The Roommate Risk by Talia Hibbert

(Spoilers ahead/maybe don’t read this if you haven’t read this book and are planning to.)

There’s a moment in The Roommate Risk that gave me Mastermind vibes, but different: our female lead, Jasmine, admits to Rahul—her best friend of seven years—that she saw him at the library when they were at uni, a week before they actually met. She goes on to explain that she didn’t just see him: she saw him and followed him upstairs, but didn’t talk to him. And then made a point of going to his usual spot in the library the next day, and the day after that, until, eventually, they ended up talking. Rahul is sensible enough to know that the moment after Jasmine’s confession is definitely not the moment to tell her that he has in fact been love with her for their entire friendship (they had sex once, soon after meeting, after which she explained to him that she doesn’t date, but that she also doesn’t have sex with her friends: at which point he chose friendship). That comes later. But he does tell her that she was his first time, which freaks her out a little bit: Jasmine is freaked out by anything that might complicate things. And her current situation is making her feel extra-skittish: she’s been staying at Rahul’s place because her room in a shared flat was damaged by a flood, and they’ve been hooking up, and it’s been great, but she’s convinced he’ll get bored, or she’ll fuck it up somehow, and then she will have lost a best friend as well as a lover. As of now, the blurb for this book on Goodreads includes this: “This book is 75,000 words of fluff, angst, and extreme pleasure, with NO cliffhangers, NO cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.” So, I mean, I knew Jasmine and Rahul would end up together, but that didn’t make the angst any less angsty, and I definitely found it hard to put down.

I like the way we get Jasmine and Rahul’s story in bits and pieces, with present-day chapters focused on each of them interspersed with chapters that show us past moments, from the first time Rahul noticed her at the library to the time, ten months prior to the book’s opening, when they almost had sex but didn’t. And I like Jasmine and Rahul’s chemistry, which is excellent. My only complaint was that for a lot of the book the setting felt quite generic: I think they’re meant to be in Nottingham, but I didn’t get much of a sense of place at all. Partly that’s because Jasmine and Rahul spend a lot of time in his apartment/in beed, and partly I guess it’s because this isn’t that kind of book, but setting is something I tend to appreciate in general, so when it’s lacking I tend to notice/want more.






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