From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren’s (Beautiful Bastard, Dating You / Hating You) new romance.
Marriages of convenience are so . . . inconvenient.
Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a bigtime musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entre into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.
Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize they both stopped pretending a long time ago?
The descriptions and imagery, especially of New York City and Calvin’s music, are fresh and sensual, and the lyrical language creates atmosphere that sets this novel apart from others of the genre. Lauren’s standalone brims with authentic characters and a captivating plot. ~ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY STARRED REVIEW
Holland’s tale is more than an unrequited crush; it’s about self-expectations, problematic friendships, unconventional family, and the strange power of love. ~ Booklist
The story is so intriguing that readers will find it hard to step away. ~RT Book Reviews
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“Lauren’s delightful urban contemporary brings together two New York artists in a modern marriage of convenience. Holland Bakker, an aspiring writer who works as an archivist for her uncles, is looking for her purpose in life but instead finds herself with a husband. Calvin McLoughlin, a handsome and talented Irish musician who plays in the 50th Street subway station, is about to make it big on Broadway, but his student visa has expired; after he helps Holland get away from a violent stranger in the subway station, she offers to marry him so he can stay in the country. Holland, a beautifully flawed and likable protagonist, humorously does her best to manage her growing fondness for Calvin while keeping low expectations for them as a couple. Her interaction with her uncles and brother reveals her fierce affection for them, and her quiet hopes that Calvin will come to love her create sweet romantic tension. In addition to Holland’s running stream of consciousness, the natural dialogue brings out the awkwardness and tenderness in the relationships between the characters. The descriptions and imagery, especially of New York City and Calvin’s music, are fresh and sensual, and the lyrical language creates atmosphere that sets this novel apart from others of the genre. Lauren’s standalone brims with authentic characters and a captivating plot.”– , Publishers Weekly
“Holland Bakker has harbored a secret crush for a street busker but never imagined their meet-cute happening when a drunkard pushes her onto the MTA tracks. Instead of the busker being her knight in shining armor, he instead calls the cops and flees the scene. Curious and a tad angry, Holland pursues the busker and finds out that he’s Irish (swoon) and very apologetic. Before she knows it, she’s ushering this talented guitarist, named Calvin, into an audition for her uncle’s hit musical, desperately hoping to finally make their meet-cute cute. Calvin is set for his Broadway debut except for one little difficulty: he’s in the country illegally. A wild idea takes hold of Holland. What if she married Calvin to keep him in the production? This farcical beginning gives way to real and complicated feelings between Calvin and Holland, and Lauren (Dating You/Hating You, 2017) brings her characteristic charm to the story. Holland’s tale is more than an unrequited crush; it’s about self-expectations, problematic friendships, unconventional family, and the strange power of love.”– Amy Dittmeier, Booklist
- 9781501165832 (trade paper)
- 9781508237570 (audio book)