XOXperts Review: ROOMIES by Christina Lauren

 Title: Roomies
Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance | Standalone
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback

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?

I have some mixed emotions about this book. The story was certainly adorable, but it had some aspects that needed work. First and foremost, the characters were likable, albeit immature and naive. They had to have their hearts and lives crumble for them to grow up which was realistic in a sense. She makes mistakes, and he royally screws up time and time again.

Holland is a sweet, loyal young woman who is extremely generous and has so much love in her heart to give out. She’s also struggling with what she wants to do with her career and life which was so relatable. I loved seeing the bond that she shared with her uncles; it will melt your heart. I love seeing strong families in books, and this one was little but mighty.
Calvin is a charming, kind, and seriously talented musician. Holland is easily drawn to him for his beautiful music, and his handsome mug doesn’t hurt either. She genuinely wants him to find success and will do anything to help make it happen. Even marrying him. 

This marriage-of-convenience story was awkwardly cute with moments of tenderness, heart, and humor. While it was predictable, it was fun with a sprinkle of angst and fantastic banter. This story takes us through the journey of Calvin and Holland as they get to know each other and form an honest to goodness friendship, making this a friends-to-lovers romance, as well. Their relationship builds naturally which is why I could forgive the slow start of the book.

Another thing to mention is the lack of graphic sex scenes. This is clearly in another realm of romance, different than most other CL’s books so keep that in mind if that is what you’re expecting. I liked that there was sexual tension and release, but it didn’t overwhelm the story. There were mentions of sex, but it was done tastefully and at a minimum. I wanted so much more from them in the end. They were “together” for most of the book, but not officially. Perhaps that’s just me being greedy, but I would’ve loved to have seen an extended epilogue. ROOMIES is a quick, sweet read that’ll put a smile on your face and leave you with warm fuzzies. 

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 31+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)