The Flatshare

by Beth O’Leary
First sentence: “You’ve got to say this for desperation: It makes you much more open-minded.”
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Content: There is lots of swearing, including f-bombs, and some almost on-screen sex, as well as talk of sex. There are also references to emotional abuse. It’s in the romance section of the bookstore

Tiffy has just broken up with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Justin. This time it was because he got engaged to another woman, and even though her heart is broken, she knows she needs to get out. The problem is her job working for a small publishing house isn’t going to get her anything fancy in London, and everything in her price range is, well, unsafe for habitation. That is until she finds an ad: Leon, a night nurse, is looking for someone to share his flat. The deal: he gets it during the day, and Tiffy will get it nights and weekends. Sounds ideal. But, then Tiffy and Leon start leaving each other notes, and over the months they realize that they’ve formed a sort-of relationship that actually blossoms into something more when they actually (well, accidentally) meet face-to-face.

There’s more to the story than that: Leon’s brother is in prison for something he didn’t do, and it’s Tiffy’s barrister friend who helps with that. Tiffy’s ex-boyfriend turns out to be abusive, and it’s Leon who helps (along with a therapist, yes) Tiffy process and deal with the emotional trauma. And there are side jaunts involving Welsh castles, knitting and crocheting, and a search for a lost love of a dying man. 

i heard a lot of good stuff about this one when it came out in 2019, but I stuck it on my shelf and said “I’ll get to it eventually” and then never quite did. It was only when I let my social media friends choose my current TBR pile that it actually made it on there, and I’m so glad it did. O’Leary is a good romance writer, hitting the tropes, but also giving us characterizations beyond the tropes. I liked that Leon and Tiffy seemed like real people and that O’Leary surrounded them with an excellent support system. It was all a big, happy found-family, and I adored it. 

I’m so glad I (finally) got around to reading it.

Tiffy has just broken up with her on-agan off-again boyfriend, Justin. This time it was because he got engaged to another owman, and even though her heart is broken, she knows hse needs to get out.

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