Roomies by Christina Lauren – Book Review

Title: Roomies

Author: Christina Lauren

Genre/Themes: Contemporary Romance, Marriage of Convenience, Romantic Comedy

Blurb from Goodreads

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 bigtime 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?

My Review

If you’re going to feature a book with an Irish character please don’t resort to offensive stereotyping by randomly italicising this faux Irish accent every now and then throughout the book.

Also, if you’re going to include phrases from the Irish language:

  • (a) ensure they are grammatically correct; incorrectly phrasing and spelling my native tongue is utterly galling to me and did nothing other than antagonise and infuriate me making for an extremely irritating reading experience
  • (b) ensure said phrases are contextually relevant to the lifetime and experiences of the characters. A quick Google search of Irish terms of endearment doesn’t mean that they’re actually used by anyone this side of 1900 in a romantic setting
  • (c) if you’re going to attempt to phonetically explain how to pronounce an Irish person’s name then you might care to ensure you are actually explaining it correctly! i.e. Pádraig is NOT pronounced Patrick. Yes it is the Irish translation of Patrick but are regarded as different names. And depending on the Irish you speak (Connaught, Munster etc.) you may pronounce it in a variety of ways e.g. paw-rick, paw’drig (with a soft roll on the ‘dr’ sound).

I hated this book because of all these inaccuracies and then to add insult to injury the plot was poor, the characterisations of all the other characters were equally ridiculous and stereotyped and the ending was one of the most underwhelming endings to a rom-com I’ve ever had the misfortune to read.

Just no.

Other Works by Christina Lauren I’ve Reviewed

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11 thoughts on “Roomies by Christina Lauren – Book Review

  1. Yowzers. In all honesty I was expecting a lot more of an explosive rant but these are some ouchie points 😬 I think this was one of the earlier CLo books I read and compared to their others, it was just not my jam. I can only imagine how much of an irritating experience this was for you! 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oof. You think people would research before they write something they don’t have experience with. Sorry it was so bad! I’ve actually never finished a book by these authors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s just very frustrating when a certain view of Ireland is taken to be authentic isn’t it. But Irish authors aren’t immune from this either. I recently read Louise O’Neill’s latest and she peppered the novel with a cupla focail but it sounded so stilted, so awkward. I think to slip into another language within a predominantly English text you have to be thoroughly fluent and not just relying on dictionaries and other outside influences as both these instances seem to have been!


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