Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online
The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too much to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true.
After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive—not to mention handsome—for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet…
Once she learns how Josh has made a name for himself, Clara realizes living with him might make her the Wheaton’s most scandalous story yet. His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too.
This story is so different from what I expected, so much more and so much deeper. I actually wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it just yet as it was getting a lot of hype. I have issues with going into book/movies/tv shows with too high of expectations only to be let down. Not because the thing isn’t good, but because it doesn’t end up living up to impossible standards that have been set. Honestly, I thought it would take longer to get from my library than it did and I didn’t want to pass when it was my turn. I purposely didn’t read too deeply into any reviews in case there were spoilers. Let me tell you, that was a great decision. And rest assured, I will be giving no spoilers here.
First, let’s talk about how Clara came to be in California. Growing up rich and semi-famous on the East Coast because of her family, Clara felt it was time to step outside of her comfort zone and get away from the expectations put on her by her family and her community. Moving clear across the country to stay with the childhood best friend and “boy next door” (now a man) and seeing how she does making her own way is admirable. There’s the added bonus that she may finally make some headway in her unrequited crush on said neighbor boy now that she’ll be living with him. Of course, in the best jaw-dropping way, her plans get turned upside down. Instead, she’ll be living in the house with a total stranger. Not the greatest way for by-the-book Clara to start her new life.
While Josh isn’t some weird slob who totally turns Clara’s life to chaos by breaking her rules, he just doesn’t fit into her plan. Although, as she gets to know him, she finds she’s living with an extremely kind, helpful, compassionate, and funny guy. Now, that could be a problem. Especially once she finds out how he makes a living. Reminder: Clara’s family has expectations. That would include marrying someone from the “right” family. Josh is a nobody as far as her family is concerned.
Here’s where I get vague and gloss over some things so as not to give anything away. I just want to say that I was totally shocked that I hadn’t inadvertently found out certain things about this book. And quite pleased I got to discover these things on my own. On top of that, I found the storyline to be very unique. Sure, we have the roommates trope (which I love), but there is so much more at play here outside of that. I love the idea Clara and Josh come up with to help both of them professionally. I love the overall theme of people owning their sexual joy. Finding what makes them happy and realizing everyone is different…and that’s okay. And Clara really finds herself in this story. She goes from a sort of follower to speaking her mind and going after what she wants instead of what she knows everyone else wants.
The chemistry between Clara and Josh was up and down for me. But the scenes in which they almost innocently progress their physical relationship are fire. There were times I wasn’t feeling their connection outside of the bedroom, but between the sheets I was blown away. And it wasn’t just about the sex in those scenes. It was about how they interacted. Beautifully done. There were some great and touching scenes outside the bedroom, too. It was just a few times those scenes fell flat.
Now, I’m not giving this a full 5-stars because there were some areas of lag for me. But I’m definitely going to be keeping my eye on this author. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.