BEST OF 2022 SO FAR: Lease on Love by Falon Ballard

We’re already halfway through 2022, so I’m taking the time to reflect back on my 15 favorite books of the year so far. A debut that surprised me in the best of ways, I loved Lease on Love from start to finish. It’s a great romance with a side of women’s fiction, and the storyline felt fresh and authentic. Plus, roommates to lovers romances where the hero is a little mysterious are always a win! It’s young and vibrant, with heartfelt moments and lighthearted vibes. I’m excited to read more from Ballard in the future – this was a very memorable debut. You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book below!

It took all of five minutes for me to realize that I was going to love this debut author’s work, and love it I did. This was excellent – light, swoony, and slow-burning, with depth that sneaks up on you and a focus on mental health. I adored the roommates to lovers dynamic, and this hero is fantastic, the perfect book boyfriend. The funny thing is that I was worried this was going to be too women’s fiction-y for me, but that concern was quickly put to rest when the f-bombs started flying in the first chapter, lol. It felt fresh, modern, and yeah, everything millennial dreams are made of… because I’ll be the first to admit that the storyline is pure fantasy in some ways. The sense of found family and community was really heartwarming, and the book just felt so unique.

The story follows Sadie, a woman who has been working herself to the bone, assuming that her efforts will pay off somewhere down the line. But when she’s passed over for a promotion, Sadie has an outburst that leaves her jobless and reeling. Drowning her sorrows in alcohol, Sadie matches with a guy on what she believes to be a dating app… but is actually a roommate-finder app. Jack is definitely not the type of guy that Sadie would date – he’s nerdy, broody, and nice – but he’s seeking a roommate to live in his luxurious brownstone for next to nothing, and he doesn’t seem like a serial killer. As the two strangers become roommates, their new friendship blossoms into more.

Something about the blurb and cover had me thinking this was going to have a more serious feel, but that assumption went out the window within the first chapter. Our heroine is bold and bright, the splash of color that livened up this NYC romance. Paired with a quiet, loving, and genuine hero, the combination had me glued to the pages. The slow burn love story built in such a fulfilling way, with a growth in intimacy that kept me swooning. And it’s sexy! Slow burn lovers will appreciate the quiet moments, but there’s plenty of steam later on. It’s not an overly long book, but the story felt rich and deep in a way that I don’t always find in romance. The tone remains light for much of the story, but there are some emotional moments that give this weight. I loved the focus on mental health and how these two “broken” people come back to life as they grow and heal together. The transformation from start to finish was fantastic, and the heavier moments just gave this more depth. If this is the author’s debut, then I am absolutely looking forward to more. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy, and am voluntarily leaving a review of this roommates to lovers romance.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/30dwdNi


Blurb:

Beach Read meets The Flatshare in this warmly funny and delightfully sharp debut rom-com about a down-on-her-luck young woman who turns an innocent mix-up between a dating app and a roommate app into a new chance at love.

She wasn’t looking for love until it landed on her doorstep.

After getting passed over for an overdue—and much-needed—promotion, Sadie Green is in desperate need of three things: a stiff drink, a new place to live, and a one-night stand. When one drink turns into one too many, Sadie mixes up a long-ignored dating app for a roommate-finding app and finds herself on the doorstep of Jack Thomas’s gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone. Too bad she’s more attracted to his impressive real estate than she is to the man himself.

Jack, still grieving the unexpected death of his parents, has learned to find comfort in video games and movie marathons instead of friends. So while he doesn’t know just what to make of the vivaciously verbose Sadie, he’s willing to offer her his spare bedroom while she gets back on her feet. And with the rent unbeatably low, Sadie can finally pursue her floristry side hustle full-time. The two are polar opposites, but as Sadie’s presence begins to turn the brownstone into a home, they both start to realize they may have just made the deal of a lifetime.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/30dwdNi


About the Author:

Falon Ballard loves to write about love! She also has an undying affection for exclamation points and isn’t ashamed to admit it! When she’s not writing fictional love stories, she’s helping real-life couples celebrate, working as a wedding planner in Southern California. She has a deep appreciation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a Disneyland devotee, and is a reality TV aficionado. If she’s not busy wrangling her seven-year-old, you can probably find her drinking wine and posting a picture on Instagram while simultaneously snarking on Twitter, because multitasking!


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