Hey all, Dani here.
Yeah, I think this is my third Christina Lauren book read this year. What can I say? I’m in a tiny bit of a contemporary romance mood and I think the writing duo is really good. I’m not interested in their Beautiful Bastard series, but all of their other stuff sounds pretty good.
From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren’s romantic novel.
Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.
For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.
Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.
Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?
Rating: 5 stars
I shall start this review by giving my one “negative” comment on this story. I don’t think the name Calvin fits the love interest here, because literally every time I saw his name by brain changed it to Collin. So yeah, not a huge issue overall, and it didn’t change my rating, but I wanted to put that weird little factoid out.
This story surprised me with how much I related to it and enjoyed it. Most specifically I related to Holland. She is a few years out of school with a fine arts degree, and she wants to be a writer, but she hasn’t managed to write anything. There were so many times when Holland would think about how she felt adrift or like she was stuck or like her life wasn’t going anywhere. She thought about how her job wasn’t fulfilling to her life. It was all just way too close to home for me.
I graduated from my Master’s program in Library and Information Science in 2011 and I have been trying to find a library job. Until that happens, to pay the bills, I work in a factory. I very frequently feel stuck and like my dreams are slipping away from me. I sit and stare at my computer and then get mad at myself because I’m not working on my novel writing. My saving grace is my fiance believing in me…and of course, having this blog as a creative outlet as well.
So yeah, this book made me very emotional many many times. I have read several different novels with a main character who is a successful creative individual, but I can’t think of when I’ve found a character who is around my age and is a not-quite-successful creative individual. It made me appreciate this story in a much deeper way.
The romance was interesting as well, but like a lot of the drama that arises in romance novels, it could have been avoided by Holland and Calvin just being open and honest with each other.
Also, I loved Holland’s relationship with her uncles. Christina Lauren is so good at making interesting and dynamic families in their stories. I appreciate that element in novels as well, whether it is biological family or extended family or a found family.
I have very much enjoyed reading these books by Christina Lauren, and I look forward to picking up my next one pretty soon.