cover image Roomies


Christina Lauren. Gallery, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6583-2

Lauren’s delightful urban contemporary brings together two New York artists in a modern marriage of convenience. Holland Bakker, an aspiring writer who works as an archivist for her uncles, is looking for her purpose in life but instead finds herself with a husband. Calvin McLoughlin, a handsome and talented Irish musician who plays in the 50th Street subway station, is about to make it big on Broadway, but his student visa has expired; after he helps Holland get away from a violent stranger in the subway station, she offers to marry him so he can stay in the country. Holland, a beautifully flawed and likable protagonist, humorously does her best to manage her growing fondness for Calvin while keeping low expectations for them as a couple. Her interaction with her uncles and brother reveals her fierce affection for them, and her quiet hopes that Calvin will come to love her create sweet romantic tension. In addition to Holland’s running stream of consciousness, the natural dialogue brings out the awkwardness and tenderness in the relationships between the characters. The descriptions and imagery, especially of New York City and Calvin’s music, are fresh and sensual, and the lyrical language creates atmosphere that sets this novel apart from others of the genre. Lauren’s standalone brims with authentic characters and a captivating plot. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Dec.)