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When Things Happen Together

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Two travelers on the ultimate Australian road trip. Two numbers that will change their lives forever. Thomas is in need of a change. Being an aspiring artist from London, he hopes a working holiday in sunny Australia will be the muse he’s been waiting for. But it isn’t Australia’s vast landscapes that are his source of inspiration… After a string of unromantic dates, Thomas meets Bruce, a handsome Irish traveler with alluring almond eyes. The more time the pair spend together, however, the more they start seeing the numbers 1122 everywhere. Are the numbers just a coincidence, or is something greater at play? Is Bruce really who he says he is, or is there more to him than he’s letting on? A story about seizing the moment, finding a sense of home, and embracing love when it comes knocking.

268 pages, Paperback

Published October 11, 2022

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About the author

Jordan Clayden-Lewis

3 books29 followers
Jordan Clayden-Lewis works in digital publishing and is an Australian author of queer books, most recently the bestselling road trip romance novel, When Things Happen Together.

Jordan's fiction has been published in print with Currency Press and he's performed his work at the Australian storytelling event Queerstories, as well as the National Young Writers' Festival.

When Jordan's not reading or writing, he's parenting his overactive kelpie Misty, hiking a trail in the forest somewhere, or thinking about Mexican food.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 42 reviews
Profile Image for Marieke (mariekes_mesmerizing_books).
467 reviews276 followers
August 30, 2022
When Things Happen Together is a different book than I thought it would be. Somehow, I expected a standard M/M romance, but it’s far more than that. It’s unlike other M/M books and unapologetically gay, and let me just love that!

The first chapter starts with a BAM, and it’s immediately clear that something bad will happen. Usually, I like these kinds of stories more when they’re written in first person/present tense or third person/past tense (I know, I can nag about writing styles 😂). In this case, though, the first person/past tense gave me the feeling of reminiscing, and it gave an extra layer of tension.

Like Jordan says himself, this story is a love letter, to his own younger reckless self, to anyone who’s fallen in love so fiercely that the whole world around you disappears. And reading the book felt like that love letter. Thomas tells his story in chronological snippets, and I read breathlessly, desperately wanting to know what would happen to those two guys who had such a strong bond from the moment they met. The more I read, the more a knot started to form in my stomach, and I exchanged my thoughts with Kalob Dàniel, who was reading When Things Happen Together too. We both feared the same thing but held on to the tagline, ‘sometimes love is right on time’. Those italic thoughts, though, arghhh!!!

Be aware that the story is very easy to read, but the topics aren’t easy. Far from it, actually. Like I said, this isn’t your usual fluffy M/M, and you should pick it up with care. Triggers include drug use, the death of family members, (sexual) abuse, and mental health issues.

Thank you so much, Jordan, for letting me read your novel early! Thomas’ and Bruce’s love story drew me in, and I could never let them go. I rooted for them constantly and wanted them to be happy so badly, with or without each other. I loved the analogy between life and dominos, falling the way they’re meant to, regardless of the outcome. And it’s always eleven twenty-two. Always.
Profile Image for Dennis.
774 reviews1,472 followers
October 26, 2022
MM romance novels have had a resurgence and deviation from the MM rom-com BS that Red White & Royal Blue created and I'm loving it. Even though RWRB wasn't my favorite novel ever, I appreciated it bringing MM Romance to mainstream fiction. That being said, it watered down a lot of the MM romance novels that I've been wanting to read (fade to black, ridiculous heteronormative dating styles, etc.). Jordan Clayden-Lewis' new novel, WHEN THINGS HAPPEN TOGETHER breaks away from that mold and I'm so happy to see it doing its own thing. I don't want to dive into specifics about the synopsis because its a romance novel, figure it out. However, this book dives into depression, violence, drugs, and provides the explicit graphic steam I expect coming from MM romance novels. This fast-paced book can be read in one sitting, trust me I did it myself! Jordan Clayden-Lewis has now gotten my attention and I can't wait until his next novel.

Books like When Things Happen Together remind me of real gay relationships. My relationship with my husband is not reflected in this book, but our journey has followed a path I wouldn't see in the MM romance rom-coms I've read in this past. I want more stories like When Things Happen Together moving forward.
Profile Image for Laxmama .
581 reviews
December 7, 2022
This was very meh for me. I liked the premise of the book but for me it was so odd and probably not for me. I didn’t get the shoe insta love or really like any of the MC’s
Profile Image for Andrew.
159 reviews22 followers
July 13, 2022
Wow, this was a wild ride! I feel so lucky to have received an ARC from the author. Cannot wait for readers to meet Thomas and Bruce and experience all the feelings! I will keep this spoiler free.
When Things Happen Together is a story about two guys (one British, one Irish) who both find themselves travelling/living/working in Australia at the same time - and then their paths cross. What I loved about their story, and this book in fact, is the authenticity to gay culture - how 'gay-time' somehow works differently and can move very fast. I had a blast going on an emotional roller coaster as we get to see parts of Australia - I kept finding myself on Google images to submerge myself into the visuals.
This story also tackles some hard hitting topics (so TW for death, abuse/sexual abuse and mental illness).
They are both in their twenties. Your twenties is a time when you take risks and go on adventures and still learn so much (not that you don't in your thirties, but you know), and at times you get a bit reckless.
I also enjoyed getting to know their side characters - Courtney is an entire vibe!
So prepare yourself for going on a journey filled with adventure, emotions, some steam (yes, sexy times ahead ;-]) and the mystery surrounding THE NUMBERS! You will start caring for these boys and your throat will close up with being scared of what will happens next - we love a wild ride in our books, don't we!
Profile Image for Chaitanya Srivastava.
201 reviews78 followers
August 31, 2022
I picked this book up because the cover art is absolutely gorgeous and I am quite unashamed to admit that I do make decisions to read books by their covers.

Going in, all I knew about this book was that it's set in Australia (as the author is based in Aus) and that this is a M/M Romance. Nobody told me this, I simply assumed that this would be a romance. It would have the steam, the awkward moments, the heartbreak until all falls back into place, and la la la, all is well that ends well. But, of course, I was wrong.

When Things Happen Together turned out, as a lot of reviewers have already pointed out, an unexpected read. I did know where it was heading but I did not know where it was heading. I wouldn't like to go into the plot of the book because I feel that the synopsis does do great justice to let readers know what to expect (even though there's so MUCH more!) and I for one would like for people to discover the story on their own.

One of the aspects of the book that really stood out for me was the incredible relationship the MC has with his dad. Even though there is some truth in the fact that most queer men have 'daddy issues', I for one, was happy to see this play out differently. It set the precedence that even though most people may have issues, but then, there are dads and queer sons who get along, share things with one another, and are unafraid to express their love for one another.

I am not a big fan of meet-cutes or the Insta-love trope and to some extent, both these tropes have been used in the book, and as always, I felt the whole getting-to-know phase before jumping into things really fast! But then again, I also know that there is a larger theme and sense of urgency that is conveyed throughout the book about all that we have is NOW, so I am not sure how exactly I feel about it all. However, I wish both MCs took more time at the start. It would have felt more deep, personal, and real to me.

Having said that, I was moved by this book. The writing is effortless and very easy to consume. Even when the book often and by large deals with difficult themes and topics, the writing, and the characterization is such that it doesn't dawn too heavily on the readers. I have read a lot of sad books, including YA ones - History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and You Have Reached Sam by Dustin Thao and even adult titles like My Policeman by Bertha Roberts, but unlike these books where despite incredible writing, the story does kick you in the gut and you may want to even put it down to take breaks, When Things Happen Together is skillfully written and narrated where the impending doom is made evident from the start but it never hits the breaking point. Of course, to each their own, but for me personally, this book is a fine balance of writing an emotional story with difficult subject matter without making the overall experience of reading the book sad, depressing, or outright heartbreaking.

At the end of the book, it was bittersweet, much like life itself. And to me, that is a perfect and difficult state to achieve and the author managed to do that with great finesse.

If you are looking for a book that is M/M romance, but is not just a romance and has things that are reflective of the lives we live, then you should totally pick this up. I also feel that this would appeal to all those who enjoy narrations where the story and climax are foreshadowed heavily but the actual outcome is not what they would have expected or led to believe. In short, please do pick this book up. I recommend it, strongly.

Thank your Jordon for sending across an ARC of this book all the way to India! I am so glad to have read this.

NOTE: Please do check the Trigger Warnings before picking this up.
Profile Image for Kalob Dàniel.
Author 5 books142 followers
February 11, 2023

Whoa, what a wild mf ride this was! Honestly, I did not know what to expect going into this book, but it was such a beautiful surprise! The writing was so different from so many books I've read that it took me a hot sec to get into it. Once I did though, I could see the brilliance in it. I marveled at the way Jordan told this story, and, if I'm being honest, took some notes. He did many things I admire and hope to use as inspiration for my own writing. I did hope the book was a bit longer to flesh everything out even more, maybe even just an extra chapter or two. But I am happy with how it all played out in the end.

The characters were rich with intrigue and depth that I've been craving. I could not have picked this book up at a better time. Thank you so much, Jordan for the ARC! I'm so honored that you trusted me with your boys. I loved them and felt them, felt WITH them. Witnessing their story come to life, fail, then find their way back to each other was just brilliant. I could relate to their story intensely.

The mental health and growth from trauma was well done, in my opinion. I know books like this aren't for everyone, but I love seeing flawed characters. Especially when they do the work for the betterment of themselves. If you decide to read this book, then please know that Jordan touches on some tough topics. I would definitely say to check out the TW if that is something you need.

The adventure and thrill of loving and learning, growing, repairing, traveling, and friendship was all top-tier content that I think everyone needs to experience. Jordan indeed kept me on the edge of my seat with what was going to happen next, and I truly could not have predicted it. I almost veered toward a horror romance, and though I would not have been mad if it did, I'm glad it didn't. I loved the ending. And I hope we get to see more of Thomas and Bruce in the future.
September 30, 2022
Actual rating: 4.5

I’m so excited for y’all to meet Thomas and Bruce and everyone else in this story. I actually started reading this in the midst of Hurricane Ian. I lost power and didn’t want to waste my flashlight reading traditional hardcovers or paperbacks.

I. DEVOURED. IT! I had to know what was happening next. I needed for my boys to make it and give me the HEA I felt the deserved! Learning why THOSE numbers were significant was gold. There was so much that was so special about this book.

I don’t want to post spoilers on accident so I’ll conclude with this:


Thank you BookSirens and Deep Desires Press for giving me an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

When Things Happen Together by Jordan Clayden-Lewis releases October 11, 2022!
Profile Image for Rannveig.
42 reviews1 follower
July 17, 2022
This book was an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish - in a good way.. I liked the book and found myself with one eye on google maps more than once. Please pay attention to the trigger warnings before starting it.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Joyffree.
2,951 reviews49 followers
October 11, 2022
This is not your typical romance read -
For me, the romance was secondary to the self-discovery and personal growth

It was an emotional and at times very angsty look at how life changes
with the simplest choices
Nothing is permanent
Swipe left and you are partnered with a family
Swipe right and you are an explorer
Swipe again and it all changes in the blink of an eye
The two roads theory

Thomas and Bruce are both seeking...
Their paths cross and they decide to take the journey together in the Outback of Australia (this was beautifully described for the reader who has not been there but soooo wants to go)

This is their journey - the adventures, the self-discoveries, the pitfalls, the emotional growth, the slow crossover from friend to lover, loss, and a little mystic mystery
1 review
June 6, 2022
An emotional rollercoaster of young gay love - the highs and lows both included - all tangled within a mysterious subplot that keeps tickling you until the very end. I definitely didn't guess that ending! Very different.
Profile Image for Jack Thomson.
1 review
June 13, 2022
The best queer love story I've read in a long time! Great to finally find something that explores the perspective of a gay traveller in Australia. Looking forward to seeing what books Jordan releases in the future!
Profile Image for Emily.
69 reviews1 follower
April 11, 2023

*Huge thanks to the author for reaching out and letting me know about his book, and sending me an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review*

Wow! What a raw and emotional journey this book is! We follow the blossoming love story of Thomas and Bruce as they leave the East Coast of Australia and travel right down the middle of Australia. Bumps in the road aplenty, this is a story about perseverance, finding yourself, and even being your own hero in healing from past traumas.

I love love love stories set in my home country, ESPECIALLY in my local city and places I’m so familiar with! I could visualise this story so well with the descriptive and emotive writing.

Something I really enjoyed was that I really didn’t know where this story was going for most of the book. As much as we all love a predictable cliche read, it’s refreshing to have a book where you want to keep reading because you have no idea what is going to happen next! A well-rounded novel that I’m so glad I read.

Now I really want to go on a road trip!
Profile Image for Andrew Chidzey.
327 reviews1 follower
January 7, 2023
This was the first book I have read by this Australian author - it was an interesting read that charts issues of grief, loneliness and relationships. At times I found the writing slightly "Hollywood" - especially towards the end, however overall I enjoyed the gritty and realistic style the author brought to the text.
Profile Image for Lexie Lou.
63 reviews14 followers
March 3, 2023
I met Jordan at a restaurant launch party when he and his friend joined the table I was parked at. Over cocktails and canapés I learned he was a writer and his friend an artist. So how special it is that I now hold in my hands his words, and Jack’s art! I devoured When Things Happen Together on my flight. It’s a juicy, raw and open queer love story about finding love, hope and self-discovery. I particularly enjoyed the reflective, inner monologues of the protagonist, Thomas, throughout the novel. It’s deeply relatable and kept a suspenseful edge to the reading experience (when oh when is it all going to go wrong?!).
Profile Image for Chris.
261 reviews8 followers
November 4, 2022
Does time heal all wounds, or just bury them?

In his poignant, compelling romance novel "When Things Happen Together," author Jordan Clayden-Lewis introduces two young men who seem destined to have found each other, yet may not necessarily belong together.

24-year-old Thomas is an aspiring artist from London who lost his mother to breast cancer eight years ago. He and his best gal pal, Courtney, travel to Australia's Gold Coast for fun and excitement with no scheduled return date. Shortly after they arrive and find jobs, Cupid's arrow strikes when Thomas meets 27-year-old Bruce, a fellow artist from Ireland.

Thomas and Bruce acknowledge their instant attraction to each other, but they attempt (preliminarily, at least) to take things slow since both are haunted by ghosts of the past. Thomas uprooted his life and moved to Japan to be with Peter, but their relationship was short-lived and he returned home. Meanwhile, Bruce confesses to intimacy issues because of his ex, Joe.

They both decide to throw caution to the wind and embark upon a romantic adventure that is dreamlike and gratifying, yet equally revealing and unsettling. Their hustling road trip voyage reads like a picturesque guidebook through the Australian outback, and with each stop they learn something new about themselves and each other.

At its core, "When Things Happen Together" is an endearing, irresistible love story, and the main characters are not just likable but equally believable. Yet, from the beginning, the reader does not expect the happily-ever-after ending, courtesy of subtle hints (in italics, no less) from the narrator, Thomas.

The story touches upon a variety of hard subjects, including mental health and domestic violence, that propel the novel from a formulaic meet-cute romance to the emotional testimony of a life-changing experience. The reader gets to know and like Thomas, not just through his potential love interests — his relationships with his father and Courtney further illustrate the breadth of his friendly personality and sympathetic demeanor.

Furthermore, the author paints a vivid, inviting picture of various places in Australia, including Coolangatta, Noosa, Buderim, and Darwin. If you were in search of ideas for your next vacation, Clayden-Lewis also dutifully serves as a seasoned travel guide.
Profile Image for Val Francis.
Author 12 books12 followers
July 25, 2022
Being an Australian, I looked forward to reading When Things Happen Together because a part of it has been set in my backyard on the Gold Coast. It had some originality about it, plus some nice twists in the plot along with interesting characters. I’m pleased that Jordan Clayden-Lewis didn’t disappoint with his story.
Thomas is an aspiring artist who’s flown from his home in the UK with his best friend, Courtney. Arriving in Australia, he’s hopeful that the change will help him by inspiring a kickstart to his dream life as an artist.
Like many young expats, along with Courtney, he takes a job in a café in Coolangatta, south of Brisbane, and on the Gold Coast. Being gay, Thomas uses Tinder’s online dating platform to locate men he might fancy without getting too serious. When he meets a guy called Bruce on the app, there’s something about him that has Thomas wanting to know more.

Bruce is Irish and arrived in Australia via Hawaii. Though their intro is through their exchanges on Tinder, there would seem to be enough of an initial attraction for them to arrange to meet up in person.
It’s soon apparent that they both have baggage that needs resolving. Also, neither of the men wants to rush things, and the attraction between them makes it difficult to stick to that plan.
They both carry scars from their pasts, but perhaps the feelings they start to experience might give them the resolve to carry their relationship forward despite their emotional baggage.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It lacked the stereotypical feel that I encounter too often in my reading. It was fresh with both plot and characters keeping me engaged from beginning to the end. As with most novels, it’s possible to find minor faults, but those faults fade to insignificance. Highly recommended and five stars.
Don’t forget to follow me on Medium so that you won’t miss out on my book reviews. https://medium.com/@val.francis47

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
46 reviews1 follower
August 5, 2022
Thank you to the author for making this free digital ARC available via BookSirens. My review is voluntary.

I know I read the blurb when I chose When Things Happen Together, but I didn't read it until a few weeks later and meanwhile read several other books. By the time I decided to read it, I had it in my head that it was going to be a light-hearted romance.

As soon as I started reading, I realized that the tone was a bit darker than I mistakenly anticipated. At that point, I chose to forgo re-reading the synopsis and go in blind. The prologue and much of the foreshadowing, combined with the actual story, especially one character's history, created a subtle sense of dread for me. I enjoyed the description of travel, but sometimes it felt glossed over. The pacing also made the story seem like it was taking place over days or a few weeks when it was supposedly months. On a positive note, I thought the author did a good job with the secondary characters and even characters who only made brief appearances. They felt like real people.

Eventually, a series of events occur that were difficult, but felt real and not overly dramatic. They marked a turning point that the characters needed and it seemed that the pacing was better from that point on. I wish the story had spent more time exploring the MC's relationships with his family, best friend and other friends.

The very end felt unfinished and a bit dissatisfying. I say this as a person who actually appreciates and enjoys stories that have an open ending. It is difficult for me to articulate what would have made it work better for me, except that maybe it needed to be expanded more.

After I read it, I re-read the synopsis and I would argue that it is a bit misleading. The story is good, with a few flaws and I would recommend it with the caveat that it's more about the main character's emotional voyage than it is about the romantic relationship itself.
Profile Image for BookBagDC.
358 reviews4 followers
September 15, 2022
This is a story about the possibilities and limits of love.  Thomas has traveled from London to Australia for a working holiday.  An artist, Thomas hopes that the break from his home and the new scenery will help inspire him.  Together with his best friend from home, Courtney, Thomas finds a place to stay and a job.  He starts dating but doesn't find a spark with anyone, until he meets Bruce, a fellow traveler from Ireland, and their connection is instant.  The two fall hard for each other, and they decide to travel together through Australia.  At first everything is magical.  But as they spend more time together, Thomas begins to wonder if Bruce is hiding aspects of himself and his past ... and what that means for their relationship, even as he finds himself falling deeper and deeper in love.

I thought this book was great.  Thomas and Bruce's path -- from the early days of total infatuation to the later days as the challenges of day-to-day life and past experiences lead to tension and turbulence -- was well crafted.  As a reader, you deeply feel Thomas's emotional journey as he grapples with the uncertainties of his relationship with Bruce, with Courtney, with his father, and with his future.  With nuance and sensitivity, the author does an excellent job of portraying the ongoing impacts of trauma and issues around mental health.  I also appreciated the portrayal of the relationship between Thomas and his dad, including the different ways they navigated loss.

Strongly recommended!
Profile Image for Nick Vallina.
255 reviews3 followers
February 20, 2023
This book was entirely not what I expected based on the description. This book did not, in the end, work for me very well but I expect that there is definitely an audience for this. I expected this to be a nice cute romance. Its more a story of growth that happens to center around a relationship.

My biggest gripe with this novel actually was the pacing. Instead of experiencing anything that happened for the first 75% of the book with the characters in any detail, it feels like the main character Thomas is just giving a brief overview of events to us. Weeks pass between the end of a chapter and the start of the next. Because of this pacing the relationship between Bruce and Thomas seems super quick and highly unrealistic.

I'm not upset that I've read this book but if I had had a better understanding of what it was going to be I would not have selected this. It was a bit of a slog to get through and I only didn't DNF it because I feel an obligation to always finish ARCs to provide feedback.

As previously stated I was not the right audience for this book. I prefer warm fuzzies not angsty romance. There absolutely IS an audience for this book that will love it far more than I did.

I received an advance review copy for free from Deep Desires Press, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
66 reviews5 followers
September 30, 2022
This is a tough review to write. On the one hand, I want to encourage more male writers of MM romance and it appears that this is the author's first book, and on the other, it was not well-written/edited. There were problems with verb tenses, subject-object agreement, usage, and metaphors/similes throughout. It read like a rough first draft. The first three-quarters involved alot of drinking, drugs, and sex (fortunately brief descriptions). I had trouble seeing either of the MCs as a real character. This is more of a problem later in the book when they both began sounding like self-help books come to life. There are also some magical elements tossed in as well. Plus one unforgiveable scene on their first date where the MCs participate in a joint non-sexual activity that was the definition of cringe-worthy.

The two MCs (one British, one Irish) both artistic, have come to Australia to escape difficulties at home. The story is told in flashback so the premise is to keep the reader wondering how the bad stuff that we learn about at the beginning came about. I wanted to DNF this one but figured I would give this new author a shot. I hope he will keep writing but work a bit more on his craft and find a (more critical?) editor. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Jordan Clayden-Lewis.
Author 3 books29 followers
July 5, 2022
Author's Note & Content Warnings:

Firstly, I pay my respects to the traditional owners of the Country
in which this story was written and mentioned in its pages.

I wrote most of this book in late 2019 and early 2020, while
I was in the process of moving solo to a new city. I was excited,
nervous, and everything in between. Writing this story allowed
me to revisit some of my favourite places in Australia. It also
helped me realise that I was going to be okay, even when things
seemed uncertain at times, or dark.

When Things Happen Together will always hold a special place in my heart. To me, it's a love letter, if you will, to spontaneity's grasp; to my younger more reckless self; to anyone who's fallen in love so fiercely that the whole world around you disappears. Thomas and Bruce bring me a sense of belonging, and I do hope the same for you.

I must say though, dear reader, that this book comes with a few content warnings. While this is a story about love and intimacy, it also explores mental illness and the death of a loved one. Please read with care.

Happy reading! xo

Profile Image for Hayley 〰 Hayley's Next Page.
758 reviews41 followers
October 10, 2022
“You fell right into my arms, where you belonged.”

When Things Happen Together is an MM romance between a Brit & an Irishman on individual Australian working holidays. An artist & aspiring writer respectively, Thomas and Bruce have an instant and effortless connection, where they were so comfortable with each other from the beginning.

This book takes you on a journey in more ways than one. As their relationship progresses, the pair travel around SE Queensland to the Northern Territory and beyond. I loved the Aussie setting! But it's through these spontaneous travels that we learn they both have things to overcome individually before they can fully commit to each other. For example, Bruce was still reeling from an abusive previous relationship and the accompanying highs and lows.

At its core, When Things Happen Together is about finding home, seizing the moment, embracing love and finding personal growth in the most unexpected places. I loved the character growth, the ending and how the magic number 1122 serendipitously tied into their story.

Thank you to Jordan for the early copy of the book.
Profile Image for Julie (Bookish.Intoxication).
779 reviews32 followers
October 2, 2022
I adore how unfiltered Thomas is, this book reads almost like a diary, Thomas is open, honest and fun. He is unapologetically himself.

Clayden-Lewis' writing style is almost sensory. The descriptions show exactly what the characters are experiencing, smells, sounds, textures. It adds another layer to this already intriguing story.

When Things Happen Together is a melding of cultures, swirled together with road trips, friendships and learning what it means to love yourself. It is easy to fall into the world of road Tripping around Australia, as it is something so many of us long to do. Clayden-Lewis has written long-term road tripping perfectly. The excitement, the nervousness, the arguments. It feels authentic and real.

This book is easy to read, the pages flip through your fingers faster than you realise. Filled with characters who are unapologetically themselves and a writing style that takes no prisoners. When Things Happen Together is a fun, gritty and contemplative novel that is perfect for Spring/Summer reading.
Profile Image for S.
40 reviews1 follower
November 12, 2022
i adore Bruce and Thomas, they are some of the realest characters i’ve ever read. i felt so connected to both of them and i just love how they are with each other, even in their darkest moments. these are characters i’ll carry in my heart forever i love them so much!
Courtney as well, amazing friend and the friendship between her and Thomas is just so precious 🥰
also, it seems small, but Bruce being a vegetarian really made me so happy! being a vegetarian myself i don’t read many books with prominent vegetarian characters

the storyline! i won’t give anything away but just know it’s brilliant, not only was it adorable but it also tackles some real subjects in a compassionate way, it shows mental illness in all its idiosyncrasies, it’s very raw and real.

it really felt like i was going on all these adventures with Thomas and Bruce.
this book makes me want to travel the route that Thomas and Bruce take, maybe one day i will

this is definitely one of my favourite books and i’m so excited to see what Jordan writes next 🤍
Profile Image for Rachel.
492 reviews5 followers
October 15, 2022
This book is stunning! It is a romance between Thomas and Bruce, two young men who meet in Australia, though both come from other countries. But there is so much more to this story: Bruce has survived a horrible relationship, and Thomas survives a dangerous accident. They both have mystical experiences with dead loved ones. There is a spiritual quality to their story. Thomas has a great best friend who helps him and is good at helping himself. Bruce seeks professional and legal help. The problems in their relationship have much more to do with their internal conflicts and losses than with what happens between them. They are young and impulsive. But they grow up and become themselves and find that the sweet, friendly passion is still there. Bruce's words written to Thomas are incredibly beautiful. Jorden Clayden-Lewis is new to me, but I will look for more.
I received an ARC for free and left this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Benjamin Roesch.
Author 2 books28 followers
July 31, 2022
Sweet, steamy, and packed with heart, I enjoyed this romance by Jordan Clayden-Lewis. It's full of the sights and sounds of Australia, and the connection to the land and landscape is one of this book's greatest charms, immersing you into the food, sounds, smells, and people Down Under. The relationship between Thomas and Bruce is the beating heart of this book, and it's nicely portrayed. You can tell that Thomas and Bruce have a special connection, and their dialogue together is winning and believable. Inevitably, it isn't always easy, and issues of past abuse and mental health complicate their romance, but Clayden-Lewis handles these topics with a nice touch, allowing them to complicate, but never to dominate the text. One thing to know before reading is that the sex scenes are quite steamy. Just an fyi. This is a fun book full of passion and youthful energy!
Profile Image for Margiebythebookcase.
157 reviews9 followers
October 10, 2022
I requested an ARC of When Things Happen Together by Jordan Clayden-Lewis for the cover alone. It was beautiful and lead me to believe it would be a wonderful M|M romance.

It's not often I go in blind without looking into the synopsis, but I did that here and I am so glad I did. This was a ride that I didn't know I had bought a ticket for. It is so much more than M|M romance fluff. It's a story of acceptance, love, trauma growth and if course, steamy, spicy moments between Thomas and Bruce.

Jordan's writing was so well done, I found myself flying through the pages. Feeling every emotion as if I was one of the main characters myself. The mystery behind the numbers was a journey that could have gone in so many different directions, but the ending was perfection. I'd read another book by Clayden-Lewis in a heartbeat and I cannot recommend this book enough!

*Please check TW.*
11 reviews
July 27, 2022
A thrilling road trip that moves at a cracking pace, When Things Happen Together details the events that bring two visitors together to explore the Australian outback and fall in love & lust. The use of the sequence '1122' gives the novel a touch of mystery and both main characters have painful histories that complicate and cause issues within the relationship. The author keeps the suspense throughout the novel and, whilst some themes are disturbing they are counterbalanced with positive affirmations. A very enjoyable novel.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
1,119 reviews6 followers
August 5, 2022
An interesting journey these two take. I found them both to be a little curious. One suffered loss but was out for adventure while beginning his life as an artist with his best friend. One was traumatized and suffered quietly whist attempting to live his life as best he could. Their meeting seemed to be ill timed, unfortunately. Maybe even right person wrong time. Though the story left me wondering what was their future, if they even had a future I found it interesting to follow their adventures. The story itself was chock full of best friend moments, some romantic times and trips to remember.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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1,739 reviews
September 1, 2022
Synchronicity:the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. “When things happen together, they happen together I guess.”

I enjoyed Bruce and Thomas. The journey they made together and separately was fairly emotional. The words and the paintings that came from their outback adventure were powerful. I felt their connection through each man. Their relationship was at times disjointed, then completely in sync.

I kept waiting for the meaning of the numbers to play out but was entirely surprised at what they meant. An interesting book overall. Still digesting.

I received an arc of this book.
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