⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas 🎧

It’s always a little terrifying to read the sophomore effort from an author whose debut you loved, hoping that it will live up to the weight of expectation. And, honestly, this didn’t at first. The beginning is MUCH weaker than the second half, and it takes awhile to find its footing – but it definitely gets there along the way. The second half has the swoony goodness that I was hoping for; the payoff of a slow, torturous burn, and the intimacy that gives the romance weight. I loved Lucas and Rosie together – the roommates to lovers situation provided for many scenarios that ratcheted up the tension, and Lucas is just a sweetheart of a guy. Completely different than the dynamic between the characters in the first book, this romance is softer, sweeter, slower, and still just as sexy.

The story follows Rosie, a woman who temporarily moves into her bestie’s apartment when hers becomes damaged. Unfortunately, she didn’t give her friend a heads up that she was coming, and it turns out that the studio apartment was already promised to someone else – Lina’s sexy Spanish cousin who is in the States temporarily. Both nice, easygoing people, Rosie and Lucas come to an agreement to share the apartment while Rosie’s is being repaired… which is how Rosie ends up becoming roommates with the guy she’s been secretly stalking on the internet for months. Spending time with Lucas does nothing to diffuse the crush Rosie has been harboring, nor does going on (mostly) platonic dates in the hopes of getting inspiration for her writing. It does make the living situation a little more tense, however, especially once Rosie realizes that Lucas might not be completely immune to her charms after all.

The Spanish Love Deception was one of my favorite books of last year, so to say that I was eagerly anticipating this would be an understatement. Which might be why I was so disappointed by the beginning, though that could also be attributed to the audiobook narration (which I abandoned). Whatever the case, there was something about the beginning that just did not work for me. It was obvious from the start that Lucas and Rosie were both smitten with each other, and the low-stakes situation made it feel less like a slow burn and more just SLOW. As other readers have mentioned, it felt like I got 150-200 pages in and the book hadn’t really gone anywhere yet. There’s also a subplot revolving around Rosie’s budding career as a romance author, and how she’s having trouble finding inspiration after a successful first book, which… did not give me any reassurance that it wasn’t a real life issue for Armas as well. There has to be an enormous amount of pressure placed on any author who has such a wildly popular debut, so I can certainly empathize with that. The good news is that this recovers well in the second half, and I started to get the swoons back. The tension kicks up a notch, the pace moves a bit faster, and the romance is more overt. The back half has everything that I want from Armas, which easily earns this a 4-star rating from me. Had the rest of the book been that solid, it would’ve been an easy 5.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3frCoVt

Audio Note:

Not gonna lie, I abandoned the audio partway through, and I do not regret it. Not that it was poorly executed, it simply wasn’t resonating with me. I’m not familiar with either narrator in this dual narration production, but neither one was a win. The female narrator makes Rosie sound so upbeat, peppy, and bubbly that those first few scenes were extra cringey. The male narrator was trying to sound like a flirty Latin lover, with a thick accent and too much pompous attitude. It didn’t match how I envisioned either character, and jumping between those two narration styles was very, very jarring. So I ended up abandoning ship and switching back to the text. Coincidence or not, that was about the same time the plot began working better for me. The runtime is also around 15 hours, so you’ll likely need to listen over the course of multiple days. It does make a great choice for a workday listen though, as the slow burn romance lends itself well to the format. It’s also light and upbeat enough that the format would’ve been ideal if the narration had been smoother.

Audiobook: https://amzn.to/3LPCEtF


Blurb:

From the author of the Goodreads Choice Award winner The Spanish Love Deception, the eagerly anticipated follow-up featuring Rosie Graham and Lucas Martín, who are forced to share a New York apartment.

Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas, who Rosie has been stalking—for lack of a better word—on Instagram for the last few months. Lucas seems intent on coming to her rescue like a Spanish knight in shining armor. Only this one strolls around the place in a towel, has a distracting grin, and an irresistible accent. Oh, and he cooks.

Lucas offers to let Rosie stay with him, at least until she can find some affordable temporary housing. And then he proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline: He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates meant to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control—but Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date, and six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3frCoVt


Start the series today!

A wedding. A trip to Spain. The most infuriating man. And three days of pretending. Or in other words, a plan that will never work.

Catalina Martín, finally, not single. Her family is happy to announce that she will bring her American boyfriend to her sister’s wedding. Everyone is invited to come and witness the most magical event of the year.

That would certainly be tomorrow’s headline in the local newspaper of the small Spanish town I came from. Or the epitaph on my tombstone, seeing the turn my life had taken in the span of a phone call.

Four weeks wasn’t a lot of time to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic-from NYC and all the way to Spain-for a wedding. Let alone, someone eager to play along my charade. But that didn’t mean I was desperate enough to bring the 6’4 blue eyed pain in my ass standing before me.

Aaron Blackford. The man whose main occupation was making my blood boil had just offered himself to be my date. Right after inserting his nose in my business, calling me delusional, and calling himself my best option. See? Outrageous. Aggravating. Blood boiling. And much to my total despair, also right. Which left me with a surly and extra large dilemma in my hands. Was it worth the suffering to bring my colleague and bane of my existence as my fake boyfriend to my sister’s wedding? Or was I better off coming clean and facing the consequences of my panic induced lie?

Like my abuela would say, que dios nos pille confesados.

The Spanish Love Deception is an enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating, SLOW-BURN romance. Perfect for those looking for a steamy slow-burn with the sweetest Happily Ever After.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mhFege


About the Author:

Elena Armas is a Spanish writer, a self-confessed hopeless romantic, and proud book hoarder. After years of devouring HEAs and talking–okay fine, yelling–nonstop about them, she has finally taken the leap and decided to create some of her own.

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