by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
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 and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren’s (Beautiful Bastard, Dating You / Hating You) new romance.
Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.
Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a bigtime musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.
Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?
I enjoyed reading this book and found Holland extremely likable and Calvin adorably hot, but my goodness did this book have issues. Holland has some serious spoiled rich girl issues. She lives in NYC, with her rent 2/3s paid by her rich uncles, who’ve also created a job for her. She’s got a great education, but seems to be just sitting around waiting for something great to happen to her. Enter Calvin, subway busker and dude who has overstayed his student visa apparently also waiting for something great to happen to him. Of course, things conspire to make Holland take an insane leap and marry Calvin in order to make him legal…
On the plus side, the book is frankly hilarious. I loved the fake text conversations and the vibrator in the couch scene had me giggling like a loon. I liked the author’s writing style, and despite rolling my eyes constantly at how oblivious Holland is, I liked her, though her inability to actually get her life in gear reminded me of all the things I don’t like in the new adult genre. I also loved the NYC off-Broadway setting.
The big issue for me was that the handling of the immigration issues felt completely tone deaf. Holland’s uncles are rich and well connected, so they basically bulldoze through the process with money. I guess it helped that Calvin was white. I have many friends who’ve immigrated here legally and the depiction here is… well, pretty much completely false. Yeah, it’s fiction, but it kept jarring me out of the book, nonetheless.