Book Review

The American Roommate Experiment & Love and Other Words {Combi Mini Book Review}

Reviews - The American Roommate Experiment & Love and Other Words

Hi everyone! Today I’m once again combining mini reviews for two romances I read. One is a recent release and the other a backlist book by a beloved author duo. Both were lovely and addictive reads.

The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

Title: The American Roommate Experiment
Author: Elena Armas
Atria Books
Release Date: September 6th, 2022
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult – Contemporary – Romance

My rating in stars: 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My rating in words: 
I really liked it

Check it out on Goodreads


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.

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MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):

“Lina me va a cortar las pelotas.”

I read The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas last year and really enjoyed that one (even if I felt it was a bit too slow). So naturally, I was excited when I heard that Rosie (a secondary character from TSLD) would be getting her own book. And it featured the forced proximity trope, which is always a favorite of mine. So that’s why I picked up this book immediately upon release day and sped through it in a couple of days. This was just such an adorable read!

The story features Rosie, who has quit her stable, well-paid engineering job to be a full-time romance writer. Except, now she’s on a deadline and has terrible writer’s block. On top of that, the ceiling of her apartment kind of collapsed so she needs to find another place to stay for a while. She decides to stay at her best friend Lina’s place, while Lina is away on her honeymoon. Only problem: Lina’s cousin Lucas is also staying there while he’s touring the USA on his holiday. Rosie and Lucas decide to share the apartment for the time being, and Lucas also offers to help Rosie get her writing mojo back by taking her on a few dates. Purely as friends. Because that always goes well…

As usual, let me give you a bullet point overview of everything I loved about The American Roommate Experiment:

  • SO MANY TROPES. But somehow, it works. We have forced proximity, friends-to-lovers, a secret crush, there’s only one bed, a rooftop picknick, a masquerade ball, a dating experiment and I’m probably forgetting a ton more.
  • Slow burn friends-to-lovers. Okay, technically they’re strangers to friends pretty quickly, and then they’re friends to lovers for the rest of the book, but still… the SLOW-BURN is so good. And I’m saying that as someone who thought the slow-burn in The Spanish Love Deception was a bit too slow. In The American Roommate Experiment however, I LOVED the slow burn.
  • Dual POV. We get both Rosie and Lucas’s POV and I just love this as you can really get into the minds of both characters.
  • Lucas Martín. I think Lucas is my book boyfriend of the year. He’s a professional surfer and he’s just this adorable sunshiny cinnamon roll of a man. He’s sooo sweet and tender with Rosie, he helps out his elderly neighbor, he cooks, he loves his dog and he walks around in a towel. Oh and he talks (dirty) in Spanish. I totally get Rosie’s crush on him, because damn. Okay, maybe at times he felt a little too perfect to be real, but then again I don’t read books because they feel real…
  • The dates. The dates Lucas takes Rosie on are just *chef’s kiss*. Cheesy, maybe. But perfect nonetheless.
  • Lina and Aaron cameos. The main leads from the Spanish Love Deception get several cameos throughout the book (as expected, since Rosie is Lina’s best friend and Lucas is Lina’s cousin) and it is always fun to see them.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this rom-com and would definitely recommend if you love friends-to-lovers, forced proximity, secret crushes or just a hero that is absolute sunshine!

Four Stars
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Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Title: Love and Other Words
Author: Christina Lauren
Gallery Books
Release Date: April 10th, 2018
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult – Contemporary – Romance

My rating in stars: 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My rating in words: 
I really liked it.

Check it out on Goodreads


The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

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MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):

“Favorite word?” he whispers.
I don’t even hesitate: “You.”

I picked up Love and Other Words, a backlist book by beloved author duo Christina Lauren, because I recently read and loved Every Summer After by Carley Fortune and many people compared it to Love and Other Words as the premise is very similar: it’s a second-chance-romance between childhood friends-to-lovers. Told in alternating timelines between the past and the present, we get to find out how these two people met and fell in love as kids, how everything broke at some point, and how they reunite and come to terms with what happened in the present.

So yes, the premise is indeed very similar, but having read both shortly after another, I can say there were still plenty of differences too. Even though I first read and loved Every Summer After, I did feel like Love and Other Words was still different enough for me to enjoy it. So if you’re in the same situation, or the other way around, I’d still recommend you to try the other book as well.

But enough about Every Summer After, time to focus on Love and Other Words and what I loved so much about it!

  • The alternating timelines. The story takes place both in the past and the present, so we can both experience the wonder of first love with Macy and Elliot and the awkwardness of their reunion and wondering if they can ever go back to how they were. And a big thing I loved about it is that both timelines were given equal ‘screentime’ and importance. It was a nice 50-50 split between the two timelines, which I appreciated because it gave the reunion the time it needed for all those heavy emotions and feelings to be processed and talked about.
  • The friends-to-lovers trope. Macy and Elliot meet when they are kids and Macy and her father bought the house next to Elliot’s family to use as a weekend/vacation house. Macy and Elliot bond over their love of books and quickly spend every weekend/vacation together reading. As time goes on, their friendship turns into something more.
  • The bond between Macy and her dad. While I was a bit sorry to not see as much of Elliot’s family as I would have liked, I was okay with that because the focus was more on Macy and her dad. Ever since her mom died, it’s been just Macy and her dad and though her dad was a quiet, reserved person, his love for Macy was always loud and clear and I loved those family bonds.
  • The love of reading and words. Obviously, I have a weakness for bookish characters (being a bookish character myself), but I loved how much Macy and Elliot both loved reading too and how much they talked about books and even shared their favorite words with one another. Definitely made my bookish heart even more fond of these two.

The only reason I did not rate this book higher is because of the ending. When we finally find out what happened all those years ago, what the events were that led to Macy and Elliot not seeing each other for 11 years, it was definitely heartbreaking and emotional but I just… didn’t feel completely okay with what happened. I can’t say more without giving away major spoilers, but it felt like there was more to be said about what happened to Elliot specifically, and that wasn’t touched upon once in my opinion.

Other than that super vague comment, I can only rave about my love for this story. It’s a super emotional (have tissues ready), but also adorable read. Highly recommend if you love friends-to-lovers, second-chance-romances, bookish characters and alternating timelines!

Four Stars
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Tell Me:
Have you read The American Roommate Experiment or Love and Other Words? What did you think about them?

Lindsey xoxo

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  1. I’m so glad you loved both of these. They sounds like something I’d enjoy too. I’ll definitely give them a go! 😀

    1. I hope you’ll love both of these!

  2. I wasn’t planning on reading Every Summer After because I heard it was so similar, but you have me rethinking that. I’m glad they were different enough.

    1. I hope you’ll love Every Summer After if you decide to give it a try! I loved both and couldn’t really pick a favorite between the two – they both had different things I loved: Every Summer After had a bigger nostalgia factor and better romance buildup, but Love and Other Words had a better developed now-timeline in my view 🙂

  3. I love alternating timelines like that. It’s a really cool way to see a story unfold.

    1. It really is, I highly enjoyed it here.

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