As I was knee-deep in bookstagram world, I kept noticing an author that would pop up again and again. This author sounded like she writes fun and romantic books, so definitely my style. Turns out it’s not just one author, but the writing duo, Christina Lauren. Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings are long-time writing partners and best friends according to their bio on christinalaurenbooks.com.
While curious about this author duo, I naively assumed they didn’t have anything set in NYC, so I didn’t look much into them. As I was trying to decide on my next NYC book, I remembered that one of my favorite authors, Sarah Smith, had recommended a book to me after she read my YOU & Me & NYC Tour. I had posted about a subway musician I saw during that tour, which prompted Sarah to make this book suggestion. Of course, I completely forgot the name of the book so had to reach out to Sarah to ask and when she told me it was Roomies by Christina Lauren, I was sold! Finally, I’d get to read one of these famous bookstagram books. The bonus is that it sounded like it would make the perfect NYC tour with music, Broadway, and a little romance to carry me along.
Roomies by Christina Lauren introduces us to Holland, a young woman living in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City and working with her Uncle Robert (who is her uncle by marriage to her Uncle Jeff) at a Broadway theatre where he’s the musical director for the hottest show in town. Speaking of hot, Holland has had her eyes on someone hot for the past six months. A subway busker by the name of Calvin is a smoking hot Irishman, but more importantly, an amazing musician. Holland learns his subway busking schedule by heart and admires him from afar. Then one night, she’s attacked in the subway and Calvin comes to her rescue (of course he does), however, he doesn’t stick around for the police report.
What is that about, Holland wonders. When she learns more about him, she discovers that Calvin has actually overstayed his student visa and therefore, wanted to avoid any potentially sticky situations with the cops.
Meanwhile, her Uncle Robert needs a replacement for his top musician who dropped out of the show. Soon, a well-known and talented singer will be taking over to star in the production and Uncle Robert needs a musician that can match that singer’s immense talent. He’s out of options until Holland has the idea that Calvin should audition. Uncle Robert loves him and so does the rest of the staff. One problem though is that Calvin’s visa predicament makes him unhirable.
Holland can solve this problem! How could she, you ask? Well, she could marry him! What could go wrong? It sounds like a perfectly reasonable solution to me. After all, Calvin is a hottie. I’d marry him yesterday! Where’s my Calvin?
How does this marriage of convenience work out? Can they make this marriage seem legit? Will love spark between them? Also, is there more to Holland than just a girl with a crush and an unfulfilled dream? Yes, she has dreams for herself, but I’ll let you read on your own to find out the answers to all these questions.
Weird thing happened…right after I posted my #amreading post about this book, I immediately kind of panicked. At that point, I had only read a few pages of the book, but I had read the summary where I read how Calvin was in the country “illegally.” I thought, “Is it okay to call it that?” I prefer to use the term “undocumented.” So when I read the summary, I thought, “Well, that’s what I’ll do when I write about it.” And then I didn’t think much beyond how fun the tour would be with music, Broadway, and a fun romance.
However, once I posted, all of a sudden, I just started thinking about the time period we’re in with all the immigration issues going on and how stressful it must be for anyone in this situation. Many of you know I work with children and their families in the hospital setting, many of which I know are likely undocumented, so this issue is close to my heart. I wasn’t sure if reading something that might make light of these very important issues was okay.
Immediately I thought about deleting the post right after I posted but instead, I waited. I kept it up and was thankful to get a bunch of comments from you all excited about this book and my tour to come.
Thank you all!
So I kept reading the book…Holland is relatable (besides the part where she marries a guy she doesn’t really know), she’s got struggles, she has dreams, she has a crush, and womanly desires.
Calvin is such a sweet guy! You seriously do have to suspend your disbelief in order to believe that a couple who barely know each other would ever do this in real life. Once you do that, you can enjoy the budding romance between the two. After they are married, they actually seemed pretty sensible about it. I think it’s a fun trope, two people thrust together out of circumstances, and see what develops. The lead-up to the characters getting together is always my favorite, that spark…that burning sexual tension, I love it!
I also don’t think the book made light of Calvin’s situation. I think the book just remained truthful to the kind of guy he is. He’s this cool, laid-back, and sweet guy who probably just goes about his life, taking each day as it comes handling whatever cards he’s dealt with. He’s not without his faults though and doesn’t always make great decisions. Same with Holland.
Holland, Calvin, and her uncles are all good people. I enjoyed getting to know those characters and their relationships with each other. The humor, the style, and the pacing of this book kept me turning the pages. I became fully invested in these characters and the storyline. I’d even go so far as to say that I fell in love with Holland and Calvin. I don’t blame Holland at all for going for the Irish hottie!
Speaking of hot…it’s time for my sneak peek into my NYC Roomies Tour!! I’ll leave some clues about what Broadway show I saw too.😉
I hope you enjoyed that little backstage tour because I’ll have to let you know now that I could not go on a backstage tour of a Broadway theatre. One of my awesome readers made that cool request, so sorry to disappoint. Due to union rules, they don’t allow that. I think I saw some VIP expensive tickets to certain shows that take you on a tour, however, I don’t have that kind of money. Does anybody want to give me that kind of money? Bueller?
Basically, you have to know someone to get backstage. Once upon a time, I actually did know someone. He was a Broadway star friend of a friend. We went backstage, which basically was in his little dressing room and we also stood at the back of the stage. It was cool for sure but nothing extensive. You don’t get to see long hallways of costumes and props, which is what I pictured. I don’t remember seeing any other area besides that one little room. Sooo it’s not that exciting.
However, my Roomies tour without a backstage tour of a Broadway Theatre will be exciting! I might have a surprise or two and a classic “Lauren” moment. So get excited!
Don’t worry, my sneak peek isn’t over…
That’s my sneak peek! You can check out my full tour here: Roomies NYC Tour.
After this tour, I’m thinking about trying something different for my next tour posts, but I’d like your opinions. I’m thinking about after I go on my actual tour, doing my tour post right away and excluding the #amreading and book review post. I figure in my tour post, I can give a brief book summary and my opinion of the book will be sprinkled throughout the post.
Time management is the main reason. Working full-time in an often emotionally and physically draining job can make it hard to get my posts out in a timely manner. Sometimes I just need to veg out.
I also don’t read as many books as I used to before book-blogging. Crazy I know! When I’m working on my posts, I’m not in a reading mode and since it takes me a while to get my posts out, I have quite a chunk of time that I’m not reading. I feel like if I just do the one tour post, then I will read more and that will possibly open up time for more book tour posts—also, potentially stand-alone book reviews of books not set in NYC. I do like reading books set in other places too, ya know? This could also open up the possibility of different types of posts. I’m also a weirdo who likes Instagram so I’d like to have time to post more there too. Perhaps the non-NYC book reviews would go on Instagram? We’ll see! Lots of different possibilities.
I wouldn’t always do it that way. Sometimes I may feel compelled to do a book review for my tour post, so if I’m feeling it, I will! What do you all think?
I’m definitely going to try it out for my next tour because the next one will be Christmas-themed so I want to get it out as soon as possible. I’m already delayed so hoping I get to that one!
Anyway, we’ll call my next tour post a pilot post to see how it goes and then reassess. At the end of my Roomies tour post, I’ll reveal my next book.
So that’s what I’m thinking! Bad idea? Horrible, really bad, and/or awful? Let me know! Thanks!
If you’re still with me, pin this post, will ya!?😉
Thank you for reading!