Holland has had a crush on Subway Station Musician for … let’s say a while. When he prevents her being shoved onto the tracks one night and saves her life, she pays him back by getting him an audition with her uncle, a Broadway bigwig. Subway Station Musician – whose name is Calvin – stuns said uncle, and the path towards Calvin’s wildest dreams is open before him… or it would be, were it not for the fact that he’s overstayed his U.S. visa, and should be sent back to Ireland. This is where Holland does him another favor and marries him. What follows is a charming and emotional tale; and most likely, Roomies is the only romance this year that includes USCIS.
Holland, though she’s been raised around music, is an aspiring author. She works for her uncle’s theatre production company while crafting her début novel and routinely goes thirty minutes out of her way every day on the subway to listen to the mysterious guitar player upon whom she has an illogical yet all-consuming crush. Everyone in her world knows about her detours, but sees them simply as a charming oddity until a Broadway show is in need of a classical guitarist on short notice. Holland is sure Calvin is the right fit, and not just because he saved her from falling onto the train tracks. There is something about his playing that transcends ‘music’ and she knows he is perfect for the production.
Calvin is taken aback by this opportunity, but also by this girl. He’s noticed her, but wasn’t about to do anything about it; as an undocumented alien, making waves in any direction is not something he plans on doing. When he impresses Holland’s uncle, he’s grateful for the opportunity but not really sure how it’s going to work – even when presented with the solution in the form of marriage to Holland, he’s dubious, but game.
Of course, the marriage is not a permanent solution, but the process of filing for Calvin’s spousal visa will take about the same time as the show’s run, so they’re ‘safe’ for most of the book. What they’re not safe from are their emotions, as the marriage of convenience moves in the direction that the trope invariably goes. It’s that process that takes up the bulk of this novel, and is at times sweet, infuriating, heartbreaking, and charming.
If you’re a fan of Christina Lauren’s writing, there is no reason why you shoudn’t purchase this book quickly. The authorial duo’s signature wit is here, the way they craft characters that walk off the page, the sexy quota is filled. I loved being along for the ride as Holland and Calvin discover what love really is and how the love of someone who really loves you brings out the best versions of yourself.
Plus, an Irish hero never hurts.
My eyerolls all had to do with the ending and my inability to suspend my disbelief about the U.S. immigration system, but overall, I’d tag this book a winner and recommended for anyone looking for a delightful holiday read that spreads loads of good cheer and warm fuzzies.