Author: Christina Lauren
Format: eBook/Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: December 5th 2017 by Gallery Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 ¹/2 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.
Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.
Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?
With Roomies, Christina Lauren weaves a delightful tale of music, love, and mayhem set in the heart of New York that is both fresh and inventive.
This author duo is a bit of a hit or miss for me; some books I really love while others not-so-much, so I wasn't sure what to expect from Roomies when I first opened this book. However....Centered around a cast of lovably flawed characters, I was swept away by this charming story of a fake romance turned all too real. Calvin McLoughlin is a brilliant and gorgeous musician who captured Holland Bakker's heart in the dank depths of the New York subways. But Calvin has no idea that Holland has been watching him play for six long months before she finally finds the nerve to talk to him. After that first painful conversation, the story quickly develops as Holland brings her uncle to listen to Calvin play and later audition for his Broadway musical only to find out that he is in the country illegal and can't accept the position. Of course, the only logical solution is to marry him for a year so that he can get his green card. Calvin is skeptical at first but agrees and these two embark on a whirlwind journey that starts out as adorably awkward but rapidly turns excitedly ardent.
From the onset, I loved Holland's character. She's quirky, fun, and incredibly caring. The story is told from her own point-of-view so readers get a front row seat to her thoughts and feelings. An aspiring writer who has lost her muse, and the niece of two wildly successful uncles, Holland feels adrift in life. When she see's a chance to help her loving uncle, she jumps at it, even if she feels that she's bitten off more then she can chew with a marriage of convenience. I sympathized with her feelings of inadequacy being surrounding by all of these amazingly talented people. She doesn't see in herself what everyone around her does. Holland quickly falls for Calvin's swoon-worthy persona, as did I. Talented, yet humble, Calvin's character intrigues. You know that he has his secrets, but what? He seems to be at the advantage in this relationship. Holland is riddled with doubt and questions her growing feelings for Calvin, and those that he seems to have for her. Is it all a game to him to obtain his dream job and stay in the U.S.? They both hunger for love in this modern day fairy tale and there is no denying the chemistry they share when they both finally admit their mutual attraction.
I could perfectly picture this Broadway musical from the author's vivid painting of each scene and you could feel Calvin's music through Holland's narrative. The romance was balanced with the over-all story, never one overtaking the other. The root of Roomies is Holland's journey of self-discovery and loving herself, but it is also so much more. Heavy with emotion, the angst and sexual tension kept my heard pounding. I found myself eagerly turning the pages and reaching the end all too soon.
Basically, you're not going to want to miss this release from Christina Lauren. It was a thrilling romance with entertaining characters and a unique setting. I was left with a happy sigh and smile at the end, and will definitely be looking forward to more stand-alone romances from the writing team. I recommend you pre-ordering a copy of Roomies today!