As Long As I Have You (London Sullivans) Paperback – October 16, 2019
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Mari, who just lost her birth father, has gone to England to handle his affairs, which include a bookstore, when she meets Owen. A friend of her father’s, Owen checks in on Mari and instantly knows she’s the one for him. Their story is slow building, but it’s a beautiful one. I loved their friendship-turned-love-story.
If you’re looking for a book to read, pick this one. It’s more than worth the hours you’ll spend between the pages.
But I have some problems with her books.
While I don’t want to be pedantic, it annoys me, when during the reading, I’m plunged back in reality. In the case of Bella’s books, it usually happens due to punctuation, in particular her use of — and . . ., without spaces around them. As . . . is in place of missing words, just like a word, requires spaces before an after. Also — has a different meaning from . . ., but it’s often used in its place. A good place to read about is punctuation.com
Another jolt out of the narrative is when she writes about a foetus growing in the stomach — an organ on the digestive system. Foetus growing on the womb, or even belly, would be correct.
As for the too long, too descriptive sex scenes (which I just skip), in so many of her books, they seem tammer in her recent ones. They fit better now. For me, good sex scenes are those steeped in emotion, not about mechanics and moving parts.
Despite these, I’ll continue buying Bella’s books and forget for a few hours the conflicts, the climate, the economy . . .
As Long as I Have You is the first book in the London Sullivans series. It gives the Sullivans a fresh start—outside of the USA—and the setting and characters do feel a bit different, which is not bad, but I gotta admit I did not feel the same connection with this branch of the family as I did (do) with the other branches.
For starters, the hero and heroine's relationship was sweet but I did not feel it developed much even though their story does end with a HEA. The story has a strong focus on the heroine dealing with finding out about her birth father and the aftermath of it all, so for me the romance was left in the background and when the 'falling in love' realizations arrive, I could not believe them.
Furthermore, one of my favorite parts about The Sullivans series is how close the families are and the interactions throughout the story, but with this book there was more telling that showing.
I am not giving up in this new branch, though. I do believe there's a possibility of the following books being better and seeing more development of the relationships presented in this book.
Here's to more Sullivans!
While I hate conflict that exists only to keep two people apart, this one was devoid of any conflict at all between the leads. He falls in love the moment he sees her and within 48 hours neither can picture life without the other in it. In the best Sullivan novels (Ian and Tatiana, Smith and Valentina, Mia and Ford), they may fall for each other right away, but they have to work to get their happy ending, which makes us pull for them all the more. In this book, there's really none of that. And, as others have pointed out, this hero is pretty Beta for a Sullivan (I also kept wondering why they're British, as opposed to a Sullivan branch who just lives in England).
In general, there's a weird immaturity to some of Bella Andre's characters, making me wonder if she has ghost writers for some books. In this one, he's 36 and she's 32, yet they obsess about the great kisses they shared. In my experience, that doesn't happen much past high school. Mari allows her mother to be too controlling at an age where this doesn't come across as family-oriented as much as something requiring therapy.
It may be time for the author to put the Sullivan series on hiatus in case this is caused by understandable burn-out. In the meantime, I'll be re-reading old favorites because they really are some of the best romance novels out there.
Top international reviews
I loved Mari and what she hoped and dreamed for and especially for finding out just what her father was really like.
Mathilda was astounding and graceful in the way she supports her family and friends especially Charlie (Mari's father) it’s hard to find one good friends no matter what happens and I’m glad he had one in Mathilda.
Owen is amazing the way he supported Mari from the beginning and stuck by her the whole way though and also his dedication to his grandmother Mathilda he is just like all of the US Sullivan’s and can’t wait to read the recast of the family’s story
The setting, its surroundings, the characters all combine to make this a book not to put down until you have finished reading. i cannot wait to read Malcolm Sullivan's story next or could be Alice Sullivan and Mari's brother Carson next............ a fitting story line of books within a book, of romance and how lives are intertwined. A missing father who dies and lives his young daughter everything he owned and a bitter mother who doesn't want to lose her daughter to another country.
I live in the U.K. and I would love to find this magic island. Sounds wonderful. Thank you for another amazing book.
As always Bella writes a wonderful story about love, family and finding your way. I am so excited to get a whole new batch of Sullivans to fall in love with and lucky for us this time they live across the pond.
This is the story of Owen Sullivan and Marina Everett (Mari) and it is lovely. Mari lives in California, works as an accountant at her father’s (actual step-father) business, but loves to read. She knows her biological father owns a bookstore in London but hasn’t seen or heard from him since she was 3 years old...
In a bookshop with her brother during a lunch break she receives a call that her biological father, Charlie, has passed away and as he has no will and she is the only living family she gets everything. Everything includes his bookstore and flat on Elderflower Island, a suburb of London.
Her mother is not happy when Mari tells her she is flying over to London to take care of her father’s affairs as she has never forgiven him for his alcoholism which caused their split. But Mari is determined to find out more and go to London and what a life changing trip it is.... it is here that she meets Owen Sullivan on the first day and there is an immediate connection between the two.
Owen is a loving, caring and helpful person and is just lovely to his family, friends, and community. It was so much fun watching he and Mari fall in love.... it was sensitively done as they both had their baggage to sort through...
I loved how Bella Andre wrote about the small community and brought London to life. The people in that community were wonderful and so helpful. Mari was able to see another side of her father through his bookstore as well as the people in the community.
And the kindness Owen and his family show her allows her to realise her dreams and finally be content and happy with her life. This is such a heartwarming story. 4.5 Stars