Monday 15 August 2022

The American Roommate Experiment

Finished June 15
The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

This novel is the second in the Spanish Love Deception series, but the first that I've read. I like that we got pieces from both viewpoints here, and the reader can see how the characters begin to converge emotionally. 
Rosie Graham has just quit her job to tackle writing full-time. She has saved some money and figures she has enough for a year or so to focus on her writing. She has a published novel that was well received. She hasn't told many people about this risky move yet, just her best friend Lina and her ex-boss Aaron. But writer's block has hit her hard, and she has barely written a thing. Then there is a issue at her apartment and she has to vacate while things get fixed. She has keys to Lina's place and figures she won't mind as she is out of the country for a while on a trip. 
When she arrives at Lina's she is soon unnerved by someone else entering the apartment and discovers that Lina has already let her cousin Lucas take her place for a while. Rosie has been secretly checking Lucas out on his Instagram account and learning about him. So meeting him in person is a pleasant shock, but one that leaves her unbalanced. 
Lucas is going through some personal issues that take a while to be revealed. He is a competitive surfer who has traveled the world and now is taking a break to figure out his future. He is surprised by Rosie's presence, but welcomes her and they soon work out a way to share the place for the short while that Rosie needs to stay. 
There are lots of little side stories that come up, such as issues with Rosie's father and brother, the issues with Rosie's place and the contractor who is responsible for the repairs, among others.
Lucas spends his days doing touristy things, while Rosie tries to write, and then usually makes a first-class dinner for them. So a man who's sexy, Spanish, and a good cook is a big draw. 
When he discovers Rosie's writer's block, he comes up with a plan to get those juices flowing again.
I liked Rosie's quiet independence, and how the situation of being dependent on someone else causes her to be off balance. Her relationships with her father and brother are close, but we don't see any depth of character for them here. 
We get glimpses of Lucas' family too, an outspoken cousin, his grandmother who he is very close to, and his lovable dog who he misses. So we see his personal side in a good light. 
The book moves quickly, and the tension is there right from the beginning, giving the reader a good idea of which way things are going. 
A fun read. 

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