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Wanted: One roommate to share a 3-bedroom house, split the rent, and ideally not be the guy I can’t stop thinking about.
I’m a man with too many secrets, so the last thing I need is a new roommate with a sexy smile and blue eyes that see right through me. Eight years ago, Roderick left town after high school. We’re not friends. I owe him nothing. But back then, I let one of my secrets slip, and he’s the only one who noticed.
Part of me knows I should run far, far away. But the other part wants him to come upstairs and spend the night. But if I let him in, I could lose everything.

Seeking: A room to rent in town. I’m tidy, have no pets, and I will feed you homemade bread.
I should probably add: Gay AF, and has no filter. It’s no wonder my new landlord is so wary of me.
A smarter man would ignore those hot glances from Kieran Shipley. The broody lumberjack wants more from me than another homemade pretzel, but if I push my luck, I’ll end up back on the street.
Too bad I’ve never been smart with my heart ...

304 pages, Paperback

First published January 12, 2021

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About the author

Sarina Bowen

101 books15.4k followers
sarina bowen
Sarina Bowen is the twenty-four-time USA Today bestselling and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of three dozen books, including: the True North series, and Brooklyn Hockey. She's the co-author of Him/Us and the WAGs series with Elle Kennedy. She's the author of The Ivy Years series, and more!
Are you looking for a friends-to-lovers story or maybe even a secret baby book? You can read a list of Sarina's books broken out by trope and style.
Need to know what's coming next ? Get all the latest news on Sarina's website, and sign up for her newsletter so you don't miss a book or a deal.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,461 reviews
Profile Image for Corina.
768 reviews2,183 followers
January 13, 2023
OMG are we getting a new MM novel by none other than the author who wrote the first MM novel I ever read????????

THIS made my day!!!


I finished it 💕
and it was ADORABLE!!!!

You guys are going to LOVE it!!!



This book is going to be a crowd pleaser.

It was sweet. Touching. And had an absolutely adorable couple. I loved them both so much!!! And the story was just the right amount of sexy. But most of all it was charming, and sweet.

All the things I loved about the book:

• absolutely adorable couple
• sweet and charming story
• just the right amount of sexy
• wonderful supporting cast
• great chemistry between the couple
• well developed characters (loved the difference in personality between Roddy and Kieran)

I think, most people will fall in love with Kieran and Roddy. It was a pleasure to see them come together. Also they matched so well in an opposite attract kind of way.

Roddy is out of the closet, a happy guy, and loves to be around people. Being a baker is a way for him to please and charm people with his personality and the products he makes. He is outgoing and loves to talk. The very opposite to Kieran. And not surprisingly he has a lumberjack kink after meeting Kieran. Who wouldn’t?

Kieran is this adorable, quiet and kind, former farm boy, now looking like a sexy lumberjack. He is someone who has been thinking about his sexuality, but hasn’t had much time to explore it yet. Thanks to Roddy, he found the perfect partner.

These two were charming AF. Absolutely adorable. I swooned whenever they played house together. They meshed so well, and the chemistry and sparks were palpable.

Also, we get more Shipley Family which I adored.

Honestly, don’t hesitate to pick up this book. Especially if you enjoyed the author’s True North Series Bittersweet. But even if you haven’t read the True North Series yet, you can read it as a standalone, if MM is your jam.
Profile Image for Snjez.
767 reviews471 followers
January 15, 2021
This book started out well for me. I really liked the first 40% or so, but then it fizzled out and I can't say I enjoyed the rest of the story.

Profile Image for Christy.
3,913 reviews33k followers
January 10, 2021
4.5 stars


“It’s not so terrifying to show people who you really are.”

I was so excited to read Roommates because not only does it have the Shipley family that I adore, but this is probably my favorite Sarina Bowen cover. Kieran Shipley's book has been teased for a while and I was so happy it was finally here. I loved this one!

Kieran Shipley is ready for a life change. He works part time at a bakery, part time at an advertising firm, and still helps his brother and dad with all the farm chores around the house. What he really needs is to move out. And that's exactly what he does. Only, he needs a roommate. He never expects it to be Roderick. He and Roderick have a bit of a past from high school, but they don't know each other well.

Roderick has moved home to Vermont after living in Nashville for many years. He's had a tough time lately, but working at the local bakery is exactly what he needs. Now, he just needs a place to live. He and Kieran become roommates first, and with time, friends. I loved watching them go from coworkers to friends, to more. Kieran is exactly the kind of guy Roderick needs and deserves and Roderick is the type of person Kieran needs to come out of his shell.

I love how this opposites attract story worked. These two were great together. I had such a huge smile on my face throughout the book and I couldn't help but to root for these two. I completely adored how the storyline with Kieran's family worked out, though I wasn't such a fan of the quick lived drama with Roderick's ex at the end.

Roommate was such a fantastic read for me. The audiobook narration was incredible. Teddy Hamilton and Stephen Dexter did an amazing job voicing both Kieran and Roderick. This was a beautiful romance and I highly recommend it!

Audio book source: Soundwise (audio arc)
Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrators: Teddy Hamilton and Stephen Dexter
Narration Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Length: 9 hours and 5 minutes

Profile Image for Florence ..
876 reviews230 followers
January 14, 2021
2 very generous stars

Let me start by saying that i’m really really disapointed. Up till 60%, I was loving this book, so much, it had the potential to become a favourite but then the last 40% started to feel like I was watching a really bad soap opera.

Warning, this will he really long, I have a lot of feelings about this book.

Let me start by briefly reviewing the first 60% and what I adored about this book:
- I love Kieran. He was really grumpy and private and I really loved that about him. Kieran was a really really good man and I loved him very much.
- I loved seeing Kieran explore his sexuality (he had never been with a man before, he watched Roderick giving blow jobs to a guy when they were in high school and he knew he was into it but he never explored his sexuality beyond that).
- I was enjoying their communication, I liked how they were up front about their flaws and their hang ups.
- I was enjoying the really peaceful vibe of the book, there was no weird angst or drama, only two men and their life struggles, I wish it had stayed that way, it was absolutely lovely.
- I also loved Sarina Bowen’s writting, it was so lovely.

Now let me talk about the last 40% of this book. My nice, calm and quiet book with my two guys who were communicating nicely and starting to fall in love suddently switched into this really fucking drama heavy book, most of it being fabricated drama that didn’t need to he there. And I suddently couldn’t believe that Kieran and Roderick were meant for each other, I couldn’t think of two person more wrong for each other to be honest.

Brief summary of the things that really annoyed me about this book:
- Roderick was honest about his ex being a closeted asshole and how he couldn’t do it anymore and he knew that Kieran was in the closet and probably would never come out, but he willingly jumped into a fuck body relationship with him, it made no sense to me.
- This point is my biggest and the reason why I gave this book a really low rating. Kieran never told anyone he likes men. He didn’t have any experience with a man ever. He only watched Roderick give blow jobs to another guy when they were in high school 8 years ago and thats it. And Kieran is a private person, he isn’t close to anyone (expecially not his family) and he makes it clear that he doesn’t plan on telling anyone about him being gay. But I don’t think it was because he’s ashamed, Kieran was a really private person and he barely talked to anyone, so it made sense to me that he wouldn’t want to share anything like this with anyone. Here is this quote from the book: ‘’It’s not that I’m ashamed of him. I’m not afraid to be gay. But my privacy is basically my life’s work.’’. I don’t see anything wrong with being a private person and I don’t think it made him this monster like the book tried to portray. I think thats just how the guy is wired. And Roderick knew all of this about him. But yet, most of the conflict in the book comes from Roderick making Kieran like he is like his ex (who was in the closet and keeping Roderick a secret because he was ashamed) when it wasn’t the case at all. I felt like Roderick never listened to Kieran or cared about his feelings. Roderick was so determined that he needed to date someone who would be out and proud and show him off everywhere that he never stopped and realized that thats just not the guy he’s with, and not because Kieran was ashamed but because Kieran is a private man.
- ALSO, these two were together for 2 months. And Roderick was so mad that Kieran wouldn’t publically come out and make this big gesture for him. Kieran was 25 and hadn’t even kissed a man before Roderick and he didn’t think he was gay. He had never let himself experience his sexuality before he moved out of his parent’s house. Let the poor guy some time to ajust. I thought he was rushing him, way too fast. He didn’t let any time for Kieran to come to terms with his sexuality. He just needed him to be out, but he never seemed to care about Kieran and his feelings.
- Also, Kieran’s family was very disfunctional and they didn’t like each other much and his problem with was them and he didn’t want to share himself with them, which makes sense to me. So I didn’t enjoy how Roderick kept pushing to sound like Kieran was ashamed of him and didn’t want to be with him when Kieran just didn’t want to share himself with a family he doesn’t really enjoy or feel comfortable with.
- Also, Kieran had never kissed a man before Roderick and Roderick kept pushing him to have anal sex with him and it really annoyed me. When they finally did have anal sex, it didn’t feel like something they both wanted but like something that Kieran did so he could keep Roderick happy.
- There was so much really unnessecary fabricated drama towards the end. Case 1 . Case 2: . Case 3:
- At lastly, the book was full of family drama and I really didn’t like how it was all nicely wraped in a couple of lines towards the end of the book. It didn’t feel real to me.

I’m just really sad that this book turned into such a drama filled book after 60% because I was loving the chill vibe of the first 60%, very much.
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,106 reviews838 followers
February 24, 2021
Audiobook - 5 stars

Story - 3 stars

This was just okay for me. I wasn't expecting anything special and nothing special was exactly what this book delivered.

I liked the MCs enough to listen up to the end, I did it mostly for Kieran, he was too sweet. Roderick was okay but he got on my nerves.

When it came to the chemistry between the two, I really didn't feel it. They were good as friends and cooking buddies but as a couple it was hard to buy into it.

The best part of this book was the cooking and the baking, I enjoyed that so much. I didn't care about Kieran family drama nor Roderick ex boyfriend's drama. All that was unnecessary.

Overall, I knew what I expected going in so it was just okay.
January 13, 2021
Audio 5 ++ Stars I wish there were more MM audios narrated by Stephen Dexter and Teddy Hamilton. 😍

Story 4.5 Refreshing Stars

This was a refreshing story for me. It wasn't overly fluffy or angsty and the characters were relatable. Just a couple of guys dealing with life struggles and coming together.

What I enjoyed most was the LACK of:

OTT nonsense drama
OTT insta relationship
OTT riches...I'm so sick of billionaires and name brand dropping
OTT fear of coming out of the closet

Some readers may find the lack of OTT boring, but I totally appreciated it.

Dear Author,
I would love a follow up on this awesome couple! 😍 And please write more MM! 🙏🏽
Profile Image for Leticia (jerseygirlsbookshelf).
378 reviews184 followers
August 27, 2021
"You spoil me by being real. I used to daydream that I’d find a guy who looks at me the way you’re looking at me right now."
"How’s that?" he asks, humor in his brown eyes.
"Like you’re all in, no matter what happens."

I’m a Sarina Bowen fan, I think I’ve read enough of her books to know that. This was, however, my first MM book of hers (yes, I know, I know, I’m late to the party!). And I can’t begin to tell you just how much I adored everything about Roderick and Kieran!

"Having Roderick in my life is like having a fire in the hearth. He warms me even when I can’t see him."
Roderick was everything. The way he is pulled me in: his big heart, the flirty way he deals with stuff, and all the sexual innuendos and jokes (gotta love that!). The fact that he survived his bigoted parents, and an asshole of an ex (when are people going to realize that abuse is so much more than just physical?), and he’s still here, and not giving up.

"I never met anyone like you. I have zero filter, and you’re made of filter. It’s like armor. You never take it off."
It took me a bit longer to like Kieran simply because I’m more like Roderick. It must be so tiring to be Kieran, to make other people believe everything’s OK all the time when it’s really not. To not know who you really are, or if you’re really wanted or loved. Never to let go and just feel your emotions, and see where they lead you. To constantly have a wall around you. I wanted to hug him.

"This is how I am all the time now. He walks into the room, and all my attention goes straight to him. I’ve never felt like that about anyone, and I don’t know how to shut it off."
These two met in high school. Maybe “met” is too strong. Let’s just say Kieran saw Roderick in a compromising situation with another guy in high school. And Roderick also saw him. This makes them both uncomfortable around each other for different reasons, but they weren’t supposed to meet again anyway, so that was fine. Until Roddy’s back in town after a nasty breakup, trying to get his life back in order.

"Kieran laughs, turning his head to the side in that way that he does. As if laughing were a private matter. And it’s just as well, because a full-on smile from him is hotter than the sun."
The sexual tension between them is through the roof. Obviously, Roderick finds him attractive, and being "Gay AF", in his own words, is not very self-conscious or shy about his thoughts (and this is why first person POV is my favorite!). However, Kieran is not sure. There’s attraction, but both of them find themselves fighting it for their particular reasons.

"You make me feel like I could be someone who does things instead of just thinking about them."
Until... they don’t. I mean, they’re working together, and that’s hard enough. But when Kieran realizes Roddy is sleeping in his car, he offers up the empty room at the house he’s renting. Some conversations and cooking lessons, a lot of flirting, and some swoony stuff later, and they finally give in to each other.

It was really heartwarming to see Kieran realizing he is worthy of love, and that he can have it. To see him working on his cuddling skills. To see him become aware that people love him, and care about him, and that happiness is possible.

"With you, it’s never just grocery shopping," I whisper. "I’d go anywhere with you. And I’d do anything for you."
It’s clear for me that these two were meant to be. Their lives were rough, in different ways, but they needed to go through the motions in order to find each other. And their happily ever after, and the epilogue (you can get in on Sarina’s website, btw!) made me really happy.
Love isn't always easy, and sometimes you have to fight for it. Their journey was well worth it.
Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,429 reviews24.8k followers
August 18, 2023

Roommate is book nineteen in the Vino & Veritas world and is by Sarina Bowen. This book has been on my to read list for...ever!!! I love the cover and the blurb sounded delicious and it did not disappoint. I fell so in love with both of these men. If they were real, they are the kind of men you would just want to hug and squeeze and give them as much love as I can.

Kieran Shipley is twenty five years old and is the son of a farmer. But his own desires run much deeper than the farm. He wants to be a graphic designer. He has two jobs, one at the Busy Bean coffee shop and the other for a small design firm where he is horribly taken advantage of. Kieran’s family has so many secrets. They are not a family that shares things and secrets have eaten away at their relationships. All Kieran wants is to move out to get his own place and he finally has the money saved up. Now he just needs a roommate.

Roderick “Roddy” Waites is twenty six. He finished high school in Colebury, Vermont but when his parents kicked him out for being gay, he went to live in Nashville. But now eight years later, after getting out of a bad relationship, he is back in Colebury with barely anything but the clothes on his back. Lucky for him, he scores a job at the Busy Bean and soon after, he becomes the roommate of the sexy lumberjack, Kieran. Now all he has to do is to make sure he doesn’t fall for his roommate.

These two were both so adorable and both broke my heart. They just had so much they were holding inside. Together, they seemed to come back to themselves. I especially loved the way that Kieran really came out of his shell, talked more and was so much more confident. They can’t help but to fall for each other. But of course, it’s not that easy. There are complications. Big ones. Mostly that no one knows that Kieran likes men!

This is such a lovely, warm, sweet, sexy story that gave me so many warm and fuzzies. These two!!They both grew so much with the support of the other and it was such a beautiful sight! Sarina has such a wonderful way of weaving these stories that draw us in and make us love her characters. She certainly succeeded this time!

For more about this book and so many others, come and visit me at Carol's Crazy Bookish World.

Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,214 reviews454 followers
January 23, 2021
4 Stars!

Bowen + MM = Hell Yeah!!

Start with taciturn, extremely introverted, awkward gentle giant Kieran, who’s all sorts of manly farmer goodness. Pretty much his whole life Kieran has felt like an outsider, and he’s torn between forging his own path and helping his family at the detriment of suppressing who he truly is. Life has gotten awful stifling, and Kieran is at his rope’s end.

Then there’s Roddy, a spontaneous, live life to the fullest, extroverted baker with little filter who has returned home to Vermont after devastating heartbreak and sadly, his parents aren’t welcoming him back with open arms. When he crosses paths with Kieran, it brings up a salacious history from high school that Roddy can’t help but poke, while Kieran wishes the ground would swallow him up.

This is quite the slow burn, but the characters and their struggles are real and organic. As Roddy and Keiran get to know each other through being awkward coworkers first, and then reluctant roommates second, the reader also gets to discover the many layers of these two as each evolves to carve out a new life together and apart.

It will come as no surprise that I loved Kieran hard. Good, thoughtful, with plenty of self induced turmoil, he had the most growth to do, and his sexual awakening was deliciously oh so very nice. *winks* Bowen is that rare author who can get me to read their MF stuff too, and the fact that she’s inspired several planned spinoffs for other authors to contribute to, all of which connect to her True North series (alerting all Griffin lovers!) is just really more for us to enjoy!

I’m always on board for Bowen and only hope there’s more from this author soon!! Fans should embrace her latest offering with no problems! Cheers!
Profile Image for Isabella .
844 reviews1,569 followers
January 16, 2021
5 Needy Heart Stars ⭐

There is something extremely appealing about small town romances. It makes me want to give up city living for somewhere remote. Until I think about limited coffee choices and it makes me break out into hives. But in this instance, I could be persuaded to move to Vermont where coffee, baked goods and cider is high up on their list of priorities...oh and boy on boy rub and tug!

Maybe I’m a late bloomer, but I’m all in now.

And not for just any guy. I’m all in for him.

Gorgeous lumberjack Kieran Shipley and Gay AF Roderick once attended high school together. They may not have known each other personally, but certain events made them aware of each other's existence. This creates an unspoken tension between them.

Eight years later, Roderick has returned to Vermont, broke and practically homeless. Him staying is dependent on being able to land a job. Freshly out of a toxic relationship, not even his bigoted parents will give him a hand. Fortunately, things are looking up when he lands a job as baker for the Busy Bean.

Kieran is exhausted. Tending to the family farm while juggling two other jobs, all he wants is to start living his life. Except he's not even sure where to begin. Confused about his sexuality, Roderick returning to town, is bringing his dilemma to the forefront and providing some much-needed clarity.

Now that both men are working at the Busy Bean and end up as Roommates’, their heated glances are getting harder to ignore. And who wants to? As Kieran and Roderick start playing house and learn each other's secrets, the magic unfolds.

Lust made me confident. Heat made me easy. I’ve never kissed anyone so deeply that the taste of him became part of me. I wanted it to last forever.

This book was utterly delightful. Where Kieran was stoic and a man of few words, Roderick was flirty and easygoing. What a fab combination. Watching them cook together, hangout and tear down their inhibitions made me equally happy and hungry. There was a purity in their journey of awareness and love. With their unrelated issues, timing couldn’t have been better for these two. 🖤💜
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,882 reviews5,800 followers
February 26, 2021

*3.5 stars*

I waffled a bit with my rating on this one before settling on 3.5 stars. On further reflection, I rounded down on Goodreads.

I have huge expectations when it comes to Sarina Bowen's M/M romances, so I was expecting great things from Roommate. I think part of the story delivered, but I thought the narrating was uneven and some of the plot didn't make a lot of sense.

I'm obsessed with Teddy Hamilton, and I think he carried the story for me. Stephen Dexter was just okay, and I found his tone to be more distracting than anything. He has a mildly urgent and forced voice while reading, and I don't like it nearly as much as the natural-sounding Teddy Hamilton.

Oddly, though I love cooking and food, I tend to rate books with chef MCs lower than average. I can't figure out why (maybe I don't find them as engaging?), but I have a hard time getting into them.

I think the story was nice, and it picked up as it went along (near the end), but there was a lot of unnecessary drama. I truly didn't get Kieran's reluctance to come out as it didn't seem like his family would have cared all that much, and he wanted independence anyway. There was just a lot of superficial turmoil, which dampened my enjoyment of the audiobook.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to this one, though it falls flat when compared to other Sarina Bowen books.

Profile Image for Martin.
754 reviews428 followers
February 28, 2021
This is a lovely and heartfelt story.

The beginning was complete perfection, their obstacle later on was understandable but annoying and the ending was quite... interesting. Lots of revelations, like a season finale of Dynasty.

Roderick is a former runaway kid who left his homophobic parents as a teen with dreams of becoming a famous music star in Nashville and sleeping with the world's most handsome men.

Of course, reality means he's a street kid and slowly has to work his way up from the bottom.
He ends up going to cooking school and working as a baker. His only connection to the music world of Nashville is his manipulative closeted country star boyfriend who cheats on him and forces him to stay in the closet with him.

At 26 years, Roddy has had enough and packs his stuff. Returning home to his parents doesn't turn out so well, though, so Roderick is once again homeless. At least he manages to score a full time job as a baker in his hometown's local coffee shop.

His co-worker, the silent (but insanely gorgeous) farm boy and part time barista Kieran offers him a place to stay in his newly rented house that is too big for one person anyway.

And things proceed from there :-)

I loved Kieran so much. He carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. God, I know that there are people like him out there. And how I wish they'd all find their other half, just like Kieran did with Roddy.

I absolutely loved their *cough* shared history *cough* which was such a delicious little issue at the beginning of their friendship.

It was also good to see how things with Kieran's family were improving at the end. His status quo with his dad and brother wasn't really satisfying for anyone.

And while I was really annoyed with Roddy for the big 'crisis' towards the end, he did have a a point and sleeping over it, I realize that he did the right thing to protect himself even though it seemed cruel towards a wonderful good-hearted character like Kieran.

I'm glad it all worked out.

This was seriously an excellent piece of romantic fiction. It totally deserves a more elaborate title than 'Roommate' ;-))

A 5 star favorite!
Profile Image for Meags.
2,175 reviews411 followers
January 15, 2021
5 Stars

Sweet, sexy, heart-warming and smile-inducing, Roommate is one highly-anticipated book that did not disappoint!

Featuring many familiar faces from Bowen’s previous (M/F) books, this standalone M/M story follows the unexpected romance between high-spirited and unfiltered Roderick, and shy, questioning, farm-boy Kieran, whose chemistry becomes too hot to deny when they go from cagey new co-workers to necessary roommates in their personal quests to start-over anew.

I ate up every delicious, sexually-charged, tension-filled moment shared between out-and-proud baker Roddy and deeply-private and longing artist-in-hiding Kieran. Their story felt all at once like a slow-burn and a fast-burn, striking that exact perfect spark and speed in the progression of their eventual love story.

Although Roommate is getting some less-than-stellar reviews from Bowen lovers and M/M lovers alike, for being too dramalicious, I actually didn’t find this one to affect me negatively in the way that many others have expressed. It had elements of angst, with themes pertaining to disownment from religious parents, in-the-closet impacts on relationship dynamics, and even some brief homelessness, work drama, and even a secondary character health crisis to emotionally combat towards the end. But despite all of this, these themes and plot arcs flowed well for me, never veering into soap-opera territory, and always purely entertaining and endearing me to the characters as I read on.

I should note here that I read Bowen’s M/F stuff and not simply the handful of M/M romances she’s written (or co-written) over the years, so this particular setting (in small-town Vermont) and most of the characters featured within aren’t new to me, which I believe enhanced my enjoyment significantly. This story can be read as a standalone, sure, and it’s impressively written in a manner that welcomes all new readers to do so, but having some background familiarity with Bowen’s characters, particularly those who populate her True North series, was definitely a bonus for me here and I’m sure will be for others too. I mean, Griffin Shipley!? C’mon, now, people!!! *drools*

At the end of the day, I enjoyed every second of this story, start to finish, making it the easiest five-star read I’ve given in months. Obviously, as the reviews can attest, this positive, fangirl-y experience isn't the one had by all, but I’m so bloody thankful that I adored reading about Roddy and Keiran’s small-town romance, which for me was full of some truly wonderful moments of self-discovery and self-empowerment.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to explore the upcoming expanded universe in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North, which features 4 series and 45 authors (I believe), with an LGBT contingent that I'm particularly hungry for in the Vino and Veritas series! BRING. IT. ON!
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,297 reviews27.9k followers
September 11, 2021
3.5 stars
It wasn’t a new favorite, but this book still got me out of my weird reading slump, so I appreciate it! I love that this book follows two guys who knew each other vaguely from high school. I love the scenery of them working in this bakery / coffee shop together, and don’t read this book on an empty stomach like I did because the constant mention of food had my mouth watering 🤤 I will say I enjoyed the first half of the story more than the second half. I loved the tension in the first half and I’m a huge fan of the roommates trope. But then in the second half I wasn’t the biggest fan of all the unnecessary drama and the characters did some things that just didn’t make sense 😅

Overall I enjoyed it, but I would recommend Him or Top Secret over this one for sure!
Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,380 reviews1,991 followers
January 12, 2021
Amazon US * Amazon UK

I was ecstatic when I saw that Sarina Bowen was writing a new MM novel and then even more excited when I saw that it would be set in the world of the Shipley's. I've already fallen in love with this family and Kieran gave me even more to love.

Kieran and Roderick both gave me so many emotions and they both had such a vulnerability that made my heart hurt for them. But it also gave them a lot to work through which made their relationship all the better. They were absolutely adorable and I loved the little 'teaching' moments when Roderick helped Kieran get a little more comfortable with himself.

Overall, this is a must read. For fans of the True North series you get a few cameos with some much-loved characters but if you're new to the Shipley's you won't be lost at all.

ARC kindle provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,467 reviews319 followers
January 13, 2021
This standalone book is the perfect introduction to the new wider World of True North which is coming soon.

Sarina's duo Him/Us with Elle Kennedy were two of the first books I read in this genre and Wesmie remain one of my favourite couples.

I've not read any of her MF books though and yet I never felt lost at any point while reading Roommate.

The story here is a familiar one, an out and proud guy falling for a closeted man but there's more of an interesting back story dating back to their time at school.

There's other tensions outside of the relationship as well which help keep the narrative ticking and overall I was engaged throughout in the journey Kieran and Roddy take to happiness.

One thing I appreciated a lot was that there was no unnecessary drama or angsting just to add plot points.

There are moments when both men's histories plays a role in them not opening up in a beneficial way, but they were totally understandable.

I'm very much looking forward to reading the rest of the LGBTQ series, which will centre around a bar called Vino & Veritas.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Eugenia.
1,668 reviews255 followers
January 14, 2021
Well. That didn’t go as expected....
COME ON!!! She wrote one of my favorite MM books ever, Him. This was nowhere even close to that level.

OK, I listened to this...Teddy Hamilton 😍& Stephen Dexter... and the narration was great! Until it wasn’t. It got to the point where I was having a harder time distinguishing between the two MC’s Kieran & Roderick. Teddy voiced Roderick’s POV and a growly Stephen voiced KIeran’s.

I think I stopped being able to clearly distinguish the MC’s about the time I stopped caring about them. The 1st half was pretty good, but with lots of weird forced conflicts that just didn’t make any sense. I now refer you to Snjez’s fabulous and spoiler-filled review.

Back to me 😂...could this be a case of “it’s me, not the book?” No. It’s the book. Again, Snjez lays out all the reasons so I don’t have to (Thanks, babe!).

I stopped caring about these drama-llamas 1/2 through and never felt invested in their relationship.

What I liked:
Baking talk
Cider making

My rec? I can get the three things above by reading a cookbook and a sandwich board.
Profile Image for Bhavya Marya.
76 reviews68 followers
January 14, 2021
“People tell you to be yourself. But not everybody can afford that luxury.”

This was just so sweet and charming.

Sarina Bowen is one of the first authors that introduced me to MM romance. So I always have good expectations from her books and I can honestly say I enjoyed reading this one a lot.

I went into this thinking Keiran was gonna be a grump but to my surprise he was such a softie with a big heart although he did seem a bit prickly in the begining. Also, as a character I could relate to him alot since he takes time to open up and that's exactly how I am.

Roderick was a total sweetheart. And his issues and resistance to their relationship were all very understandable because nobody wants to be burned twice. I'm also glad that despite everything he took a chance on Keiran and didn't run.

Some things that happened in the book were a little predictable and unnecessary in my opinion but it didn't take away my enjoyment of the book that much.

The amount of good food that's mentioned in this book is crazy. I ended up craving all those things after finishing this book.

All in all, I had a fun time reading this and can't wait for more of this world.
Profile Image for Loulou .
997 reviews
June 7, 2021
It was fine.
I was disappointed actually.
This couple is no #Wesmie that's for sure.
I'm too disappointed to write a proper review tbh. #HighExpectationsAreABitch

So Let's make this short:
What I liked:
- Kieran: He was genuine and I loved his gruffness and stoic. He was proud to be himself, wanted to become a better person, and did everything he could to change his life.
- The side characters were all great, barring Kieran's parents.

What I didn't like:
- Rodrick.. he got on my nerves a lot. #Annoyed
- The whole relationship didn't really float my boat. Rodrick put himself in the same situation as the one he left behind and then got mad when Kieran wouldn't change. Dude you were together for a couple of months! #Chill
- The parents and the drama surrounding them... #SoapOperaHasNothingOnThem
- The sex... ONE SEX SCENE? ONE? They freaking LIVE TOGETHER ARE YOU KIDDING ME? #IFeelCheated
- The epilogue .... #NothingSpecial
Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,770 reviews3,866 followers
February 5, 2021
Part of me wants to really go all out on this review and make it PURTY but let's face it, I don't have the energy for all that and other people have said all the good stuff already.

I will say this was very satisfying. For me. Then again, I've been waiting for this book since Bountiful which was 4 YEARS AGO for those keeping score. Kieran's extreme grumpitude has made me smile especially when his dry humor emerges for a long looooooooooonnnnnnnnngggggg time. It's the quiet ones that run deep and I'm happy his story didn't disappoint, though I will say it's entirely possible some of my enthusiasm stems from the fact that I've read the entire series.

I love Colebury and Tuxbury and the farms and the apples and the cows and (obviously) all the lumberjacks running, or is it lumbering around? There's something so homey and comforting about this series that appeals to me so much so that even when the books are so-so I still have a hard time rating them low simply because I love the atmosphere of this sleepy little Vermont town and catching up with all my favorite characters. I'm looking at you, Griff.

That being said, Roommate resurrected those feelings of old when reading SB where I lose track of time while reading, can't wait to get back to it and really invest in the characters. Roommate felt like slipping into my most comfy pair of SB jim jams again. It was great. I *may* have even gotten a little verklempt a time or two. Allegedly.

I enjoyed it so much I went immediately into the bonus epilogue and now I'm excited about the Vino and Veritas series. Maybe Jared will get his HEA?
Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,789 reviews1,381 followers
December 29, 2020
Gah there is nothing I love more than Sarina Bowen's Shipley world. Her True North series and the Shipley family just melt my heart. So I was absolutely in love with the idea of a Shipley family standalone with some cameos from familiar faces that I’ve come to love. Roderick and Kieran were absolutely amazing. This story was sweet, heartfelt and angsty in ways that I loveee!

Full disclosure here, I am hopelessly in love with Roderick Waites. He may be my favorite character in the book which is almost blasphemous as Kieran Shipley was just delicious. But Roderick was the full package for me. Sexy, funny and so vulnerable inside it'll take your breath away. His backstory with his family hit me right in the feels. Bowen did a phenomenal job conveying his poignant, raw and gritty emotions surrounding his parents and the tumultuous relationship they have. I loved seeing both Roderick and Kieran together as their banter was humorous and sexy but almost always endearing. I might have been channeling Sebastian from The Little Mermaid chanting "just kiss the boy" when the tension between them just came off the pages. 

Overall, I am so obsessed and sprung on Roderick and Kieran. I was so caught up in their romance and the feels of the story. They captivated me and gave me all the sexy and swoony moments I have come to expect from this author. I never ever want to leave this world.  Bowen knocked it out of the park! 5 stars! ~Ratula 


Bloody hell. My heart!

Just when I think I couldn't love the Shipley family any more, they find another way to plant themselves so deeply into my heart they'll surely be there forever.

That being said - it's important to note that Roommate is 100% standalone. This was the Shipley family that I've come to know from the True North series, but...different. A different branch, from a different angle - surrounded by characters that loyal readers have come to know and love, but in a story that stands firmly on its own.

Much like our hero, Kieran Shipley.

Lord almighty, this guy broke my heart - over and over again - over the course of his story. Watching his broken, timid soul come alive was just...exhilarating in a way that still has me all in my feelings. His stoic, loner dynamic set against Roderick's vivacious, plucky, pack animal personality was just the perfect pairing. Roderick's story broke my heart in its own way, and yet he seemed to come out of this...unsinkable. His strength and positivity gave him a radiance that softened his sad edges a bit for me. Because of that, this read like an opposites attract story that felt more like two missing puzzle pieces finally fitting together.

I adored Roderick and Kieran so much! Their chemistry heated to simmer almost immediately and my heart leapt on board just as fast. The evolution of their relationship felt so organic to me. Their transition from awkward and reluctant friendship to...the everything they became to each other played out in a way that filled my heart to bursting. It was not without its bumps in the road, but it was so sweetly satisfying nonetheless. I loved how they lit each other up, filled each other's empty spaces, and how it was done so naturally and effortlessly. I am so crazy about how they loved each other, and so in love with their love story.

There were some other unexpected emotional punches delivered along the way - some landed in sweet ways (like a tackle hug), and others left some bruises on my heart. I cried more than I was expecting to cry - but I wouldn't call this a tearjerker. There were also so many smiles as my heart fluttered and flipped and attached itself fiercely to these amazing, lovable heroes. In the end, Roommate was raw, honest, and sweetly redemptive. It was my favorite trifecta: smart, swoony, sexy - and I loved every minute. ~ Shelly, 5 stars
Profile Image for ⭐️AMST⭐️.
129 reviews16 followers
January 16, 2021
Well... mark me disappointed.
It was easy and light read and therefore I should’ve liked it more but I‘d high expectations and I’m not a very objective person 🤷🏼‍♀️
The first half was nice but after that I’d kind of lost interest and really didn’t get the story. There’s so much going on but nothing really happened. I didn’t feel the characters nor the connection between them... but hey, I did finished it!
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,457 followers
January 25, 2021
Solid 4 Star read for me.

I really liked both Roddy and Keiran. And while there was a lot going on drama wise - between the parents, the ex, etc. it didn't feel over the top for me. I guess I was okay with how everything ended up playing out.

It was a bit on the long side, but I never really lost interest or got bored and didn't skim.
Profile Image for Papie.
679 reviews129 followers
January 13, 2021
I loved Kieran and Roddy. Especially Kieran, I definitely like the strong silent type. Hot lumberjack farmer type.
🔥🔥🔥 and watching him discover his sexuality was quite hot.

The story is nothing new, but it’s cute and sexy and funny. I was shaking my head at Roddy. Then shaking my head at Kieran. But it was still a very fun read.
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,548 reviews3,975 followers
February 24, 2021
3 Stars

Overall Opinion: Meh. I feel underwhelmed and also frustrated that I paid $5 for this when I rarely buy books anymore with my subscriptions. I feel like the foundation for this story (mainly the premise) was great! I just don’t feel like it was executed all that well. It all felt really surface level. I feel like I never got very deep into the characters themselves or their connection to each other. I also feel like it really had a lot of potential - this could’ve been some angsty solid gold with the setup with these two! I didn’t hate it but it definitely was a big bummer.

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Kieran and Roderick’s story. Kieran is firmly in the closet and just trying to find his way away from his family that misuses him. Roderick is running back home after a bad breakup with a man that wouldn’t come out of the closet. Roderick gets a job as a baker at the town’s new coffee shop that belongs to Kieran’s cousin and he works part time at. They have a weird history from years past in high school, so things are rocky when they start working together. Once they move in together because they both need a roommate, things start to change for the two. There are some funny scenes, a few sexy times, and some family drama...and they get a HFN ending.

Point Of View (POV): This alternated between Kieran and Roderick’s POV.

Overall Pace of Story: Good until the abrupt ending. I never skimmed.

Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings. Friends to lovers.

H1 (Hero #1) rating: 3.5 stars. Kieran. I liked him for the most part but I feel like we only got to the surface of his character.

H2 (Hero #2) rating: 3.5 stars. Roderick. I liked him too but I don’t think that I feel like we got very deep into his character either.

Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Alright. They have some tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not very much and not so much it takes away from the story.

Descriptive sex: Yes

OW (Other Woman)/OM (Other Man) drama: Not really

Sex scene with OW or OM: Yes

Cheating: No

Separation: Yes

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This ends with not nearly enough closure and what I would call a HFN ending

Safety: This one should be Safe for most safety gang readers
Profile Image for .Lili. .
1,181 reviews259 followers
January 12, 2021

Roommate by Sarina Bowen had me smiling; I didn't even realize it. This opposites-attract story had two very different men who were ready for a change.

Kieran is reserved but dependable. For years he's been keeping secrets because that's what he knows, along with putting family first.

Roderick comes from a heartbreaking background and comes back to town, hoping his parents will help him out, and discovered that his sexuality isn't something they're willing to accept.

A twist of luck and maybe fate brings these two together.

What ensues is a sweet romantic book about family, self-acceptance, friendships, chances, and new beginnings.

Profile Image for Marley Valentine.
Author 24 books2,055 followers
December 29, 2020
I've been waiting for this story from the minute Roderick walked into the Busy Bean in Bountiful, and in usual Sarina Bowen fashion Roommate did not disappoint.
Filled with laughter, lust and love, Kieran and Roderick are a perfect addition to Sarina's exceptional array of characters.

Profile Image for Gustaf.
1,427 reviews133 followers
February 7, 2022
Ok. I'm going to be honest here. I put this book off as a book I wouldn't pick up pretty early after it's release after reading some of my friends less than favorable reviews. Since then I've been sneaking peeks at it, kind of wanting to read it but never doing it. Until now. And I'm so glad that I finally, finally did. Because I loved this book. So damn much.

I loved Kieran. And I loved Roderick. And I loved all the food being talked about and made. And I loved that towards the end of this book I felt like I didn't want it to end. I just wanted to stay with Kieran and Roderick for a little longer. I can see this being one of those books I'm coming back to over and over again.

I haven't really had much luck with this author's books, so it's a nice surprise.
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