Title: The Flatshare
Author: Beth O’Leary
Release Date: 18th April
My Rating: 5 Stars
Buy Here: Amazon
“Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…”
➺ Tiffy: I love Tiffy. End of. She’s vibrant and loving and witty. She wasn’t the ‘perfect’ romance female who thinks she’s terrible and needs validation. She dresses a bit quirky but with confidence, and she knows she looks great. She’s also a bigger girl – she’s very tall and described as being bigger in size as well than the ‘ideal’ body type. I never really see romance heroines who arent tiny petite little things and honestly, it was refreshing and wonderful to have a big girl be the sexy subject of a romance. I’m sure lots of people will relate to Tiffy, also having just come out of an emotionally abusive relationship and trying to recover and be ready to enter into a new relationship.
➺ Leon: Leon was honestly the SWEETEST! He’s a night nurse at a hospice, so we see his relationship with his patients and how caring he is. He’s full of love and hope behind his quiet manly exterior. The way he encourages and helps Tiffy in her recovery, rather than being pushy or not understanding is so touching and beautiful. I also love that he wasn’t plagued with the ‘manly male’ stereotypes – he was willing to be soft and vulnerable, to take on things outside his comfort zone.
➺ Richie: Richie isn’t a main character but I did want to say a little something about him. He’s Leon’s little brother who has been wrongfully imprisoned for armed robbery. The lead up to his appeal is quite a big plot point so we see quite a lot of his relationship with Leon. He’s struggling with coming to terms with his sentence, but also cracks a joke. He’s the kind of character who’s a massic thug-looking guy but is soft and romantic on the inside. This is a whole romance book based on soft boys. No *Bad Boys* here.
➺ The basic concept of this book is that Tiffy is in desperate need of a new apartment after finally deciding to move out of her ex’s place. Leon is in need of extra cash to support his brother. So, Tiffy enters into an agreement that she will rent Leon’s flat from 6pm-9am and weekends, and Leon will occupy the flat 9am-6pm as he works night shifts. The whole point is that they’re never supposed to meet but share the same bed, but of course, as this is a rom-com, things don’t really go according to plan.
➺ I really loved how a significant part of Tiffy and Leon’s getting to know each other was conducted through post it notes! These were really funny, sweet snippets of personality and I really enjoyed this format. Our MCs don’t actually meet until a significant way through the book, so the rest of their conversations happen this way and through seeing the traces they leave behind in the apartment.
➺ It was genuinely really funny – had me properly laughing at some parts. It also was steamy and had me crying at other parts. O’Leary really did a wonderful job of illiciting a wide range of emotions throughout this book that made it a really great, well rounded story.
➺ This story is told in dual perspective which I LOVE in a romance – I love seeing both sides of a budding romance and hearing how they’re both feeling. O’Leary executed this really well though, because she gave each perspective a really distinct voice and writing style. Tiffy was fun and vibrant, whereas Leon’s reserve (we’re always being told that he’s a man of few words) and perhaps his exhaustion come out in a more clipped writing style. It’s more to-the-point and cuts out unnecessary words, sort of like one step up from being note-form. This immediately establishes between the two voices which I loved and thought was super clever.
➺ I was also surprised by the depth of the story! There were lots of little sub plots, some with more serious understones than others. These little subplots with the characters families and workplaces really made the characters feel three dimensional and fleshed out, like we were stepping in on real life. This book definitely needs a trigger warning for abusive relationships though.
➺ I don’t have anything I can say bad about this one, honestly. I just loved it and it was everything I wanted it to be.
➺ Overall, this was just the loveliest, sweetest, most heartwarming story, but with enough depth to sustain it. I loved these characters and the journies they go on and I’m sure I’ll be rereading this one time and again.