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Pre-Release Review! HER UNEXPECTED ROOMMATE by Jackie Lau (Cider Bar Sisters #5)

The final Cider Bar Sisters book will be out tomorrow!

Her Unexpecteed Roommate cover

When electrical engineer and depressed plushie enthusiast Rose Pang decides to go out alone one evening, she certainly doesn’t expect to meet easygoing landscaper Cal. They spend an enjoyable night together, and the next day, romance is on her mind. Cal promises to text…but he never does. Hurt, Rose tries her best to forget about him.

But several months later, in a terrible twist of fate, Rose discovers that her new roommate, Caleb Dempsey, is actually her former one-night stand. He claims he lost her number when his phone got run over. Rose isn’t buying his lies, and Cal offers to find another place to live as soon as he can.

After a few weeks, however, she starts to like having Cal as a roommate—he does all his chores, plus he’s a fun and calming presence—but she swears nothing will happen between them. Except her feelings for him grow as they spend more time together.

Can she risk giving him another chance, especially when her mental health is a little fragile? If it goes badly, she’ll also lose a great roommate. Maybe it would be safer to try dating someone new…

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A lovely finale for a fantastic series!

Her Unexpected Roommate is a bit heavier than its predecessors, but it still has all the charm and loveable quirks of the rest of the series. The last single “Cider Bar Sister,” Rose has struggled with depression since she was a teenager and though she is better able to cope with it than she used to be she knows that it will always be a part of her life. She’s thrilled that her closest friends have all found romance, but at the same time she can’t help but feel a bit lonely. One night stands aren’t usually her thing, but when she meets Cal in a trendy bar she can’t help herself and ends up going home with him for a single, memorable night.

And then doesn’t hear from him again…until he moves in as her new roommate almost a year later. Close proximity, second chance romance, and opposites attract FTW–though this one is so much more than its tropes <3

I loved how Cal was 100% accepting of Rose and her needs from the very beginning. Even before he knew her history, he never thought the things that she needed to feel safe and comfortable were odd or unusual. (The woman he just brought home from a bar needs a plushie and a seperate room to get some sleep? No problem. He’s got a spare room and a stuffed animal she can use, and he shows her where they are without batting an eye. There are times when he figures out what she needs without asking, but he also has absolutely no problem asking her either, and does often. Seriously, this guy is amazing. Fictional, but still awesome.)

I loved that Rose is unapologetically her own person here. She has done the work to figure out what often works for her, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for herself to try and make herself more comfortable. She is also fiercely loyal and protective of those she cares about–her “sisters,” her family, and (eventually) Cal will all end up in this group. Her HEA isn’t going to look exactly like everyone else’s, and that’s OK. It’ll be the perfect one for her and Cal. Together.

Since this is the last in the series (sob!) Ms Lau gives us a brief glimpse into the future of all of the CBS couples in the end. Though new readers will have “met” everyone in this book, the epilogue will be most satisfying to those who have read the other series books first. In other words, this book *could* work as a standalone, but why would you want it to? Read them all! 🙂

(Content warnings: mental illness/depression and (past, off-page) suicide of parent. I definitely recommend reading the author’s note at the beginning of the book for context.)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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