The Roommate Arrangement by Jae

Rated 4.67 out of 5 based on 6 customer ratings
(6 customer reviews)

$9.99 / E-BOOK

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Read an excerpt here: pdf | epub

Author: Jae

Description

A feisty comedian. A former cop with a wounded heart. An unusual roommate arrangement…

Comedian Stephanie Renshaw hopes to finally get her big break in LA. A chance encounter lands her the perfect apartment close to the comedy clubs, but it comes with a catch: she needs a roommate to afford the rent.

Enter Rae Coleman, a former police officer working the door at one of the top comedy clubs. After getting injured in the line of duty and losing her job with the LAPD, Rae guards her wounded soul behind a tough exterior.

At first, the two clash horribly before a tentative friendship develops. Bit by bit, Steph manages to break through the walls Rae has built around her.

But Steph has never been in a relationship, preferring casual flings, and Rae isn’t sure she’s ready to be happy again. Will they find the courage to open themselves up to love?

Falling in love is not a laughing matter in this opposites-attract lesbian romance with a bit of a fake relationship thrown in.

Additional information

Publication Date

October 2019

Formats

epub, mobi, and pdf

Length

119,000 words

Language

English

ISBNs

978-3-96324-280-9 (mobi), 978-3-96324-281-6 (epub), 978-3-96324-282-3 (pdf)

Publisher

Ylva Publishing

6 reviews for The Roommate Arrangement by Jae

  1. Karola
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    ***free ARC
    She‘s done it again! I never read an ok book from Jae, they‘re all great. And how she can wove other known characters into a story is brilliant. If you like any of her books you‘ll love this one, too! No more words necessary.

  2. Bugs
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    A follow-up to “Just For Show,” only this time, this story featured Stephanie aka Steph, Claire’s sister, who appeared in “JFS,” where Jae briefly introduced her as the family’s “black sheep,” who defied everything expected of her, from her rebellious lifestyle to her profession as a stand-up comedian. In other words, Steph couldn’t be more different than “goody two shoes” Claire. Anyway, Jae’s latest, “The Roommate Arrangement,” can be read as a stand-alone, obviously, but if you’re curious, I’d highly recommend that you read “Just For Show” just so you could have a wider picture of Steph’s character and her family including Jae’s inclusion of Claire and her now-fiancée, Lana, the MCs of “JFS” in this book. To me, “Just For Show” and “The Roommate Arrangement” are perfect companion pieces to read because they complement each other. And like JFS, TRA is a heartwarming tale of self-discovery, finding love in the most unlikely of places and circumstances, from friends to lovers, a slow-burn romance that will tug at your heart strings especially when you delve into Rae’s story!

    Speaking of Rae, the other MC of this story, I was immediately intrigued by her character when Jae first introduced her. An ex-copper of the LAPD, Rae now worked the security at one of LA’s big comedy clubs, manning the entrance, the crowds, in and out of the club. As Jae slowly revealed her character, I discovered that she had a disability. A disability as a result of a work-related trauma that cost Rae her job as an LAPD officer. In pure Jae fashion, Rae’s disability was revealed in stages so we, as readers, could get invested in Rae as a person, with the kind of character she was, her behaviour, her attitude, everything about her, in full spectrum, so her disability was just a part of her. I was gratified by Jae’s conviction in detailing the intricacies of Rae’s disability, how she coped with it in terms of her lifestyle and outlook in life. I learned so much about it since I never read anything related to that particular life-altering injury. Basically, the reader was discovering Rae and her hidden injury from Steph’s POV, finding out and discovering it as the story progressed.

    Speaking of Steph, it was purely a coincidence (or should we say, fate?) that both she and Rae kind of butted heads in their first meeting. It was a delightful introduction to each other, to say the least! Steph, in all her glorious sense of humour and wittiness, almost immediately rubbed Rae the wrong way, who was a complete polar opposite of the comic. Let’s just say their initial encounter didn’t bode well for a potential strike of a friendship. So imagine Rae’s surprise when Steph dropped by the club one day to propose a chance to be roommates with the caveat of being in a fake relationship so they could secure the tenancy! Yeh, apparently the landlord preferred couples to singles as tenants! The dilemma for Rae, obviously, was that, on one hand, the apartment was only a skip and a hop away from the comedy club where she worked, but could she contend with the comedian’s smart-arse humour and attitude, not just living with her but also having to be her fake girlfriend? Hmm…decisions, decisions!

    I loved how Jae slowly crafted their relationship from reluctant acquaintances sharing a fauxmance con as roommates to friends as both manoeuvred their way to each other’s way of living, contending with different approaches to life, behaviour and coping mechanisms. Steph always used humour as her way to avoiding emotional attachments and a defence mechanism whilst Rae used her broodiness and lack of communication to protect her once broken heart and still-recovering trauma. Steph grew up in a family of established professionals (parents and sister, Claire, were therapists) where she was the black sheep for going against the grain. Her love for stand-up comedy had earned her the title of a rebel in the family. Interestingly, whilst Steph was described as one who didn’t believe in relationships, instead, preferred to have casual flings, there was an underlying reason for her worldview about it (you have to read the book to find out what exactly made her behave that way) as Jae skilfully weaved her journey toward a life-changing shift in perspective at every stage of her relationship with Rae.

    Rae, on the other hand, was also in the same boat as Steph in terms of romantic relationships but her reason and worldview about it was a stark difference from her roommate’s, to say the least. I absolutely enjoyed discovering her journey toward reconciliation, letting go and taking a bold step toward a second chance in romance in her life. Two words. Survivor’s guilt. How Jae weaved Rae’s emotional struggle about those two words that had plagued her life since the traumatic event in her life was grounded in realism and authenticity, imo.

    As different as Rae and Steph’s respective life journeys were, theirs actually reached an intersection where both needed to let go of their respective psychological and emotional stumbling blocks to falling in love and getting romantically involved with someone in a relationship. In essence, when it came to making a life decision about their love lives, they both shared the same fear and insecurity. I thought Jae brilliantly depicted their nuances with humour and heartfelt resonance as both Steph and Rae slowly made their way into each other’s hearts. Their slow-burn romance whilst at times could be a little tenuous, especially if you’re not accustomed to Jae’s slow-burn style but if you are, it actually worked out well in the end because it felt organic and natural, especially when we were dealing with a lifelong relationship-phobe and an equally lifelong non-communicator. In the end, it was a journey of self-discovery, truth and reconciliation and finally letting go of the past and preconceived ideas and mindsets about falling in love, being happy and being in a mutually committed relationship for both Rae and Steph.

    All in all, I enjoyed this story about opposites attract, how a fake relationship became real as both Rae and Steph realised they weren’t really that different after all when they eventually let each other into their inner psyches. Plus, in true Jae fashion, the secondary characters were delightful as usual, not to mention, most of them were from this story’s predecessor, “Just For Show,” i.e. Claire and Lana, Claire/Steph’s parents, whom I enjoyed reading all their scenes because Jae always manages to create this atmosphere of a warm “family” feel when a group of characters, be it related by blood or fate/destiny, converge in one scene. This group of characters in this story was no different. Another reason I liked this story very much was the fact that I learned so much about Rae’s disability from Jae’s conscientious method of developing a character with a disability that’s grounded in authenticity because she always does her research thoroughly, hence, making the character and the romance realistically resonating. It’s not just about describing and delving into the physiology of the disability, but more importantly, the mental, psychological and emotional effects of it. Case-in-point, “Just Physical,” another brilliantly written romance between two people, one of whom, had a lifelong chronic disability, which Jae portrayed with utter emotional conviction. And oh, some of you may be interested to know that there’s an overlap of the Hollywood series (the Grace Durand connection), with this story, too, like “JFS.”

    If you’re a fan of Jae’s, this story is a no-brainer. If you read “Just For Show,” it’s only natural to delve into this one, too. If you’re a lesfic romance fan, I’d highly recommend you to give this a read. Jae’s well-honed writing and storytelling formula never disappoints! For me, it was another bloody good read from one of my all-time favourite lesfic authors!

    **I was given, with much thanks and appreciation, an ARC of this book, by Ylva in return for an honest review.

  3. Betty Harmon
    Rated 4 out of 5

    :

    When I read a book written by Jae, there are certain elements I expect to see in the novel. I know the tale will be well written. The plot line will draw me into the story to the point that I ignore what is happening around me. The characters will be well-developed and will seem real to me. And of course the romance will be a slow-burn that will make me go “aww” at least once before the end. I can happily tell you everything mentioned above is present in The Roommate Arrangement.

    This is the story of Stephanie (Steph) Renshaw, a comedian for the last ten years, who is trying to reach the big time in Los Angeles. She hasn’t made it yet, but she feels she needs to soon or it will be too late. She needs a place to live in L.A. while she works on her career. A chance encounter on the road leads her to an apartment that is very close to a venue she wants to perform at, but the landlord of the apartment only rents to couples in steady relationships. This is where the reader meets Rae Coleman, a former police officer working as security for the comedy club. Rae needs a place to live close by because of an injury that causes her to have trouble driving at night. The two meet at the club and despite a rocky start, agree to pretend to be in a relationship and rent the apartment together. Of course you know this arrangement is going to lead to a lot more than these two expect or plan.
    Steph is not a brand new character. She appeared briefly in another book by Jae called Just for Show. Steph is the sister of Claire in that book. She is described as the “black sheep” of the family since both Claire and their parents are psychologists. The family considers being a comedian to be a less than desirable career choice. This story element carries into this tale also, and Claire, her fiancée Lana, and Steph’s parents are secondary characters in this book.

    This is a lovely slow-burn, opposites attract romance. I especially connected with Rae. Seeing how her past has affected her and watching her grow past her injuries and learn to open herself to others again is very moving. Some characters touch me more than others. Rae is one of those.
    The Roommate Arrangement is a stand-alone novel even though it is connected to the book, Just for Show. You don’t have to read them both to enjoy them. I will tell you that both books are very good, and reading them in order would not be a hardship at all. In fact, I think it would be an excellent idea.

    I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.

  4. Ana Leamaro
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.

    Jae is like pizza! Even when it’s bad is good! I loved the book and it’s a really good pizza! LOL! Anyway as expected the story and the characters are very well written and extremely interesting. The contrast between Steph who is a comedian and Rae who is a wounded ex-cop is like white and black, or so it seems. Very often I could imagine Rae rolling her eyes to another joke from Steph, but at the same time you’ll find her own very unique sense of humour.
    I really recommend this book it’s a light and funny reading, which I think we all need in this days.
    Looking forward for the next one.

  5. Carolyn McBride
    Rated 4 out of 5

    :

    Honestly, I liked this book better than ‘Paper Love’. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, I just connected with this one better.
    I think I connected better with Rae, even though we don’t really have a lot in common. She had the most character growth I think, and it was sweet to see how Steph changed how she interacted with Rae out of concern. Once she knew Rae’s secret, of course. All of the principal characters were well written, unique and memorable. Steph’s family even grew a little! In my opinion, one of Jae’s strengths as an author is her characters. In every one of Jae’s works that I’ve read, the characters speak for themselves, they shine with their own light and really make the story come alive.
    The Roommate Arrangement continues that trend and builds on that strength.

    While ‘Backwards To Oregon’ will always be my favourite Jae book, this one comes in close behind.

  6. pharridge
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    I was drawn to this story from the beginning. I really liked how feisty, courageous and well developed Stephanie and Rae were as characters. Jae has given the reader a page turner of a book. Its main characters are flawed but endearing, some of the support characters are familiar (from previous novels) and the storyline itself is realistic and interesting. I will no doubt reread this book again in the near future!
    I received an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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