The Roommate Arrangement by Jae
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love that this book covers a couple of different genres while focusing on the roommates to lovers concept. Both main characters are well written. Steph is funny, as is expected of a comedian, yet has a very realistic depth to her. Rae has a tone of depth and character development throughout the story.
The drama feels very real and the attraction develops a bit earlier than I had expected, but the development and need for them to overcome personal obstacles works perfectly.
This book is very much a roommates to lovers with a little bit of fake dating mixed in. Admittedly, the fake dating part is really minor as they are only pretending to date for the sake of the apartment owners they are hoping to rent from. Other than it helping them progress their growing attraction, it isn’t focused on much at all.
Steph is a struggling comedian in need of a better place to live. She’s funny (obviously) and quirky. I enjoy her character a lot. She’s free spirited and enjoys sex without attachments.
Rae is an ex-cop with some trauma that is haunting her and also needs a better place to live. She works security at the comedy club Steph often has a gig in. Rae has a lot of depth and emotional flaws she needs to overcome. Which is completely understandable considering she lost her eye and her partner in a shootout. She’s extremely sensitive to people knowing about her disability. She doesn’t want (or feel like she deserves) sympathy for it and doesn’t want to be thought of as weak or treated differently.
Because of these two main characters being polar opposites there is a lot of awkward tension as they start to realize the growing attraction between them. The tension is great and I was very much on a roller coaster the whole time. Rae would constantly bring the mood down with her angst and self deprecation. You really wanted to shake some sense into her when she would pull away from everyone around her.
The pacing of the story flowed well. The attraction was acknowledged between them earlier than I expected. They start to build an actual relationship and it’s very sweet. Rae specifically acts like a smitten teenager and it’s kinda cute. hey decide to wait before sleeping together which I admire. Throughout this, Steph is trying hard to get her career really taking off, but struggles to be taken seriously because of being a woman. There are a few misunderstandings between them that cause the ebb and flow of their relationship, but thankfully they don’t take too long figuring out that just communicating with each other get through these issues.
This was a good story that focuses more on working through your issues both as a couple and personal struggles than it does the slow burn build up to get there. It was a great mix of comedy and drama.