Published by BERKLEY on September 15, 2020
Genres: Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I went into Rosie Danan’s debut novel, The Roommate, spoiler free and just have to start off by saying this book is such a breath of fresh air. The Roommate is a rom-com about a socialite and an adult entertainer (yep, a porn star) that I didn’t even know I needed in my life. The premise, with its focus on the porn industry, is so unique and the main characters, Clara, Josh, and Josh’s ex, Naomi, are just so precious that I wanted to be bffs with all of them.
The characters are what really sold me on this story, mainly because they weren’t at all what I expected them to be like based on the usual stereotypes associated with socialites and porn stars. Clara is pretty much the exact opposite of a Paris Hilton type. She’s sweet, awkward, and lacks confidence when it comes to most areas of her life. When the story opens, Clara has also just quit her job and moved from New York to California to live with her childhood crush because she has misread his signals and thinks she’s heading toward her happily ever after. Instead of happily ever after, however, Clara finds herself shacking up with a random male roommate her crush has found on Craigslist and sublet his place to while he goes on tour with his band. Talk about awkward!
Josh, the roommate in question, is just as endearing as Clara. At first he comes across as very arrogant – he’s obviously proud of his ability to please women, but he’s also very charming, fun, and sweet, and pretty soon Clara warms up to him and so did I. I grew to love him even more as Clara gets to know him better and it becomes clear that some of that arrogance is just a front. Josh has a lot of layers to him, and just like with Clara, some of those layers are filled with insecurities, fears, and doubts. I just loved how real both characters felt and how their relationship developed. Yes, they certainly have their sexy, steamy moments filled with delicious banter, but they also have a lot of sweet, heartfelt moments that made me smile.
The Roommate also has its fair share of drama, some revolving around family expectations, but also specifically drama that revolves around the porn industry. I really loved how Danan portrays all of the adult entertainers as scrappy underdogs fighting the greedy corporate villains for what is rightfully theirs. She gives the readers an interesting look at what goes on behind the scenes and I really liked the depth it added to the story. I also adored Josh’s ex, Naomi. She’s Josh’s partner in most of his adult films and she’s also a badass in her own right. I read that there will be a companion novel that focuses on Naomi, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!
If you’re looking for a fresh, sexy, and heartfelt romance with perfectly imperfect characters that will have you wishing for a happy ending, The Roommate is the book you’re looking for.