Remember when we could all go out to bars, into our offices, and when nursing homes didn’t seem like the frontlines of a warzone?
Just had to check in, because so much of The Flatshare reads as something that can only happen in the years before Pandemic.
Mostly because, well, would you be willing to share a bed with a stranger right now?
The Flatshare is the story of Tiffy and Leon. Both are in rough patches. Leon needs money to help out his imprisoned brother. Tiffy has just broken up with her boyfriend *again* and needs a new place to stay. So when Tiffy sees an ad to share Leon’s one bedroom flat she is skeptical, but the price is right. There will be rules. Leon works nights, Tiffy works days. They split time in the flat down the middle. They should never meet. But what happens when they do?
The Flatshare surprised me. I expected a cotton candy style romance with little substance, but really the character growth of Tiffy and Leon is leaps and bounds more present than anticipated. Leon has his own goals, his own demons, and is razor focused. Tiffy is a bit of a mess, post break up, but she reads as true, as if she is trying to get over the situation and put herself back together. Add in the realization that her ex was emotionally manipulative, and that Leon is just coasting through life and you have two characters that have worthy stories in their own right.
And then Tiffy and Leon start leaving each other notes. I’m a sucker for written communication in books. Give me all the text exchanges, emails, and letters. Notes left on kitchen counters? Yes, please! Tiffy and Leon’s voices come across so strongly during these exchanges, and they are less a plot device as more insight into their characters.
Of course, this is a contemporary romance, and it doesn’t fall flat. There is a slow burn, and the actual scene where Tiffy and Leon inevitably meet is a bit of a letdown, but their chemistry is real. Their relationship has all of the classic twists, turns, and cute scenes and is exactly as sweet as it is billed.
Overall the Flatshare hit the spot. More complete than just a romance novel but with enough meet cute energy to make the coldest heart see stars. Check it out if you’re looking for a good read that is just heavy enough, with a side of swooning.