Blog Tour: Roommates with Benefits: Nicole Williams

Roommates with Benefits
Nicole Williams
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Release Date June 4, 2017

Soren Decker. He’s the epitome of the “bad boy, good man” persona. The best of both worlds. The worst of them too. He’s the type of guy most girls would not mind sharing a confined space with, except my new roommate isn’t all swagger and chiseled abs.

He’s bossy. Messy. Cocky. Infuriating. Doesn’t believe in personal space. Has no qualms about roaming the apartment with a loincloth-sized towel cinched around his waist. Seems under the delusion he’s my personal protector (refer back to infuriating). He plays college baseball and holds down a part-time job—I don’t know where he finds the time to get on my nerves.

We’re got nothing in common . . . except for one thing. Our attraction to one another. And in six hundred square feet of shared space, the tension only has so much room to grow before one of us gives in to temptation. But really, what chance do a couple of young kids chasing their dreams in the big city have of making it?

Since Soren claims I know squat about sports (he might have a semi-point), here’s a stat for him—one in a million. That’s our odds. 

Coming in,” I announced, opening the door and stepping inside. A plume of steam rolled over me, instantly coating my skin in a hot, dewy shield. “Hot shower?”
​“Hell of a lot better than the cold one I took a couple of nights ago.”
His voice echoed off the walls as I focused on squeezing a glob of toothpaste onto my brush. It was difficult. I found myself quite distracted by the knowledge he was naked behind that thin shower curtain, a whole three feet away.
​Just as I was about to stick my toothbrush into my mouth, the shower cranked off, the curtain whipping open right after.
​Soren. Wet. Exposed.
​My eyes clamped shut, but it wasn’t fast enough. From the low chuckle he gave, he hadn’t missed my two-second gape.
​“Sorry. Water got cold.”
​I gave him a few seconds to cover up before I opened my eyes and got back to brushing my teeth. He hadn’t covered up though.
​“What are you doing? Grab a towel.” My arm flailed in the direction of where we kept our fresh towels hanging from the rack. My eyes felt like they were about to go crossed from staying focused on my reflection instead of his naked one in the same mirror.
“Out of fresh towels. Haven’t gotten around to the laundry.” He moved up beside me at the sink, reaching for his own toothbrush. He was standing so close, his wet arm was brushing against mine.
Don’t look down. Don’t look down. Don’t look at the giant—
Crap. I looked.
He was grinning at me as he brushed his teeth, my face crimson thanks to what I’d glanced at.
“See anything you like?”
My body was still buzzing from what I’d seen that I liked. I kind of hated him for calling me out on it though. I kind of even hated him for having so much to like.
“I know what you’re doing.” My eyebrow rounded as I got to work brushing my teeth too.
He spit in the sink, somehow winding up closer to me when he leaned back up. “Air drying?”
My eyes narrowed in the mirror at him. “Trying to change my mind.”
He stared back, brushing his teeth in all of his naked glory, a cocky tenor to his expression. Once he finished brushing, he rinsed his toothbrush and turned toward the door.
“I don’t need to change your mind,” he said, pausing when he was directly behind me.
When he turned, I swore I could feel his arms coming around me, pulling me into the shelter of his strong body. An involuntary shudder spilled down my back. He didn’t miss that either.
“I just need you to speak it instead of lying about it.” His eyes dropped to the back of my neck, where I knew he could see the raised flesh. I knew, because one side of his mouth lifted.
Bracing my hands on the sink, I didn’t blink as I locked eyes with him in the mirror. “It takes a lot more than washboard abs and a giant . . .” Crap. Something else. “Ego to get my attention.”
Soren leaned forward, his hands framing around the outsides of mine, his arms running the length of mine. His chest didn’t touch my back, but I could feel its expanse hovering above it. “I’ve already gotten your attention.” His eyes dropped from mine to my chest. Where it was rising and falling noticeably hard, my nipples pushing through my camisole. “I’m looking for something else.”
Another shudder, this one spilling down my legs. “What?”
His crooked smile changed into a cryptic one before he leaned back and opened the door. “You’ll see.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll tell you when you give it to me.”
My fist curled around my toothbrush as I turned toward him. “I’m not giving you anything.”
“You’re giving me something right now.” He didn’t glance back before leaving the bathroom. Did he really need to have that nice of an ass when he already had a glorious package? I was screwed. “This point goes to Decker.”
Hayden Hayes arrives in New York to find what she thought she was walking towards was not quite as she expected. Her new apartment is tiny, with only dividers between the “rooms” and her roommate is her exact opposite. Soren Decker is a born and bred New Yorker. He is too busy for much more than baseball, work, and an occasional family dinner.

Soren is arrogant. He is loud and cocky and messy. But he is also protective, dependable, and an all around good guy. This perfect mix of big man on campus and sweet boy drew me in and was the reason I kept reading for parts of the book. He never gives up on what he wants and goes to great lengths to get and keep it.

Hayden was harder to pin down for me. She is naive, her midwest roots a little on the cliche side. She has huge dreams though, and is willing to put the work in to reach those dreams.

But these two had an attraction that couldn’t be denied, especially when sharing 600 square feet with no walls. For as tiny as their living space was, I was actually surprised by how long they were able to avoid confronting their attraction. Neither is looking for a relationship, and sharing such tight quarters is bound to cause tension.

By the end I was in love with these two. Yes, Hayden still made choices that had me scratching my head in confusion, but by then I was used to her reactions being other than what I expected. I loved Soren’s strength and confidence that he would get what he wanted in the end.

While Hayden’s family is not nearby, I loved the closeness of Soren’s family -- both as a piece of his character and as side characters. His mother is warm and welcoming, and his brothers are a rowdy group of 20-something young men.

This was a fun read, with a good bit of new independence growing pains as Hayden ventures out on her own for the first time, and Soren learns what it is he has been waiting for all this time.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Hayden Hayes is a small town Nebraska girl moving to the big city of New York to follow her fashion dreams. When she shows up at her new apartment, all is not what she envisioned including the young man who apparently is her roommate in 600 square feet of not-so-fabulous real estate. Soren Decker plays baseball in college and has a job. He looks like a bad boy and has an answer for everything. She is naive about city ways and he is a more seasoned city boy.

She's a control and neat freak. He is a busy guy who is a slob and lets it all hang out. He has no boundaries or filter, and can be immature. They rile each other up and cause frustration. But they also have some fun banter and start to build a rapport, friendship, and support system. Both have a tendency to act jealous and childish. They do not communicate effectively. There is a simmering attraction between them that neither want to be the first to admit. She is afraid of relationships due to abandonment  and trust issues. He can be protective, sweet, and is willing to wait for her to truly let him in. He wants her heart and not just her body.

But even as they begin to explore what more could mean, they are young and their lives are chaotic and involve travel. Their careers, distance, and circumstances make their "first love" story complicated and difficult. She had a tendency to push him away when she gets scared and causes quick reactions in him. She is the cynic of relationships while he is the romantic.

They are both trying to follow their career dreams, but will those ultimately rip them apart? Will fear win or will they find faith in their relationship?

I guess I am not used to reading NA books about nineteen or twenty year olds much anymore. So at times they both seemed immature, but I would have to tell myself that they are young and going through drastic changes. I liked Soren. I loved that he seemed like the cocky, obnoxious, bad boy, but was really caring, loving, and different than I expected. He really tried hard to please her and was so protective. Hayden got on my nerves sometimes. She made some questionable choices and could really overreact. She was determined not to get left or hurt so was good at avoiding or pushing him away. I felt bad for him at times.

I loved his family and crazy brothers Ben, Michael, and Tobin. I could see them showing up again in more books. There were a couple of things that I thought could have been fleshed out a bit more or that bugged me. But, overall it was a fun, sweet  story of first love and two young people trying to find their way in the world.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Nicole Williams
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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time. 

Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.



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