recommendations and reviews for the aspiring reader

recommendations and reviews for the aspiring reader

Review: Roomies


by Christina Lauren

When Holland Bakker made her weekly (and completely out of her way) trek down to the subway station that evening, she certainly wasn’t expecting to leave with a broken arm. All she’d wanted to do was catch another surreptitious glance at the gorgeously handsome musician she’d been stalking . . . um, scratch that – observing for going on six months now. From the first time she caught the sound of the perfectly tuned strings of his guitar begin to move together, Holland was transfixed. She knew her way around music, having been practically born and raised in the recesses of the stage thanks to her uncle, and she knew that the nameless musician had a singular talent. She just didn’t know how to say hello without making a fool out of herself. So instead, Holland raced down to the subway station every chance she got, allowing the music to flow over her like the warm caress of so much sweet honey in warm milk.

While sneaking a peek at him as covertly as she can, Holland is caught off guard by a homeless man. In his blind attempt to force conversation with her, things go glaringly wrong. Before she has a chance to catch her bearings, she finds herself falling down, down, down onto the dirty subway tracks. Waking up in an ambulance with her skirt hitched up and her blouse torn open is mortifying enough, but when she gains consciousness just in time to witness the mysterious musician making a hasty exit, Holland almost wishes she’d stayed knocked out instead of being subjected to the knowledge that her crush not only saw her vulnerable and halfway naked, but also that he left her without so much as a goodbye.

But something about the way he looked at her in that final backwards glance is haunting Holland. As if it’s not hard enough to focus (or rather, not focus) on her aspirations as a creative writer, not to mention the difficulties she has filling the gaps in her social life, but now she can’t stop thinking about him. Making the trek back down to the subway to garner more information (complete with a girlishly pink cast on her arm), Holland learns that the guitar player’s name is Calvin McLoughlin, and he’s a sexy, Julliard-trained import from Ireland. In an effort to help save her beloved uncle’s Broadway musical and repay her knight-in-skinny jeans-armor, Holland gets Calvin an interview with the powerful people behind the curtain. After everyone on the stage is as mesmerized and completely taken in by the way Calvin seduces his guitar during his performance, Holland is delighted when he is offered the coveted spot as the lead in the show. But there’s just one problem — Calvin is in the country illegally and can’t accept the job offer.

Determined to continue on her pursuit to save the day and hoping to bring some meaning to her own life in the process, Holland moves forward with a crazy and kooky plan that doesn’t have any hope of working out — or does it? She offers herself up to Calvin on a silver platter with one question – Marry me? After a quick ceremony at the courthouse and the deposit of Calvin’s one suitcase and guitar into her apartment, Holland wonders just how easily she will be able to settle into this new routine. And how is she supposed to even think straight with Calvin walking around half-naked all the time? Her thoughts linger on the happy trail of downy hair making its way past the waistband of his jeans, and Holland realizes that she may just be in over her head.

When the two strangers embark upon a green-card marriage and struggle to maintain their own lives on top of making sure their fake one looks as promising and real as possible, they both expect nothing but problems.But Holland isn’t finding it difficult to pretend that she’s the wife of the gorgeous new break-out star of the season, and her heart isn’t having a hard time playing the part either. Calvin seems to be into it as well, what with the sexy text-messages he sends her and the constant brushing of their fingertips as they stroll the streets of New York together, but is he really “as-in” as Holland wishes him to be?

What ensues is a hilariously charming tale of what happens when you take a chance on love at first sight, and how you can find your own self in the process. Roomies is the newest novel by Christina Lauren, the duo who brought readers the cheeky and outrageous Beautiful Bastard series. Categorized as tried-and-true chick-lit with a dash of steamy love and riotous romance, Roomies is a novel that I plowed through in two days flat. I could not put it down, and couldn’t help myself from laughing out loud. The acerbic wit of the protagonist, the deep-rooted relationships she had with her family, and the real-ness of the friendships she endured were all things that I could relate to. I always enjoy a flawed main character, and Holland was definitely that, but watching her grow into herself was an organic process that just felt right.  The sweet courtship between Holland and Calvin was definitely not traditional, but in a world where everything now moves as fast as your fingers can type it, it was an appropriate way to grow affection. I was so impressed with the way the story played out and so pleased with the perfect ending; I was desperate for more pages when the book came to a close. A sequel – pretty please?

Giving Roomies 5 out of 5 stars, I recommend it to anyone who loves a playful romance with startling circumstances and anyone who enjoys those little flirty nuances that get the butterflies in your belly really fluttering. Readers who enjoy contemporary romance will love this book — think Sophie Kinsella with hotter sex.

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