Falling for My Roommmate – Garrett Leigh
Falling for his roommate gives ex footballer Micah the second chance he deserves, and what could be better than loving your best friend?
I’m a broke ex-football player with a bum leg and PTSD. Last summer, I had two choices: the streets, or find a cheap room to rent in the city. I chose the second option, which landed me with a brand-new problem, cos I hadn’t banked on my roommate becoming my best friend. Or that before long I’d find myself head over heels in love with him. Trouble is, even if Sam likes me back, I ain’t fit to be no one’s boyfriend. I don’t know how. All I do is wade through every precious moment and hope that he doesn’t regret the day he ever met me.
I’m a gay book nerd with no business falling in love with hunky athletes. Micah is the dictionary definition of beautiful, inside and out, he just doesn’t know it. And he definitely doesn’t know I’m ridiculously in love with him. The embarrassing kind of love.
He’s all I can think about.
But it’s not as simple as loving someone who doesn’t love me back. Micah is damaged goods—at least, that’s how he’d put it. The world has chewed him up and spat him out, and he thinks he deserved it. That he’s still the battered mess he was a year ago.
I want to shake him, and shout in his face that he’s not. To force the truth on him and make him believe in himself the way I do. But I can’t save Micah. One day, perhaps he’ll realise that he already saved himself.
Trust Garrett Leigh to create a raw, emotionally gripping story out of the simple premise of falling in love with a roommate.
Micah and Sam are roommates and best friends. After mutually pining for each other and some sassing from nosy friends, they finally had the courage to confess their feelings and kiss.
You think it would end happily there.
After the kiss came miscommunications and insecurities. If these are your pet peeves, they could get pretty annoying.
Sam is Micah’s own personal ray of sunshine. I liked how they played off each other and how domestic they are. They’re practically like an old married couple with their household routines down pat. I enjoyed their banters. My favorite part were the trips to the library and cuddling in the corners.
But this is not just about romance. It’s so much more.
Most of the Garrett Leigh’s books I’ve read featured characters with mental illness and how this affects their lives and relationships.
My heart went out to Micah. He made poor choices in the past and now had to live with the consequences. He has PTSD, depression and a bum leg. He might have sunk back to his gloomy moods but I appreciated that he knew when to ask for help. All he wanted was to live a normal life with Sam.
Sam, himself, was not perfect. He was quick to make negative assumptions that hurt Micah. Their relationship basically revolves around Micah and his issues and I loved how he really tried to be there for Micah 101% of the time.
I also appreciated how the story underscored the importance of proper and consistent mental health care. It painted an accurate picture of what happens when we stop taking meds, even if not on purpose. And as expected with this author, she handled the issue with much respect and sensitivity.
The story also talked about the aftermath of a public outing by a footballer. Sad to say that the media treated gay footballers horribly. Tabloid columns splashed lurid headlines. Paparazzi preyed on their every move. No wonder Micah is going mad just thinking about how it could affect him and Sam. Especially on the heels of another public outing that had gone down disastrously.
Narrator Dan Calley did a great job bringing this book to life. The spot-on voice acting coupled with a variety of authentic accents made the conversations sound very natural.
Falling for My Roommate ran through a variety emotions that strongly resonated with me. The characters are flawed yet they made me root hard for them. There’s a lot of angst, some humor, some sweeter moments. The ending was full of hope and promise. All in all, it is a beautiful book that’s a pleasure to read/listen to.
Thank you to Signal Boost Promotions and Audible UK for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Review of Garrett Leigh books here.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
The most important things in Simon Murray’s life are football, friends, and film—in that order. His friends despair of him ever meeting someone, but despite his loneliness, Simon is cautious about looking for more. Then his best friends drag him to a party, where he barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler—unaware that the athlete is present. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other’s lives forever.
Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are treated like gods—until they do something to fall out of public favour. This year, the public is taking Declan to task for suffering injuries outside his control, so Simon’s support is a bright spot.
But as Simon and Declan fumble toward a relationship, keeping Declan’s homosexuality a secret from well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media becomes difficult. Nothing can stay hidden forever. Soon Declan will have to choose between the career he loves and the man he wants, and Simon has never been known to make things easy—for himself or for others.
I listened to the audiobook and I thought it was a such missed opportunity that the narrator did not do the Australian accents. Instead, he read the book in a neutral American accent. The voices were distinct and the characters were emoted really well but man, do the Aussie accents please!!!
Nonetheless, I had a great time with this book. This is another cute meet-cute sports-rom about a closeted footballer and an out and proud film fest director filled with snarky humor and fade to black sex scenes .
Bearing in mind that Tigers and Devils was first published in 2009, there are some slight differences in the ‘feel’ of the book, particularly in the way people were not yet so ‘woke’ so expect homophobia, dumb questions and terminologies such as ‘the woman in the relationship’.
But that’s just the rest of humanity.
Simon Murray, of the Triple F, an indie film festival, is lucky to have supportive and awesome best friends in the couple, Fran and Roger. Not only are they open-minded, they took it upon themselves to find a man for him. Their well-meaning intentions don’t always work, but it was them who forced Simon to attend The Party. Same party where Simon, like all of Australia, had football as his religion and therefore couldn’t resist opining upon the subject of Declan Tyler.
Declan was an award-winning football superstar, injured and always benched. Aspersions were cast on his abilities and Simon jumped in on a strangers’ conversation to both compliment and insult the footballer. Little did he know, the man was right behind him.
I think this is a really adorable and also a most awkward way to meet your future celebrity boyfriend. Which is what made me grab this book immediately. Adorably awkward is catnip to me and Tigers and Devils had it in spades.
Simon is a self-deprecating, self-confessed artistic wanker who couldn’t believe a football god like Declan Tyler would be interested in him much more date him. Dec is a well-mannered and very grounded superstar, perfect in every way. His only fault was that he tends to run away when things get too intense. Their romance followed the celebrity-dating-an-average-joe trope which was done in the most charming way possible.
On the other hand, there were a lot of secrecy involved. I didn’t like the way Declan was outed. I would have preferred he done it himself but it was, understandably, part of the narrative. I would have also preferred Simon and Dec to power through the storm together instead of letting the pressure tear them apart but well, that is usual how things go in romance.
The story is told through Simon’s first person POV and I loved how his ‘voice’ brought out the humor in many seemingly ordinary situations. It made the book come alive.
Fran and Roger were a hoot. The three best friends had stuck together through thick and thin but their friendship was tested here when Roger felt the need to protect his friend from the footballer. Also there’s the fear of losing a best friend to a boyfriend. Simon falling out with his friends was almost as bad as him and Declan separating.
Tigers and Devils did a great job portraying the high and lows of dating a closeted celebrity. It showed the pains of dealing with a controversial outing, and the hassles of fending off a very nosy public eager to judge your every move. It is also a story of enduring friendships where your football fanatic best friend is ready to punch a football god to defend your virtue.
As far as sports-romance go, this is something I would recommend. Do check it out if you’re up for some PG-rated jock+artist hookup featuring doofus friends, cringy scenarios and Yoda’s advice to singletons.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits