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Hitting all the notes

Cover of Roomies
A review of Roomies by Christina Lauren

Marriage of convenience plots are a not-uncommon trope in the romance genre, but generally they work a bit better in historical romances (where marriage for practical purposes just feels more possible). In contemporary novels the MOC usually comes about from a couple of scenarios; either there's an inheritance at stake or someone needs to gain a green card. With Roomies, we're talking about the second scenario and it mostly works.

Holland Bakker is at a bit of a standstill in terms of her life's trajectory. She's graduated from college and is living in New York, but other then that, has no clue what's next. She's lucky to have a job and an apartment (courtesy of her Broadway-connected uncle), but is flailing in most other ways. Including romantically. Her best prospect at the moment is a man she knows only as "Jack" the guitar-playing busker who hangs out in the subway tunnel. She's been watching him (okay, kind of stalking) for months and she's finally gotten the nerve to speak to him (after a few drinks one night). Her first attempt goes terribly awry when she's attacked on the platform and he takes off before the police arrive. Is he the hero who called 911? or the jerk who left her there? She has another chance to figure this out when she gets the brilliant idea of suggesting him to her uncle as a replacement artist for his play.

Calvin "Jack" McLoughlin is a Julliard trained musician who makes a living playing for various cover bands and performing in the subway. When he's offered the chance to audition for a major Broadway smash play, he's thrilled and devastated. Thrilled to be asked, and devastated because he's currently in the country illegally, having overstayed his visa when he finished school. There's no way he can get the okay to work legally for Holland's uncle. Unless...if he were to marry an American, could it be possible? When Holland suggests the solution, can Calvin make the choice?

My only quibble is that the novel is told solely from Holland's point-of-view, and while I enjoyed her voice, I wanted to hear from Calvin as I felt his motivations weren't as well-developed. That caveat aside, this is a charming novel that hits a lovely range of notes (pun intended!).



Mar 29, 2018