The Roommate Arrangement (Divorced Men's Club #1) ~ Saxon James
Roommate Arrangement is the first book in Saxon James' new series, Divorced Men's Club. I loved that this book revolved around older MCs (late 30s – 40s) and that it seems the other books in this series will be in a similar range. Stories where both MCs are older (not an age-gap scenario), while definitely not rare, are few enough so that when they do occur, they are noticed. I love my college boys and later 20s/early 30s, but there is just something refreshing about reading about men who are in a completely different phase of life (usually).
As you'd expect from this author, the cast has been beautifully rendered with in-depth character development, including a healthy sense of humour. Both Beau and Payne are lovely mature men with a level of emotional development to match. Although scatter-brained, socially awkward, and carrying emotional scars from a previous relationship, Beau is steady in his love for Payne. He has held on to these feelings for a long time, never expecting them to be returned. They just were.
Although Payne quickly recognises his attraction to Beau, he is slower to acknowledge anything deeper. Payne has gone through his own emotional upheaval and is now in the position of having to restart his life from the ground up. Also, there is added complication of Beau being his best friend's younger brother. Ultimately though, Payne does not want to risk hurting Beau. Eventually, his feelings begin to show regardless of how much he denies them. He does not see any faults in Beau that would stop him from being a good partner; he sees his quirks as adorable, not an irritation; and don't get me started on the swans!
This is a somewhat character-driven story. There is not a lot of action outside the pair and their interactions with the supporting cast. For Payne, much of this outside communication is with the other men of the Club. From the glimpses of their personalities we saw from these interactions and the group texts, they will be wonderful MCs in their own books.
This story is low angst. There are a couple of moments of tension both within and outside the relationship, but there is an element of expectation with them, where you are just waiting for them to raise their ugly heads. They are resolved relatively quickly, though, and do not drag on.
Saxon James has a very relaxed but engaging writing style, and the Roommate Arrangement is a perfect example. She writes emotional prose that is never heavy or depressing, and it is lightened further with both subtle and obvious humour. She can be relied upon to produce characters that are never one dimensional but jump out at you from the page yelling, 'look at me, love me!', and as such, the reader eagerly awaits their HEA.
It's also been confirmed that the audio for Roommate Arrangement will be available if not on release day, then shortly after (dependent upon retailers). Nick. J. Russo has narrated it, so it should be another great way to experience this story.
If you are new to Saxon James, then Roommate Arrangement is an excellent place to start. If like me, you've been a reader for a while, then this book is another feather in Saxon's cap, and it's sure to be a frequent re-read.