From the go this was a fun read. I enjoyed seeing Graham open himself up and Claire learn that sometimes love is worth it. I do think that the third act breakup was a too much but I could also see where Claire was coming from. I think this was a hot and sweet love story.
Cute but the ending felt too forced for me. Very thing leading up to the ending was a fun and enjoyable read for the most part. As a beginning climber I enjoyed reading about Graham’s adventurous side. The ending just seemed selfish on Claire’s part. “Oh now I see, I might be in danger too!” Meh. We are all in danger daily. The perils of living.
This was a sweet, friends to lovers, no strings attached roommance between a firefighter and a nurse who make a pact to get married if they're both still single when he turns 40. Full of banter and sexual tension (but no actual on page sex). This was a cute, quick read with some cameos from characters we came to love in Would you rather. Good on audio but not my fav by this author if I'm completely honest. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!
Thanks to the publisher for the gifted copy.
UGhhhhhh I REALLY wanted to love this one. Roommates to lovers, forced proximity, FMC has to take care of MMC due to injury....all the makings of a book I'd love. I adored Graham, and how he grew so much throughout the book. His journal/letters to Claire were so self reflective and just cute. Claire was an ok FMC, but her enemies to friends arc with Graham's dog made me smile.
Except...It's fade to black. And that killed it for me. I need steam in my books, friends.
SO if you are a fade to black, closed door romance lover....you'll probably really like this one. Unfortunately, it wasn't my favorite.
3.5 stars, because I did like the plot and characters.
My feelings are all over the map with this one. There are things I adored and I read this book quickly, yet I always felt as though something was missing.
It’s obvious that Graham is not only very physically attracted to Claire but also has feelings for her. This isn’t even on Claire’s radar as Graham is a very anti-relationship type of guy. Graham doesn’t even realize how deep his feelings go. The same can be said for Claire, although she has denied any feelings because she does want a traditional relationship and does NOT want it with anyone with a dangerous job. When Graham gets hurt (not on the job as a firefighter, but pursuing his love of rock climbing) all of their preconceived notions of what their relationship is go out the window.
One of the things I love about this story is a sort of journal Graham keeps. Through this journal, which he frames as messages to Claire, you see his growing realization of the feelings between them. Not that I didn’t get some of that chemistry when the two are on page together, but it’s these journal entries that set the butterflies free in my belly. This aspect of the story is wonderful and kept me engaged with the characters.
I think one of the things that didn’t work for me is how things happened with the inevitable blow-up of this budding relationship. Not so much the reasons it happened but what happens after. Until Claire and Graham reconcile, that space between, it just didn’t make sense to me. That being said, I did enjoy it when they finally made up.
One last thing, that did not affect my rating but was a surprise to me that I thought worth mentioning. This is a closed-door romance. Not a big deal, although it’s not my preference I’m fine with it for the most part. But I found the way it was closed door to be a bit odd. It didn’t read like a closed door until – BAM – the door was slammed in my face. It was almost like the author was going to go back and write the intimate scenes and forgot. The characters would be getting hot and heavy and suddenly it’s the next scene. It is just very abrupt every single time. I’ve never experienced that before, and this is a new-to-me author so I don’t know if that’s her usual style.
All in all this story was enjoyable. I will definitely give this author another try. It’s obvious that these are crossover characters from a previous book of hers so I may try that one someday.
This was a great book. The banter between these two was incredible just as the love/hate relationship between Claire and Gertrude. I loved the emails Graham wrote. For a closed door romance it is surprisingly steamy. This is the second book in a series. It can be read as a standalone but it's even better if you have read the first book.
Wowzer. For some reason I am extremely picky about friends to lovers and I don’t always pick them up, but this one was so so good! I absolutely loved the ER nurse turned NP (me!) + fireman roommates who were a bit opposites with the absolute BEST banter. Banter like this is what I love most in a romcom. There is no way you won’t smile at Claire and Graham ♥️ and you guys know I generally love open door steam, but this closed door was seriously perfection.
My only minor complaint was the third person POV, which is completely personal preference!
incredible, horny, romantic, hot, full of tension. I loved it from start to finish. Allison Ashley once again came with a banger(literally) go read this book!!
Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin Trade Publishing, MIRA and Allison Ashley for this arc. All opinions are my own.
The Roommate Pact follows Claire Harper, an ER nurse, and her thrill-seeking firefighting roommate Graham Scott. They make a pact that if they are still single when they turn 40, they'll get together as friends with benefits. Just when things seem to heat up between them (shortly after making the pact), Graham has a serious rock climbing accident, and Claire has to nurse him back to health. The more time Graham and Claire spend together, the more they see that keeping their arrangement string-free might be difficult.
This was a really cute and steamy story! I wasn't sure how it was all going to pan out just from the blurb, but I was pleasantly surprised at the different events that happened, and I loved reading Graham's side of things as much as Claire's. There were quite a few times that I was smiling to myself at how sweet Graham was, or laughing at the banter, and that made the story even better!
Love, love, loveeee this book. super cute story. I love the dynamics here. i love the friends to lovers trope so much.
You had me at firefighter Graham.
This book was cute ands kept you smiling throughout. These two were adorable together already but then throw in an accident, being roommates, and she’s a nurse who can assist after his accident. It’s all there. Don’t skip this one!
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for a chance to read and review
This book was so cute! I loved the premise of friends to friends with benefits to lovers. I loved how she took care of him and that scene where she washed his hair 🥰! This story was so sweet and swoony while also covering some more serious topics of being unwanted and fear of losing people but not wanting to let that fear control your life. This is a fade to black romance so if you want some spice, this may not be for you. But I would recommend this book regardless as it still gave me butterflies. I haven't read anything else by this author yet but I do want to go back and read her other books.
This was a fun, opposites-attract type of story. Claire Harper is a nurse whose seen firsthand what being adventuresome can get you. So, she believes her Mister Right is someone who's going to want to keep both feet firmly on the ground.
Her friend and roommate, Graham Scott, is as adventuresome as they come! Climbing cliffs, hiking, trail riding, etc. If he could spend every moment in the great outdoors, he would! If there's anything his mom's illness has taught him, it's that life is short. So his focus is on squeezing every drop out of life and enjoying it to the fullest.
While they work as friends, Claire doesn't believe they'd ever work as anything more, but she reluctantly agrees that if neither of them are married by the time Graham turns forty, a friends-with-benefits arrangement couldn't hurt anything.
But when Graham suffers a climbing accident, Nurse Claire can't help but jump in to take care of him. And their unexpected constant contact causes sparks to really fly!
I enjoyed this story a lot as each of the main characters had to come to terms with how past experiences shaped their current responses, and then decide whether those responses were still serving them or getting in the way.
This was my first story by Allison Ashley, but I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of her work.
Thank you to Allison Ashley, Harlequin Trade Publishing, and NetGalley for an advance review copy.
I read and really enjoyed Would You Rather, so I was excited to read this companion novel! Would You Rather features Noah and Mia, both of whom make multiple important appearances in The Roommate Pact. Both of them are close friends with Claire and Graham, who take center stage in this book. So while The Roommate Pact works fine as a standalone, I recommend you reading Would You Rather first for Noah’s and Mia’s sweet marriage of convenience love story. One thing you can expect with an Allison Ashley book is an emotional story with some humor thrown in, and that’s exactly what you get with The Roommate Pact!
1. Friends to lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes, so I was happy Allison Ashley chose to use it again in this book. Claire and Graham are roommates and good friends. He’s a firefighter (mmmmmm) and she’s a nurse. They made a silly pact to become friends with benefits at 40 if they are not in serious relationships at that point, so you know they already have a tiny thing for one another. While chatting outside one night, Claire realizes how seriously Graham took that pact. The feelings start to bloom between them then and there, and go into overdrive when Graham is injured. Claire offers to help him recover at home, and that’s where our love story begins.
2. I really liked Graham and Claire! Both of them have some trauma from their pasts that make them reluctant to entertain any kind of relationship with the other, which is where the friends with benefits idea came from. Graham has a risky lifestyle, being a firefighter and a hiker/rock climber, and Claire experienced loss as a child as a result of someone else’s risky lifestyle, so he’s kind of off limits for her. She doesn’t want to constantly worry about losing the person she ends up. Graham was burned as a teen, and vowed never to fall in love again. Both of them are in for a rude awakening when they discover that love always finds a way around these kinds of rules people set for themselves.
3. I said I liked Claire, but Graham has my heart and deserves a little more discussion. Claire suggests that he journal during his recovery, and he decides to write her long emails while she’s at work instead. He sends them to an email address she hasn’t checked in ages, and finds this outlet to be very therapeutic. He learns a lot about himself and is so vulnerable. I really felt for him and loved seeing him grow and change. He’s just such a good guy. He’s a protector, a provider, and I love him. Oh, and he falls first. So good.
4. GERTRUDE. There is a tiny dog with a huge attitude in this book and I LOVED her. Gertie is Graham’s little princess, and boy is she spoiled. This dog hates Claire with every fiber of her being, and it was the cutest and funniest journey for the two of them. Gertie brought a lot of comedic relief to the story, which I loved.
5. The romance is a little formulaic as far as the friends to lovers trope goes, but it was sweet in the end. Graham is unable to speak for a little while due to a small injury in the hospital after being intubated, so OF COURSE this means Claire needs to sleep in his bed with him every night even though he texts her all day long. How convenient! I enjoyed their friendship and their conversations. I loved the trip they take together to his parents’ house, and Claire’s interactions with his parents. SO sweet. I really enjoyed delving into their minds and learning what they truly think about one another. Graham’s emails, where he pours out his heart had me in a puddle. There’s so many feelings on both sides. On the surface, though, there’s a lot of physical attraction and that’s the bulk of what actually propels the romance forward. Because they decide to become friends with benefits a few years earlier than originally planned their relationship starts out very physically driven, even though the actual intimate scenes are fade-to-black (which I thought that was an odd choice considering the nature of their relationship). Their foundation was formed before the book begins so readers arrive on scene just in time for things to get physical. I guess I just wanted to see more of that depth, rather than be told it’s there. I felt like I was missing a lot of info that I needed to be able to fully believe the love story. There was a lot of telling and not much showing.
6. There’s a lot of discussion surrounding grief, loss, illness, fear of the unknown, and processing trauma. These topics were handled with respect and sensitivity, which I really appreciated. I don’t tend to enjoy heavier topics like these in my romance because I read to try and get away from my own inner demons. But Allison Ashley does such a good job tackling weightier subject matter, and juxtaposing it with humor and flirtatious banter.
So all in all, I enjoyed this! I really loved Graham and his little Gertrude. I enjoyed seeing Claire and Graham open up and express their fears and grapple with what they have been through individually in their pasts. I do wish I had been able to see more depth to their relationship, rather than being told about it, but I do really like them as a couple. I’m definitely interested in seeing what Allison Ashley has in store for us next.
I love a good friends to lovers story and Allison Ashley’s new novel The Roommate Pact, filled with lovable characters, flirty banter, and a heartwarming romance, was an absolute delight!
The story follows Claire, an ER nurse, and Graham, a firefighter. Claire and Graham are good friends, roommates, and they’re both also hesitant when it comes to love and relationships. They have a great time together though and one night make a slightly drunken pact that if they’re both still single with no prospects by the time they’re 40, they’ll become friends with benefits. When Graham is seriously injured in a rock climbing accident, Claire becomes his caretaker while he recovers, which puts their friendship and any other feelings they may have to the test.
I adored both of these characters and their relationship with one another. Even their chemistry as friends was just so much fun to read and you could tell they would be great together if they would take a chance. They are both held back by traumatic experiences from their past and I was fully invested in the two of them finding their way past that.
As much as I loved Claire though, Graham is the only who really stole my heart. This story becomes such a journey for him when his injuries sideline him from his usual active lifestyle. He’s going stir crazy and Claire suggests that he try journaling as a way to work through his feelings. At first he scoffs at the idea, but once he tries it, he realizes it’s actually very helpful and he ends up learning so much about himself and about his true feelings for Claire. I loved this journey for him and that layer of vulnerability it added to his character.
This was my first time reading one of Ashley’s books and I can’t wait to read more from her. I loved her writing style and these characters she has created. I also loved how she handled the more emotional topics and blended them seamlessly with the more traditional rom com elements. Just an all around delightful read!
If there was an award for Most Amusing First Lines, Allison Ashley would win it, hands down. She’s also a master of witty banter and this book, as with her others, delivered on that big time.
But I have to confess…I was a little less excited to read The Roommate Pact than I was Allison’s first three books. I’m a reader who isn’t a fan of the friends-with-benefits trope. But I am a HUGE fan of this author and didn’t hesitate to low-key hound her for an ARC.
So I dove in because I had every bit of faith she wrote a story that stays away from the things that make me cranky (mainly non-communication), and packed in all the things I do love: lots of humor, lots of heart, likable characters, realistic relationships, and so much swoon.
Nurse Claire and firefighter Graham became roommates when her best friend moved out after marrying his best friend (you can read that fantastic story in Would You Rather). They have a marginally combative relationship on account of Graham’s pseudo-overinflated ego and his constant “is he flirting or not" banter with Claire. One night the previous year, they made a pact to get married if they’re both single when Graham turns 40. Only now they have differing memories of how things went down that night and over drinks they decide to amend the terms to friends with benefits instead.
Just as they start to consider “eh, why wait on this friends with benefits thing” Graham gets seriously hurt in a rock climbing accident and Claire’s nurse’s instincts go into hyperdrive.
Of course, all that time together has Graham rethinking his stance on relationships and OH MY SWOON LOVING HEART the notes he sends to Claire’s unused email address are the best. I love when the hero falls first!
Claire is a tougher sell though. With a tragic loss in her past, she’s not interested in a relationship with someone who not only has a risky hobby, but a dangerous profession as well. Did I like the third-act breakup? No. But if I'm honest my objection was mostly because this author usually stays away from the oft-used formulaic romance storylines. But I also completely understood it. And ultimately, I liked how things went down in the end.
This author’s books usually pull me in from the start and don’t let go until the end. The Roommate Pact took a bit to get its hooks in me, but once it did I was all in for the heartwarming, hilarious ride. There’s nothing better than a cute, sweet book that leaves you with a smile the whole time you’re reading and that’s what Allison Ashley does every single time. I can’t wait for her next book!
* thank you to NetGalley and Allison Ashley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review
The Roommate Pact by Allison Ashley is a captivating novel where chemistry leaps off the pages. Fans of friends-to-lovers stories will undoubtedly find immense pleasure in this book.
This was an adorable read! I didn’t realize this was book 2 in a series, so I haven’t read "Would You Rather" (although I will be going back to read it now), but this worked so well as a standalone. The one extra thing I wish had been included is how Graham and Claire originally met and how long they’ve been friends.
Graham and Claire have an amazing dynamic in every stage of their relationship and I absolutely loved all of their interactions. It’s clear in the writing that they’re close friends who know each other really well and the development from friends to lovers happens so organically.
I especially loved Graham’s journey and how it played into their relationship. From being injured and losing his voice to trying out journaling, he has to face being vulnerable, and it was so delightful to see that side of him.
And Gertrude! Every romance is better with a pet, and having to win the affection of a tiny dog is absolutely hilarious.
*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
⚠️cw: trauma, grief, anxiety, chronic illness⚠️
ER nurse Claire Harper and her roommate, firefighter Graham Scott have a pact should they still be single when he turns forty. But rather than getting married, they'll be friends with benefits. It seems like a safe enough bet. But then Graham is injured while rock climbing and needs Claire's help. Suddenly, all bets are off.
I was immediately invested in the story, and loved both characters. Claire was funny, and I liked how sassy she was with Graham. Graham was hilarious and such a secret cinnamon roll (my favourite type). I enjoyed the development of both characters as the story progressed. Claire goes from being deeply traumatised by her past to learning to accept and live with it. Meanwhile, Graham starts the book afraid of commitment because of his own childhood. I particularly loved the journaling/epistolary aspect of this story, and I think it was in those moments that I most loved Graham. There was so much emotion in his words,and I really adored his personal journey. I also thought the way Gertrude was written as a barometer of their respective feelings was adorable. Speaking of adorable, I will definitely have to go back and read Noah and Mia's story because they were so cute together. If I have one observation (and it's not a criticism), it's that there was so much talk about Graham and Claire hooking up even from early on that I was expecting more spice. The chemistry between them was SO hot that I wasn't expecting it to just cut off so abruptly. I honestly felt like I was being edged, without any satisfying release 😂. But that's a me problem and it certainly didn't affect my overall rating or my enjoyment of the characters and their story. The romance was SO swoony. I always love a story when the commitment-phobic man falls first and turns out to be a big softy. This was my first book by Allison Ashley but it definitely won't be my last.
If you like sassy lead characters, secret cinnamon roll MMCs, plenty of banter, and a truly deep connection, this one's for you.
Overall Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️.5
Heat Rating: 🔥.5
Emotional Rating: 😂🥰😉💓😲😍💔😢💓💓😂🥰😂😊😍😂💓🥰💔💓😢🥰😍😢💔💓😂🥰😍💓🥰🙈😂😍🥰💓😢💔🙄😲👏🏻💓🥰
*Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to leave an honest review. Saving The Roommate Pact is published on 1st August in the UK*
“They say love drives out fear. That it brings light into darkness. As long as I have a choice, I’ll choose love and light and hope the power of that choice, and the person that comes with it, does the rest.”
“A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are made for.”
The BANTER. The HEART. It’s swoon-worthy, clever, hilarious, and heart-pounding all at once, making for a story that’s too easy to binge through. No matter how much you want to savor each page, you can’t stop turning to the next, needing more and more and more. Allison Ashley's The Roommate Pact is one of the best books of the year. I might never get over it. Full review: https://marvelousgeeksmedia.com/2023/08/01/the-roommate-pact-by-allison-ashley-review/