You, me, and Gertie, one big happy family
The Roommate Pact Book Cover The Roommate Pact
Allison Ashley
Contemporary Romance
August 1, 2023
Paperback, Ebook, Audiobook

All of the fun, none of the heartache…as long as they stick to the agreement. The proposition is simple: if ER nurse Claire Harper and her roommate, firefighter Graham Scott, are still single by the time they’re forty, they’ll take the proverbial plunge together…as friends with benefits. Maybe it’s the wine, but in the moment, Claire figures the pact is a safe-enough deal, considering she hasn’t had much luck in love and he’s in no rush to settle down. Like, at all. Besides, there’s no way she could ever really fall for Graham and his thrill-seeking ways. Not after what happened to her father… Just as things begin to heat up way before the proposed deadline, Graham’s injured in a serious rock climbing accident—and he needs Claire’s help to heal. She’ll do whatever it takes to nurse him back to health…even if it means moving in to Graham’s bed and putting up with his little dog, who hates her. But with this no-strings arrangement taking a complicated turn, keeping “for now” from turning into “forever” isn’t as easy as they’d planned.

Landing back in Allison Ashley’s world is a true gift for her readers. After being pleasantly surprised by just how easily I was hooked on “Would You Rather” and devoured that marriage of convenience romance, I immediately went to add the next book to my TBR. I knew in my gut that the next book would be about the side characters that refused to stay in the background, and happily I was right. Graham and Claire are roommates who get along exceptionally well and have decided that if they’re still single at 40 they’ll marry each other.

A Marriage of Convenience

How many of us have thought about solidifying a marriage pact with one of our friends? The dating world can be cruel, and no one wants to think about facing the future alone. Having that back-up plan, especially with someone we know and like, would make facing that reality a little easier to swallow. Graham and Claire are friends and roommates who get along exceptionally well and have decided that if they’re still single at 40 they’ll marry each other. Claire thought they were kidding. Graham took that pact very seriously.

All The Feels

“That’s the thing about feelings. They don’t always need to be expressed. Some are just meant to be felt.”

Ashley succinctly describes one of the most important ideas that I take from novels through the quote above: some things are just mean to be felt. I won’t speak for you readers, but one of the hardest things I struggle with when reviewing a book (especially one that I LOVE LOVE LOVE) is that it’s so hard to put those feelings into intelligible words.

I wish, more often than not, that I could just shout out *vibes* and that would be enough for us all to swoon.

(Apparently that’s not how book reviewing works. Go Figure.)

Photo by Finde Zukunft on Unsplash

Allison Ashley sold me on Graham as soon as she compared him to James Marsden. That man is H-O-T-T hot. The character Graham is also pretty stellar. He’s an adventure junkie, a fireman, and a lover of fun. He might keep his emotions locked down tight, but he shows his feelings in other ways: ordering take out, playing wing man at the bar for Claire, and fixing things around the house without too much backtalk.

If You Play With Fire…

… you’re bound to get burned.

You can’t go around sleeping with your friends and expect to keep feelings and emotions out of it.

My favorite part of “The Roommate Pact” is when Graham learns to cope with his emotions after his accident. Claire off-handedly tells him that he should journal, or that he could write his thoughts down while keeping someone specific in mind who would read them. He takes that and runs with it, but rather than journaling, he sends Claire emails. I absolutely adored watching Graham evolve from a man who carries himself with carefree abandon to one who realizes he has something special and worth keeping.

“A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are made for.”

Allison Ashley turns the typical third act breakup/reconciliation on it’s head by making our leading lady the one having doubts and fears. Claire needs a swift kick to help her get over her fears. Thankfully, Mia, protagonist from “Would You Rather” and best friend, is there to talk some sense into her.

We Love a Grand Gesture.

We also love when that grand gesture has a unique spin.

Allison Ashley, I will read anything that you write from now on. I devoured ‘Would You Rather” and “The Roommate Pact” both in 24 hours and wish that I could re-read them again for the first time. I love love, I love how realistic your stories feel, and I can’t wait to see where your writing goes next.