September 10, 2020

Reviews: The Roommate + Well-Played

pub 9/15/20 by Berkley
Contemporary Romance
Received e-ARC from pub for review
⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars | All I knew about The Roommate was that it involved two strangers unexpectedly living together and there would be romance. But wow, that description doesn’t even begin to skim the surface of everything this book encompasses. Clara Wheaton is a Manhattan socialite who doesn’t fit any of the stereotypes that come to mind. She’s a people-pleaser, genuine, kind, a tad naive, smart, and pretty neurotic in an endearing way. (I kind of adored her.) After spending her life catering to her family’s wishes, she makes the impulsive decision to move to LA to live with her unrequited crush. Then said crush drops a doozy on her and announces that Josh will her roommate instead, not him. Hijinks of the best kind ensue and from the get-go, Josh comes across as funny, sweet, attentive, and definitely more of a risk-taker than her. She doesn’t realize it at the time but he’s famous on the Internet and when she (and I) find out why, the book takes an unexpected turn in the best of ways. I never would’ve imagined this topic being handled in a way that could be funny, sexy, and charming but author Rosie Danan makes it happen. And it’s really the underlying themes of taking control of your life, owning up to your mistakes, and believing that you’re worthy of love that make it work. 

Do I recommend? Yes! I’ve been in a slump lately with review books, and this one finally got me out of that rut. It’s so fun and sexy and I highly recommend.


pub 9/22/20 by Berkley
Contemporary Romance
Received e-ARC from pub for review
⭐⭐
 3 stars | Can I just say that having a Renaissance Faire as the backdrop for a series is just so, so fun? With the way Jen DeLuca writes it, it's so easy to picture the costumes and props, and I can almost hear in my head how they have to speak. After reading Well Met, I knew I'd be reading the companion novels and here we are! We met Stacey in the first book, as she was one of the first people Emily befriended, but now we get her story. Her life has been at a standstill ever since she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her mother years ago. When Simon and Emily get engaged, it's the push she needs to figure out what her next steps are and her goal is to make some changes by the time they get married at the Faire next summer. When she reaches out to her one-time summer Faire fling, Dex MacLean, on a drunken whim she never expected to receive a thoughtful and sweet email in return. But she does and it's the start of many messages between the two. So funny story. I had no idea what the book was about going into it and when we reached that part of the plot, it felt really obvious and predictable. Afterwards, I looked at the synopsis and it turns out, it was laid out pretty clearly: the guy she was exchanging messages with isn't Dex, but someone else entirely. To be honest, I felt like a lot of conflict was contrived and not done in a way that made it particularly stand out. It was the faire, the individual characters and the dynamics between them plus the sweet romance that kept me interested. 

Do I recommend? I definitely enjoyed the first book more, particularly because I connected with Emily more strongly and I thought the plot was better written. That said, this was still a fun and sweet book that I would recommend if you are interested in this series. 

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