This Chick Read: The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

Rosie Graham wrote a startlingly popular romance novel and quit her full-time job to give focus to writing her second novel. Is it going well? No. She has a horrible case of writer’s block. When her apartment ceiling caves in she packs her bags and heads over to her best friend’s empty apartment (The Spanish Love Deceptions heroine, Lina) and tries to not freak out about her bad luck. That bad luck continues when she calls the cops on her friend’s cousin Lucas, who is also there to take advantage of his newly married cousin’s empty apartment. They decide to share the space while they both try to get their lives back together, Lucas offering to help her out of her writer’s block by setting the stage for some “friendly” experimental dates and the sparks fly. Needless to say, it’s not just her writing that catches fire.

Elena Armas debut novel, The Spanish Love Deception, was one of my favorite romances from last year so I was super excited to finally read The American Roommate Experiment. While the previous novel had my favorite enemies to lovers trope, I was certain this novel would be just as cute. I was right and I was wrong. I really liked both of these characters and enjoyed their story. Lucas was completely adorable and while going through his own identity crisis brought the Latin heat to this story. Rosie, also was sweet and her crush on Lucas was adorable to read so I don’t understand why it didn’t hit the same note as The Spanish Love Deception. Maybe if felt slightly safe and was a story that has been told before and this one didn’t differentiate itself from the pack.

What could’ve helped make this novel great? Both characters didn’t open up to each other until the very end, and there wasn’t enough of a journey towards that moment of realization. Lucas was avoiding his own issues while Rosie was trying to face hers so there was a disparity that held them back and that felt a little disjointed. I know this is totally minor and like I said, I liked them both as well as a lot of moments in the story but with a couple of tweaks, I think this could’ve been as great as her first novel, instead of just good. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The American Roommate Experiment

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This Chick Read: The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

Catalina Martín is the Maid of Honor in her sister’s wedding and she just found out that her ex will be bringing his new fiancée to the wedding. This was not a relationship that ended well and in fact contributed to Lina moving from Spain to NYC. Ever since their break-up she’s had trouble trusting someone enough to let them into her life and has remained single, but the last thing she wants to do is go back home as “poor Lina” for her sister’s wedding. She needs a date! Enter Aaron Blackford, her handsome and cold work frenemy, who volunteers to be her plus one. Despite the signs for a disastrous trip, Lina agrees to pull off this Spanish Love Deception with Aaron. What she doesn’t expect is for that frenemy chemistry to shift until she sees him with new eyes. Was she wrong about him all along?

This novel won Best Debut of 2021 by Goodreads readers and I can certainly see why! It’s reminiscent of all of the best enemies to lovers novels, including one of my favorites from last year The Love Hypothesis but this author steps up the chemistry a little earlier with a “fake date” that has Lina questioning her hatred of Aaron mid book instead of making us wait until the very end for her to realize he’s the one for her. I’m not saying that their fait accompli is not still drawn out, but at least there is some hesitancy to hate, which for me made all of the difference.

Is the plot of needing a date for a wedding overused? Yes, I think it is, however Lina’s charming Spanish family more than made up for any tiredness. I loved how everyone wanted Lina’s happiness and how they stood by her despite her ex being the groom’s brother. I also loved, loved, loved Aaron. He gives some swoon-worthy monologues that makes this fantasy novel shoot to a ten on the emotional scale. If he wasn’t already fictional, I’d certainly think he was too good to be true! Not to say he didn’t have his faults, he never strayed from his cool as a cucumber persona, but he was all mush when it came to Catalina. It was so sweet.

This was true escapism at its best. Easy reading, great characters, lots of depth of character, and a magnificently steamy love story. The fact it’s this author’s debut novel is astounding and boy… I can’t wait for her second. Ummm, when is it coming out? ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Spanish Love Deception: A Novel

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*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link, I’ll receive a small stipend.