REVIEW: Roomies – Christina Lauren

34466910Title: Roomies
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: ★★★★★

I always worry that one of these days I’ll read a CLo book that doesn’t live up to my expectations. This is not that day. I wanted a fun, contemporary romance with a smidge of sexiness and and once again these authors delivered on all aspects.

“Crushes are the worst, but in hindsight a crush from afar seems so much easier than this. I should stick to making up stories in my head and watching from a distance like a reasonable creeper.”

I don’t know how they do it, but it seems like in every CLo book I read, there’s a heroine with whom I can relate to. And the fact that I can always connect with the main character on some level makes their books so much more enjoyable. Roomies was a witty, heartwarming, delightful book that I didn’t want to put down. The “fake marriage” trope was executed perfectly and it was so lovely to watch the relationship between Holland and Calvin slowly develop over time. And speaking of Calvin, from the first few chapters he had me turning into a puddle of goo. Holland Bakker is one lucky gal: she gets a handsome, wholesome, adorable Irish man as her husband – that’s the dream (or at least it’s mine).

Roomies had the whole package when it comes to what I look for in a contemporary romance: relatable heroine, witty writing, great dialogue between characters, steamy scenes, and a love interest I wish I could pull forth from the pages. This was such a fun and charming book and I always highly recommend Christina Lauren’s books! 

Favorite Romance Tropes

We all have those tropes that make picking up a certain book a no-brainer. In the honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to talk about all the romance tropes that I absolutely love in a book. If I detect a hint of any of these in a synopsis, you can bet I’ll be adding that book to my TBR. I’m also really mad because as I was writing this post, I was drawing some serious blanks and could not recall any books that featured a lot of these tropes. I need to go back and reread every book I’ve ever had and take notes.


ENEMIES TO LOVERS

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: hate-to-love romances are my bread and butter. There are so many great aspects to this trope: the heated arguments, the palpable angst, the sexual tension, the mixed feelings. Honestly, just give me two characters that hate each other and hint at an attraction and I’ll be good to go.

Favorite Examples: Cardan + Jude from The Cruel Prince, Eelyn + Fiske from Sky in the Deep, Magnus + Cleo from Falling Kingdoms, Matthias + Nina from Six of Crows, Anthony + Kate from The Viscount Who Loved Me


CHILDHOOD FRIENDS TO LOVERS

The next best thing to hate-to-lovers, is having two people who have know each other for forever and then eventually develop feelings – or better yet, discover the feelings have been there all along. I love everything about it: the history between them, the inside jokes, the established friendship, the moments of jealousy before they realize their feelings. 

Favorite Examples: Malyen + Alina from Shadow and Bone, Eril-Fane + Azareen from Strange the Dreamer, Elliot + Macy from Love and Other Words, Jay + Violet from The Body Finder


THERE’S ONLY ONE BED

You know this trope. The protagonist and love interest encounter a situation where they need to stay in a room with only one bed which – to my great delight – they end up sharing. Every time this happens in a book, I turn into giddy, squealing schoolgirl. I don’t know how this trope originated, but I would like to personally thank each and every author that’s ever utilized it. Bonus points if they hate each other. Extra bonus points if they end up cuddling by morning or the male love interest wakes up with a bit of a situation, ya know what I’m saying 😉

Favorite Examples: All of them. (but no seriously, I’m drawing a huge blank and cannot think of a single book with this trope even though I’ve read it so many times. If anyone can think of any specific YA books in which this happens, please comment below and put me out of my misery 😭)


FAKE RELATIONSHIP

I love me a good fake relationship, especially when the characters need to make it believable and act in love: hold hands, snuggling up, kissing. I know it’s probably redundant at this point, but the trope is even better when they don’t even really like each other at the beginning.

Favorite Examples: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Rogue Not Taken, Roomies


KISSING TO HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT

Ah, the infamous “the bad guys are looking for us, let’s kiss so they look the other way!” Or when two characters are in disguise and have to kiss to keep up the ruse. Classic. I love this trope, particularly because it always happens before either of the characters admit to any feelings. And also because kissing, duh.

Favorite Examples: Angelfall, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, The Devil’s Thief, Rebel of the Sands


HUDDLING TOGETHER FOR SURVIVAL

This is such a good trope, and one that sometimes allows for our beloved characters to strip down in a totally nonsexual way and then cuddle for warmth (or survival). I think I like it so much, because usually they end up falling asleep in each other’s arms, and then it becomes very reminiscent to the whole “there’s only bed” trope which we have all learned by now is one of my favorites.

Favorite Examples: Grave Mercy, The Hunger Games, The White Stag, 


SHARING A HORSE

I’m total and complete trash for this trope. Like, in every fantasy story where there is some kind of horse riding going on, I always pray that some kind of situation arises in which the main character and the love interest have to share a horse for the duration of the rest of the journey. Whether they end up riding in front or in back, doesn’t matter it makes me swoon so hard. 

Favorite Examples: Each and every time it happens.


Are any of these tropes you enjoy reading? What are some of your favorite romance tropes? Or what are some tropes in romance you cannot stand to read? Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. How did I manage to narrow this down to just ten, you ask? I basically just wrote down the first ten I could think of off the top of my head and then refused to second guess myself or go back and change anything (okay I did change one because I wrote this entire post and then I realized I forgot Jude and Cardan and had to fix the whole thing) 😂 As you can see from my list, I enjoy pairings that are synonymous with angst and having my heart treaded upon. It’s basically my brand.

1. MALYEN + ALINA from The Grisha trilogy
The entire reason I even got into this series was because I happened upon Shadow and Bone under new releases on the Barnes and Nobles website years ago and read the excerpt of the prologue. Beautiful writing + childhood friends-to-lovers? Sign me up. 

2. ERIL-FANE + AZAREEN from Strange the Dreamer
Eril-Fane and Azareen have one of the most beautiful, tragic, heartbreaking stories I’ve ever read. I felt so deeply every time a part of their relationship was revealed. And Laini Taylor damn near destroyed me with Muse of Nightmares. Every scene with them was so emotional that sometimes I had to take breaks afterwards. These two are arguably only side characters and yet still one of my favorite pairings ever.

3. CARDAN + JUDE from The Cruel Prince
This entire relationship is so on brand for me it’s not even funny. Hated words, veiled threats, sexual tension? I barely survived The Wicked King. And there are so many amazing pieces of  fanart floating around at there that I could fill an entire wall of my room with a Jude/Cardan shrine. 

3. MAGNUS + CLEO from Falling Kingdoms
This ship marks my proudest bookish accomplishment to date. Magnus and Cleo were my trash ship from book one, back when most people were arguing for the sides of Cleo’s two other love interests. When Falling Kingdoms first came out, never in a million years would I ever have guess that it would become endgame.

4. MATTHIAS + NINA from Six of Crows
*thinks about the ending of 
Crooked Kingdom*
*cries*

5. CHAOL + CELAENA from Throne of Glass
Chaolaena was originally written as endgame/mates. I have all the receipts. Don’t @ me.

6. VIKRAM + GAURI from A Crown of Wishes
This is another example of an excellent hate-to-love romance. The dynamic between these two was so realistic and convincing, and the witty banter between them was a on a whole other level. And their novella story in Star-Touched Stories was so amazing and emotional.

7. VIX + SABINA from The Empress of Rome series
If there is any couple that can rival Eril-Fane/Azareen as the angiest of all ships, it’s THESE TWO M*THERF*CKERS. I think I developed hypertension while reading these books. So many miscommunications. So many missed opportunities. So much angst.

8. DARA + NAHRI from The Daevabad trilogy
*ignores anything S.A. Chakraborty says on Twitter*
They are going to live happily ever after together in Empire of Gold, sorry I don’t make the rules.

9. JULIAN + EMMA / WILL + TESS from The Dark Artifices / The Infernal Devices.
I don’t know why Cassandra Clare writes relationships with the ultimate goal of hurting me, but she does. I couldn’t even choose between the two of these because they both cause me equal heartache, which therefore means I love them.

10. ARIN + KESTREL from The Winner’s Curse
Enemies-to-lovers. Secrets. Betrayals. Angst. Kissing. What more could a girl ask for in a bookish OTP?

Honorable Mention: ELIAS + LAIA from An Ember in the Ashes because I have no self control.

#ARCstravaganza: We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post. This book was so good. If it’s not already on your TBR, it needs to be! And even though the original cover was beautiful, the new cover design is just as gorgeous!


WE HUNT THE FLAME – HAFSAH FAIZAL

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ABOUT THE BOOK

dxyuyoyuwaajtgcTitle: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1)
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Release: May 14, 2019

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds— and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

The ABC Book Challenge | B

Happy Friday! I’m here with the next letter in the ABC Book Challenge. Two of my absolute favorite books ever – The Bird and the Sword and The Book Thief – are included here, so besides the fact that my name also starts with a “B”, I’m very partial to this list! 


MEMORABLE TITLES THAT START WITH THE LETTER “B”


BOOKS STARTING WITH “B” ON MY TBR