Christina Lauren is a writing duo I want to read so much more of, especially after reading Roomies. If you recall, I read this in September after a book I didn’t love and it was the perfect palate cleanser because it was a joy to read. Does it sound like I’m extolling its virtues a little too much? Well, a marriage of convenience trope set in modern times (for immigration reasons not a weird inheritance thing) that is executed well is too rare. We’ve got this and The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and re-watching The Proposal. So yes, I loved it. Now, on to the actual review!
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 big-time 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?
Genuinely, I adored this book so much. I think the chemistry between Holland and Calvin jumps off the page, although I think I would have liked it to be a little steamier.
I found Holland an extremely relatable heroine. Although she gets in her head about Calvin’s feelings for her, I thought it made sense. I mean, if someone offers to marry you so that you can have the career of your dreams, it’s going to be hard to trust when that someone develops feelings for you. I also felt like she was a realistic twenty something who doesn’t have it all figured out and is learning to believe in herself and to stand up for herself. I think both of those are important lessons that you learn or start to learn in your mid-twenties (I’m still hoping I’ll figure it out the rest of the way, tbh).
Calvin was a pretty great hero too. He’s a sexy musician who is trying to make it, but can’t try too hard because he’s in the country with an expired visa. The main conflict between the two arose in such a way that it seemed to be unrealistically realistic. That probably seems like a weird thing to say, but we’ll have to see what you think once you’ve read the book! I hope you pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did.