Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
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 realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?
R E V I E W
Roomies by Christina Lauren shocked me. I usually struggle with romances, with them being cliché and difficult to get through due to being predictable. I personally find dual POV romance books the most difficult to force myself through, which is neither here nor now. Roomies was the book I needed. It was short, it was sweet and it actually had a plotline that engaged me.
I would put this book on the same level of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. It has a similar slow burn, not as much humour but definitely easy to binge. The characters were easy to connect to and the main character struggled with someone I personally have – not allowing yourself to focus on you and always putting others before you.
Roomies is the story of Holland. It’s a story of Holland coming into her own and truly becoming herself. Holland works for her uncle’s very successful musical theatre production while her uncles’ pay most of her rent. She has an MFA in creative writing but is yet to use it – the words not coming to her. She meets Calvin after watching him busk for six months on the train station, with some liquid courage she introduces herself and not even ten minutes later is pushed onto the tracks and breaks her arm. Returning to work she finds that the violinist has quit just weeks before a new lead is taking over, creating a stir. Holland offers up Calvin and his musical talents, he smashes out the audition and when asked if he wants the position he informs them that he has been living illegally in America for four years. A bit of a tricky situation. So, a sham marriage is conjured up between Calvin and Holland. Only feelings begin to grow and the situation between the pair goes sticky because nothing is ever easy in romance books. Roomies by Christina Lauren is a story about love, music, and passion. It’s a story about the importance of family and about realising some people are toxic in your life.
I mean, let’s jump into expanding on what I liked and disliked about Roomies, I think I’ve babbled enough.
L I K E S
✗ MUSICAL THEATRE INCLUSION SMASHED IT OUT OF THE PARK
I’m not a big musical theatre person. I find some songs on certain tracks amazing and obviously I love both High School Musical and Hamilton, but I’m not interested completely. I have seen The Lion King in Sydney, though, if that counts? I did love the inclusion of this passion in Roomies. I find romance books, for me, that are set in offices tend to stay still with the characters never revealing their passions, which makes me feel as if there is a piece of glass between me and the characters.
Seeing that passion, plus the passion for creative writing from Holland, was just beautiful. It’s what kept me reading and involved with the characters.
✗ BE YOUR OWN MAIN CHARACTER
This is the message of the book. Be the main character of your story. Don’t keep pushing away what you’re feeling and your ambitions to help others. Don’t let yourself take the backseat in your own life and not live it. I’m very guilty of this, which made me connect to Holland even more. I realised while reading Roomies just how much I do do it.
✗ SLOW BURN RELATIONSHIP
I love a slow burn relationship. Like shit, they hit me in my soul. I definitely prefer them than fast-paced romances that happen over the course of days. I love that Roomies took place over the period of months. The events, in the beginning, happened fast, but the relationship between the characters came much later in the book. It just gave me time to root for the relationship and fall just as in love as Holland with the gorgeous Irishman in this book.
✗ ACTUAL HUMOUR – NON OF THAT AWKWARD SHIT
Another thing I typically struggle within books is that the humour makes me want to die. Not in a good way. It makes me squirm uncomfortably and really just want to exit stage left. Most of the time I skim those books or just flat out DNF because I can’t handle the jokes. Roomies had humour that actually made me laugh and smile at my kindle. I was actually enjoying it, which is rare.
D I S L I K E S
✗ COMMUNICATION FIXES DRAMA, YOU IDIOTS
Hello folks, I’d like to introduce you to communication. Ah yes, this simple thing called talking. It also continues with the fact that one should be truthful. Oh, how I love how couples withhold the truth and get into fights over it. Oh, the useless drama really makes me happy. The drama in this book made me want to slam my head against a wall because it wasn’t only communicating with each other, it was not communicating with others. It was just so infuriating and I got mad at the characters when it occurred because someone gives me a baseball bat to hit this daft love interest.
✗ UNSUPPORTIVE FRIENDSHIPS
Now, this was one element of the story I also liked. The best friend is super unsupportive and she is the only other female character in the book, something I didn’t like. This character only cares about herself and if the drama isn’t on her it’s irrelevant. Which, sounds like a few people in my life. I like how the book showed it’s okay to get rid of people like that from your life but I wish there had been a larger friend group for Holland than just her family and this girl. I feel like Calvin had a friend group, that was established as quite large but Holland was just left floating aimlessly with no one. Which, is how life is sometimes, but still I need my supportive female friendships in books.
Overall, Roomies was good. Really good. I can’t even really grasp how much I did enjoy this book. It’s a shock. If you’re in a bit of a funk, I highly recommend picking up this book because it is an instant pick me up.
Happy reading everyone!
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