Title: The Roommate Problem
Author: Mariah Ankenman
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
To Moira “Mo” Rossi, the world is full of sunshine, goodness, and happily ever afters—so of course she figures finding the perfect roomie will be easy. But after four creepos who ask if benefits come with the room and one woman who claims she’s a vampire, Mo is officially desperate. So what if the guy she agrees to on paper ends up being the Derrick Downer to her Sally Sunshine in person? She’s the queen of making lemonade. August Porter expected his new roommate Mo to be like him—neat, practical, and oh yeah: male. Not the outrageous hippie with more stars in her eyes than there are in the sky. She’s infuriating, exasperating, his exact opposite in every possible way...and the bright ray of sunshine he didn’t even realize his gray world was missing. Suddenly, falling into bed with his roommate isn’t the worst idea he’s ever heard. Just falling in love with her is. But one of them is keeping a secret that could turn their opposite attraction into utter disaster.
After finishing things up at the shop, he headed back to his new temporary apartment with a mission. The pod with his stuff was coming tomorrow, and he needed to make sure the place was clean before he started unpacking his things.
After searching through every cabinet he could see, August finally caved. This place needed a cleaning. No, scratch that, he desperately needed to clean this place. Deep clean. Preferably with a hazmat suit, but he’d go with a bottle of bleach if he could just find one.
“Moira, where are the cleaning supplies?”
His new roommate glanced up from the couch where she was watching some superhero movie, and oh god, was she eating cereal straight from the box? There were perfectly good bowls thirty feet away in the kitchen. And how had that crap not given her a million cavities yet? It was pure sugar and starch.
“Cleaning supplies?” Her nose wrinkled, head tilting as if she never heard the words before.
He believed it.
“Yeah, disinfectant, window cleaning, bleach...soap?”
Her brows rose, climbing up her forehead as she stared at him. “Soap?”
She could not be serious.
“Come on, August.” She plopped the cereal box on the coffee table, laughter spilling out of her lips. “I’m just messing with you. Of course I have cleaning supplies... somewhere.”
Her smile did nothing to reassure him. Though it was a beautiful smile, lit up her whole face. Not that he was paying attention to that. He had cleaning to do. Not muse about his roommate’s luminous smile and how it made his lips twitch with the urge to follow suit.
“Let’s see.” She stood, brushing crumbs off her shirt.
August tried not to groan as the flakes of dusty cereal particles fell to the floor. Vacuuming was already on the list anyway.
“I think Lilly left me some stuff in the hall closet.”
He followed her down the hallway, knowing he’d already checked that closet but hoping against hope he’d missed the holy grail of sanitation materials. At this point, he’d settle for a wet wipe and some hand sanitizer.
“Okay,” Mo said as she opened the closet door. “I think they’re here...somewhere.”
She lifted up on her toes to scan the top shelf. August shook his head. The woman was so short, she’d need a stepladder to see the top shelf. Even he had to lift up to see. Which he’d done earlier. No cleaning supplies.
“I can’t find any up there.”
“Can you even see that high?”
Mo glanced at him over her shoulder. “Why, August Porter, did you just make a joke?”
He shrugged. “It’s been known to happen.”
She turned to face him, playfully punching his shoulder with her tiny fist. The spot where her skin connected with his burned, like being shocked with a livewire. He clenched his hands into fists to stop himself from rubbing his arm. How did this woman have such a weird effect on him? What was this?
Nothing he wanted to admit to, that was for sure.
“Look at you being secretly funny.”
She turned, unaware of the inner turmoil her slight touch had caused within him. She crept down, ass in the air as she dug through the coats, hats, scarves, and other piles of crap on the closet floor. He’d shifted that stuff around with his foot but hadn’t dug in like Mo was doing, for fear he might come across something weeks old and covered in mold.
Her heart-shaped butt wiggled as she dug around. August averted his eyes, staring at the light in the closet, wishing the bright bulb would burn the image of that sweet, luscious posterior out of his brain. His roommate had a great ass. Something he should never, ever think about.
Mo popped out of the pile of junk. An old sock was stuck to the top of her head, the sight so ridiculous he felt his lip twitch. She held up a small bucket filled with a few spray bottles and a pathetic-looking duster that was missing half its feathers.
“The broom and mop are down there, too.” She stood, glancing at the pile with a slight frown. “Must have fallen at some point and gotten buried.”
“Vacuum?” he asked, because he could not deal with the fact that she hadn’t swept or mopped in so long that she hadn’t noticed the missing cleaning supplies until now.
“Ooooh.” She winced. “I might have, kind of, broken the one Lilly left. To be fair, it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t realize you couldn’t vacuum up glass and—”
“Why did you need to clean up glass?” His jaw dropped in horror at the thought.
“It’s better if you don’t know.”
She was probably right. “How do you live like this?”
She laughed, pushing the bucket of cleaning supplies into his hands and heading toward the living room. “I grew up with four brothers. If you think this place is messy, you should have seen my house growing up.”
He shuddered at the thought.
“But don’t worry about the vacuum. The building has one residents can borrow in the clubhouse. I’ll go check it out and help you clean up.”
He very much doubted her assistance cleaning would be of any help, but he did appreciate the retrieval of the vacuum. She might be an utter mess, but she was a hot mess, and he couldn’t deny Mo was kind and had a wicked sense of humor. Despite his reluctance to this situation, he found himself drawn to the woman. There was just something so infectious about her. Just as infectious as the grime he intended to clean off every surface of this apartment.
Too bad he couldn’t do the same with these weird lustful urges his roommate inspired in him.
What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
Encyclopedia Brown. I just couldn’t put it down until I had solved all they mysteries.
What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?
It’ll have you laughing, crying, and cringing (at some questionable pizza choices) and so thoroughly delighted by the engaging characters you won’t be able to stop reading until you’ve finished it.
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Bestselling author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious daughters and loving husband who provides ample inspiration for her heart-stopping heroes.
Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books. To learn more about Mariah and her books, follow her on social media or sign up for her newsletter http://bit.ly/2XeKPZm
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