Roommates with Benefits
by Nicole Williams
4 The Best Roommate CROWNS
This was an unexpected read for me. Based on the synopsis and the title, I expected a much steamier read. I, however, was surprised by this sweet, slow burning romance between two young adults chasing their dreams in the big city, and, while this wasn’t what I expected going into the book, I still enjoyed the journey.
Part of the innocence of this story stems from the innocence of the characters. Both Seron and Hyden are starry-eyed in the pursuit of their large, big city dreams. He has more experience in the city, as she is a small town girl, but as soon as they start rooming together their bond begins to form. Through the friendship, readers get to see Seron as more than just a man pursuing his dreams. They get to see a man who was raised right, making him a gentleman in the best ways. Although he has the gentleman part down pat, he is still young and can be immature, but that becomes part of his charm. His protective nature certainly flares around his roommate, and she, at times, need it, as she certainly has the naïve small town girl quality to her character. She at times is very defensive and protective of her own heart, making her part in the romance often frustrating, leaving the reader to feel how Soren often feels when fighting with her. These two, though, build a real relationship, and it is clear from the very beginning that this is more than lust for both of them.
This story is a slow burn. A good portion of the story is spent on them being roommates and then friends. There is a lot of back and forth due to character fears and pasts, but it does all come together eventually. While the pay-off is there for the reader, there is an aspect of their first time together that can be interpreted as unlikely (this is vague, but I don’t want to give it away). Moving past this first experience together, the chemistry between the two continues to flourish in all ways, emotional and physical. The ending is perfect, and Soren, as he did through must of the book, said the most perfect things.
Roommates with Benefits by Nicole Williams is another sweet, slow-burning, and sexy read. The characters are great, especially Soren, and the friendship between the two shines from page one.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Soren Decker. He’s the epitome of the “bad boy, good man” persona. The best of both worlds. The worst of them too. He’s the type of guy most girls would not mind sharing a confined space with, except my new roommate isn’t all swagger and chiseled abs.
He’s bossy. Messy. Cocky. Infuriating. Doesn’t believe in personal space. Has no qualms about roaming the apartment with a loincloth-sized towel cinched around his waist. Seems under the delusion he’s my personal protector (refer back to infuriating). He plays college baseball and holds down a part-time job—I don’t know where he finds the time to get on my nerves.
We’re got nothing in common . . . except for one thing. Our attraction to one another. And in six hundred square feet of shared space, the tension only has so much room to grow before one of us gives in to temptation. But really, what chance do a couple of young kids chasing their dreams in the big city have of making it?
Since Soren claims I know squat about sports (he might have a semi-point), here’s a stat for him—one in a million. That’s our odds.
“Coming in,” I announced, opening the door and stepping inside. A plume of steam rolled over me, instantly coating my skin in a hot, dewy shield. “Hot shower?”
“Hell of a lot better than the cold one I took a couple of nights ago.”
His voice echoed off the walls as I focused on squeezing a glob of toothpaste onto my brush. It was difficult. I found myself quite distracted by the knowledge he was naked behind that thin shower curtain, a whole three feet away.
Just as I was about to stick my toothbrush into my mouth, the shower cranked off, the curtain whipping open right after.
Soren. Wet. Exposed.
My eyes clamped shut, but it wasn’t fast enough. From the low chuckle he gave, he hadn’t missed my two-second gape.
“Sorry. Water got cold.”
I gave him a few seconds to cover up before I opened my eyes and got back to brushing my teeth. He hadn’t covered up though.
“What are you doing? Grab a towel.” My arm flailed in the direction of where we kept our fresh towels hanging from the rack. My eyes felt like they were about to go crossed from staying focused on my reflection instead of his naked one in the same mirror.
“Out of fresh towels. Haven’t gotten around to the laundry.” He moved up beside me at the sink, reaching for his own toothbrush. He was standing so close, his wet arm was brushing against mine.
Don’t look down. Don’t look down. Don’t look at the giant—
Crap. I looked.
He was grinning at me as he brushed his teeth, my face crimson thanks to what I’d glanced at.
“See anything you like?”
My body was still buzzing from what I’d seen that I liked. I kind of hated him for calling me out on it though. I kind of even hated him for having so much to like.
“I know what you’re doing.” My eyebrow rounded as I got to work brushing my teeth too.
He spit in the sink, somehow winding up closer to me when he leaned back up. “Air drying?”
My eyes narrowed in the mirror at him. “Trying to change my mind.”
He stared back, brushing his teeth in all of his naked glory, a cocky tenor to his expression. Once he finished brushing, he rinsed his toothbrush and turned toward the door.
“I don’t need to change your mind,” he said, pausing when he was directly behind me.
When he turned, I swore I could feel his arms coming around me, pulling me into the shelter of his strong body. An involuntary shudder spilled down my back. He didn’t miss that either.
“I just need you to speak it instead of lying about it.” His eyes dropped to the back of my neck, where I knew he could see the raised flesh. I knew, because one side of his mouth lifted.
Bracing my hands on the sink, I didn’t blink as I locked eyes with him in the mirror. “It takes a lot more than washboard abs and a giant . . .” Crap. Something else. “Ego to get my attention.”
Soren leaned forward, his hands framing around the outsides of mine, his arms running the length of mine. His chest didn’t touch my back, but I could feel its expanse hovering above it. “I’ve already gotten your attention.” His eyes dropped from mine to my chest. Where it was rising and falling noticeably hard, my nipples pushing through my camisole. “I’m looking for something else.”
Another shudder, this one spilling down my legs. “What?”
His crooked smile changed into a cryptic one before he leaned back and opened the door. “You’ll see.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll tell you when you give it to me.”
My fist curled around my toothbrush as I turned toward him. “I’m not giving you anything.”
“You’re giving me something right now.” He didn’t glance back before leaving the bathroom. Did he really need to have that nice of an ass when he already had a glorious package? I was screwed. “This point goes to Decker.”