ARC review: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

⭐ Goodreads ⭐ Amazon ⭐

He’s my person. He’s always been my person. My best friend, my confidant, probably the love of my life.

When Macy was an awkward teenager, her father bought a vacation home in California wine country. The vibrant, noisy, entirely wonderful Petropolous family lived next door, and Macy and Elliot became instant friends. Over the years, their friendship slowly became more. Elliot became Macy’s first kiss. Her first love. Her first time. Then, in one horrific weekend, Macy’s life is ripped to shreds.

Ten years later, she’s a resident in critical care pediatrics. She’s engaged to an older man. She has a couple close friends, but she’s never really let anybody new into her life. Not for real, and not after what happened with Elliot. And then she sees him. It’s a total coincidence, and it completely shakes up her life. With Elliot back in her life, Macy must revisit those painful memories and determine for herself whether she’s truly satisfied with the way things turned out.

Wow. Just… wow. I did not expect to have such feelings. I could cry right now just thinking about it! The longing, the history, the tension. The flawed perfection that is Elliot. I can’t even form complete sentences right now because I am so blown away.

Christina Lauren are quickly becoming one of my favorite author duos. Roomies was one of my favorites of 2017 and I can see Love and Other Words easily sitting atop the list of my favorites of 2018. This book had everything I look for in a romance – an emotional connection, a deep history, second chances, a few heartbreaking moments, and, most of all, a couple that just clearly belongs together.

I’d give this book all of the stars and every recommendation I possibly can.

Final rating: ★★★★★

I received a free advance copy of Love and Other Words from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me authors of 2017

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  Today’s theme, which is pretty fitting for the first Tuesday of a new year, is the top ten new-to-me authors I read in 2017. I read a lot of new authors last year, but here are the ten that came to mind first. (They are in no specific order)

1. R.S. Grey
❤︎ The Fortunate Ones: Goodreads || review
💜 Scoring Wilder: Goodreads || review
💚 The Allure of Julian Lefray: Goodreads || review
💙 The Allure of Dean Harper: Goodreads || review
💛 The Foxe & the Hound: Goodreads || review
🖤 Anything You Can Do:  Goodreads || review

2. Angie Thomas
❤︎ The Hate U Give: Goodreads || review

3. Cindi Madsen
💜 Operation Prom Date: Goodreads || review
💚 Nailed It: Goodreads || review

4. Author trio: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
💙 My Lady Jane: Goodreads || review

5. Christina Lauren
💛 Roomies: Goodreads || review

6. Maggie Ann Martin
🖤 The Big F: Goodreads || review

7. Andie J. Christopher
❤︎ Break of Day: Goodreads || review

8. Rachel Van Dyken
💜 Fraternize: Goodreads || review
💚 Infraction: Goodreads || review

9. Natalie D. Richards
💙 We All Fall Down: Goodreads || review

10. Tristina Wright
🖤 27 Hours: Goodreads || review

ARC review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Goodreads ⭐ Amazon

Theatre archivist Holland Bakker has crushed on subway musician Calvin McLoughlin for months.  One night, after a few cups of liquid courage, Holland approaches Calvin to confess her undying love… for his music.  When a subway attack leaves her unconscious on the rails, Calvin steps in to contact the MTA and the police, but he doesn’t stick around for small talk.

Determined to pay him back, Holland lands Calvin the Broadway audition of his life with her Uncle Robert, a famous director.  Robert is blown away and immediately wants to hire Calvin for his musical’s orchestra, but Calvin reveals that he’s in the country illegally on an expired student visa.  When Holland proposes marriage, the arrangement is just crazy enough that it might actually work.

There are a lot of romance tropes that I like, friends-to-lovers and fake relationships being somewhere near the top of the list.  There are also a lot of romance tropes that I’m iffy about, and a marriage of convenience is one of them.  That said, I thought that Roomies was an adorable and (quite nearly) perfect romance about two people who are thrown together and have to work to make it work.

So often in the romance genre, the heroine takes a backseat to the hero.  And while, yes, Calvin was certainly something else (and I wouldn’t mind picking up my own Calvin on my next subway ride), Holland was a breath of fresh air.  She’s neither a doormat nor a brat.  She knows that she wants to make her own way in the world, but she doesn’t know how to start.  She’s head-over-heels in lust with Calvin, but she marries him solely to give him the opportunity to realize his dream.

This plot could have gone in a lot of less-satisfying directions, but this author duo did a great job of making it feel realistic while still keeping it entertaining.  I saw the first big conflict coming and it didn’t bother me.  The second big conflict, though, seemed like a lot of drama for no real reason and felt a bit out of character.  BUT, that’s the only real criticism I have of this entire book.  Overall, it was cute, it was funny, it was swoony, and it was hard to put down.  This was my first Christina Lauren book, but it won’t be my last.

Final rating: 4.5 stars, rounded up to ★★★★★

I received a free copy of Roomies from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.