri is once again close enough to touch—she can’t help but remember the attraction, the drama … the heartbreak.
She can’t help but want him even more.
Samir can’t afford to fall for someone so far removed from his world, not when his time in London is running out. It's his senior year—his last chance at freedom before he returns home to Lebanon. There, he’ll be expected to follow in his father’s footsteps—not follow his heart to Maggie. But when a scorching secret hookup becomes a temptation neither can resist, they’ll both have to fight to survive the consequences … and find a future together.
Check out my review of I See London (International School #1)
London Falling picks up the fall after Maggie’s freshman year with Maggie anxiously awaiting Samir’s arrival after their intimate night the day before summer break. Maggie is shocked to hear that Samir hadn’t broken up with his girlfriend even after their night. But Samir’s family has expectations for him to follow and a path that he’s been set on his whole life—and that doesn’t include Maggie. They can’t deny their feelings for each other but they are worlds apart.
I enjoyed London Falling more than I See London. I’m not exactly sure what it was about this novel but I felt like it had more drama which kept me more entertained. The struggle between Samir and Maggie definitely had more stake than it did in the previous novel because they finally acknowledged their feelings in this one. I was very invested in their story.
“With each word that left my lips, I realized the truth of everything I said. My entire life I’d always been someone’s second choice. My mom hadn’t loved me enough to stay; my dad hadn’t loved me enough to come home. There was always something that mattered more than me, always something chosen over me. I wanted to be someone’s first choice. For once, I wanted to know what if felt like to have someone fight for me, to have someone stay.”
Maggie was a character that you couldn’t help but love. She was insecure about Samir’s feelings for her which is typical in real girls. She didn’t want him to give up everything just to be with her which made me admire her character more. She was also caring to her friends, intelligent, and overall adorable and fun.
“‘Now you’re becoming a man. It’s time for you to grow up. You know it, I know it.’ She stopped walking, reaching up and holding my face in her hands, forcing me to look at her. ‘You’re smart and loyal. Strong. Brave. You’re stubborn and determined and charismatic. You’re a leader. Everyone follows you. You can be anything you want; you just have to see it. Don’t let people tell you you’re less than you are.’ Emotion filled me. ‘Maggie…’ She smiled again. ‘I believe in you. I think you can do anything. You just have to believe it too.’”
Samir was a bit of a pushover in my opinion. He was built up over the series to be this man who doesn’t care what anyone else thought yet he let his family control him so completely. But I did enjoy his character more in this novel than the last because we saw more about him than on the surface stuff. It was nice to see the man behind the cocky exterior.
“His arm around me, we walked out to the car. It hit me then that in a way, this felt like a new beginning. Like we were standing on the edge of something different, a fundamental change in our relationship that would stay with us for the time that remained. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t pretend my heart wasn’t engaged anymore. I was in love with Samir.”
The romance in this novel was definitely hotter and more present than in the previous one. I liked seeing Samir and Maggie together because they brought out the best in each other. She made him better overall and he pushed her to be who she wanted to become. I liked the emotional connection that they shared and how it grew stronger with every chapter. It was one of the more well-written romances that I’ve read.
Fleur was another big part of this novel. She is Maggie’s best friend and Samir’s cousin and dealing with her ex-boyfriend and being blackmailed. This was a subplot that I really enjoyed following and the fact that there was no resolution in the plot for Fleur has me hoping that maybe that means a spin-off focusing on her character. I’m really really hoping so!
Like the previous novel, most of this one was set in London. However, we also see other places like Maggie’s hometown and Lebanon. All the places that Cleeton incorporates in her novel are obviously well-researched and they are very realistic. It gives a worldly feel to the novel and sets the perfect backdrop to the characters’ story.
London Falling was a great wrap-up to Samir and Maggie’s story. A well-written novel about breaking free for the ones you love, this novel will captivate you from page one.