Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “This is what happens when you put a bunch of artists in charge of a legal decision.”
Holland Bakker has spent the last six months infatuated with a gorgeous busker and haunts the subway station every day just to hear him play. When her uncle, a famous musical director, needs a musician when his lead quits, Holland knows the perfect person and drags her uncle to hear her busker play.
Calvin McLoughlin is a gorgeous and extremely talented musician; having trained at Julliard. Dreams of stardom brought him from Ireland to American but he soon learned that musicians are a dime a dozen. When the chance of a lifetime is offered to him, he’s heartbroken that his legal status prevents him from accepting the position. UNLESS…he gets married.
Holland and Calvin decide to take a leap get married so Calvin can get his grand agree to a stay married for one year. Soon Calvin is Broadway’s newest and brightest star, but soon this marriage of convenience begins to feel all too real and suddenly being just roomies isn’t enough anymore.
Roomies is a low key fun, sexy, and humorous marriage of convenience romance with a heroine and hero who instantly capture your heart. A comfortable read that offers readers a delicious bite of escapism while watching a couple of young struggling artists go from a crush to true love with some help from family and friends. Fantastic dialogue, strong characterization, and a smooth flowing storyline instantly absorb you into the storyline.
Holland Bakker wants to be an author and sells swag at the Levin-Gladstone Theatre while she attempts to write her first novel. The youngest of six, Holland was essentially raised by her uncle and his husband. Most of her apartment and salary are paid for by her uncles and that makes Holland feels like a failure. Finding Calvin and helping to “save” her uncle’s production gives Holland a sense of pride and purpose. A feeling like she may be on the way to paying something back for everything she owes them.
Calvin McLoughlin is an Irish immigrant who came to the states eight years ago on a student visa and never left when it expired. Supporting himself through various means, he too feels like a failure at times as he struggles to hold on to his dreams when a small voice constantly tells him it is time to do the adult thing and go home.
An unusual meet cute opens the door. Calvin rescues Holland from an attack when she decides to go to the subway after a night of partying to introduce herself. From there the rest is…history. Strong tangible chemistry hits you from the beginning while the romance itself develops organically. I adored the awkwardness and sexual tension that floods the story. Of course, a Lauren book wouldn’t be a Lauren book without some humor and mayhem. Getting married to someone you barely know is hard, getting to know someone you just married is even harder. Especially when you haven’t prepared your home for any ‘guests.’
Looking up, I meet his eyes. They’re wide, almost as if he’s not sure whether to answer or not.
“You can get it,” I assure him. “It’s ok.”
His face darkens with a flush. “I…don’t think I should.”
“It’s your phone! Of course, it’s okay to answer it.”
Unless, maybe, it’s some Mafia drug lord if he answers his ruse is up and I’ll kick him out. Or-GASP-maybe it’s his girlfriend calling?
Why had that not occurred to me?
“Oh, my God. Do you have a girlfriend?”
He looks horrified. “What? Of course not.”
Holy shite, how long until his voicemail out us out of our misery.
“I don’t…” he starts smiling through a wince. “It’s not.”
“My phone isn’t ringing.”
I stare at him bewildered.
“It’s not a phone.”
I lift the vodka to my lips and chug straight from the bottle. The buzzing has the same exact rhythm of my vibrator…the one I tucked beneath the cushions of the couch a while ago.
A small but personable cast only adds to charisma and energy of this story as they are all important figures in Holland’s life. Her uncles are adorable and their love for Holland is unconditional. Her bestie, Lulu, is an aspiring actress but her own issues show Holland that sometimes we outgrow people for a reason. Davis, Holland’s brother, is only seen at the end but frankly, their dialogue was probably my favorite as he comes to NY in her time of need with advice and some much needed brotherly love.
“That’s some serious Flower in the Attic stuff, Holland. Don’t be creepy.”
While the romance is the heart of the story, Holland’s gradual self-awareness is the soul. As Calvin’s star rises, Holland realizes that she has been doing things for people in an attempt to prove her value. An abrupt awakening shows her that only she can make herself happy and she needs to step out on her own and find her own dream.
Christina Lauren once again delights readers with a romance that speaks to the heart everyone whose dreams seemed out of their reach.