When I first heard about The Roommate, I knew I had to read it. Because of my former freelance position writing for a sex positive, feminist website, I am always interested in projects empowering women’s sexuality and leading to better sex for all partners – or books about this concept! I really enjoyed The Roommate and am glad it was my first finished book of 2021.

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The summary, from Amazon:

“Warmly funny and gorgeously sexy.”—New York Times Book Review

A LibraryReads Pick

House Rules:
Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online

The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too tempting to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true.

After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive—not to mention handsome—for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet…

Once she learns how Josh has made a name for himself, Clara realizes living with him might make her the Wheaton’s most scandalous story yet. His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too.

Buy The Roommate here.

This read really lived up to my expectations. Clara is a New England socialite with a spotless reputation, despite previous scandals in her family. In a gesture rather unlike her, she moves across the country on a whim to live with her crush, who immediately leaves to go on tour with his band. He has sublet his room to Josh, an adult entertainer, a.k.a. porn star. When Josh and Clara meet, she isn’t aware of his profession, but the sparks immediately fly. After Clara discovers Josh’s profession, in a conversation it’s revealed that she has never been brought to orgasm by a partner, so Josh shows her that it’s more than possible.

After weeks of crushing, flirting, and forming a genuine friendship, Josh, Clara, and Josh’s ex Naomi form a business plan for a website that teaches partners how to treat women right in bed. Clara has a trust fund and is the silent partner in this business. For Josh, this is a great opportunity, as he’s been screwed over by the company he’s contracted with and doesn’t want to film with them anymore. He provides the voiceovers for the films on their website, since he’s contracted not do shoot with another business.

Clara and Josh, as one can predict, fall for one another. I love the concept of the website they’ve created and the conversations these two have. Of course, once we reach the climax of the story, there are the usual arguments and misunderstandings, but up until that point, these two really have great communication, which makes their will-they-won’t-they-actually-kiss-or-have-PIV-sex scenes ultra-steamy at times and ultra-romantic at others – and often both.

These two have a lot they need to overcome in order to be an official couple, though. Honestly, the only reason this wasn’t a perfect read for me is I felt, after the Big Argument, Josh did a ton of groveling, and I wanted more from Clara. Earlier on in the novel, Clara denies knowing Josh, though at this point their romance is very obvious and all but official. She apologizes, but I found this more of a big deal than Josh’s error. Clara does make a Grand Gesture, but I wanted her to acknowledge why what she did was wrong without an excuse.

Overall, this was a fun, sexy read and the perfect start to 2021. The Roommate is empowering and steamy, and that’s all I can ask for in a romance novel. I can’t wait to read Naomi’s book! This was a 4 star read for me, and I thank NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

The RoommateThe Roommate by Rosie Danan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun, sexy read and I loved the business Clara and Josh founded (with Naomi – can’t wait for her book). Josh does some extreme groveling at the end when I felt Clara needed to do a little more than he did. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Overall, I really enjoyed this one. A great start to 2021 reading! My thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Clara and Josh both have personal beliefs and insecurities, especially regarding the expectations of others, holding them back. Identify these negative influences and discuss how they move past them, either solo or with the other’s help.
  2. Naomi, the ex-girlfriend of Josh, does not play into the usual “jealous ex” trope. How would the story have turned out differently had she fulfilled this usual trope? Why is it important that she did not?
  3. Do you think Shameless is a useful site? Would you benefit from or enjoy using something similar? Share any related “real life” resources you know of, if you feel comfortable!
  4. Clara initially believes the negative stigmas associated with adult entertainment and entertainers. How do her beliefs change throughout the book? Did your opinions change?

Interested? Buy The Roommate.
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