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Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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A Thoughtful Romance

The Flatshare - Beth O'Leary

Wow. I don't know what to say about this one. I read the synopsis as I was looking for something to read and wondered if this book was going to be worth the $13.99 price tag. I tend to not buy if I haven't read the author before, but just plunged right away. Have to say that I am very glad that I did so. O'Leary doesn't just give us a romance, she gives us something that I think will resonate with a lot of readers out there. The book touches upon gaslighting, incarceration, regrets, forgiveness, and love. This is more of a serious romance read which I am not mad at. A few times I thought about how Marian Keyes also manages to write romance with a lot of serious issues such as abortion, addiction, and death. I thought the characters of Tiffy and Leon were outstanding and ended up re-reading this book twice this weekend. I hope that O'Leary follows up with the other characters introduced in this book in the future. 

 

"The Flatshare" follows Tiffy and Leon. Tiffy is dealing with the fact that her boyfriend of two years, Justin, has broken up with her. Now that he is dating someone else, he wants her out of his apartment and asks that she also pays him back for the rent that he hasn't made her pay since she has been staying with him. She eventually comes across an ad advertising a flat to share. The other roommate works a night shift, so Tiffy will have the flat during the evenings when she gets home from work. 


Leon is a palliative nurse at a hospice. He is advertising the flat to share in order to save up money for something important (no spoilers).


Both Tiffy and Leon have a past that definitely affects their future. Leon we find had a kind of rough upbringing with his single mother and his brother. His mother always seemed to be around men that were worth nothing and his mother always seemed to choose this men. Tiffy though she had a happy upbringing, slowly starts to realize that her relationship with Justin wasn't what she thought it was. 

 

Though Tiffy and Leon don't meet for a good portion of the novel, I loved how they introduce themselves via post its. The notes cracked me up here and there and you start to see why these two started to become curious about each other.

 

The secondary characters were brilliant too. I loved Leon's brother, Tiffy's best friends Rachel, Gert, and Mo. Heck, I even loved Tiffy's insane job dealing with DIY crafts authors (who knew this was a genre???). 


The writing really works and O'Leary does a great job of setting up who is speaking in each chapter. Not that it was hard to tell, Tiffy and Leon have distinct "voices" in this. We also get to read the notes they leave for each other and the other ones thoughts on the notes. When the romance part gets underway I have to say that it is very much a slow burning heat. No complaints from me.

 

The flow worked great with switching the POV from Tiffy to Leon. Leon's chapters tended to be shorter and I cracked up since we all find out that Leon doesn't like to talk. Tiffy's chapters are longer and we find out that she likes to talk and leaves at least 4-5 post its to Leon when responding to something he says. 

 

The book takes place in London and we get to hear about some other locations too. 

 

The ending was great though I wish we had also gotten a epilogue with Leon as well. The whole book had them alternating chapters so I thought it was a bit weird to just end on Tiffy.