Etta

Book Review: Your Place or Mine? (ARC)

Expected publication January 17, 2023

Author: Portia MacIntosh

Two reluctant housemates. One question: Is this your place or mine…?

When Serena is kicked out of her flat, an offer from her friend, Taylor, to house sit for her while she and her husband go travelling could not be better timing. But unfortunately for Serena she’s not the only one to have received this offer…

Enter Ziggy: arrogant, messy (and annoyingly handsome) musician, and friend of Taylor’s husband. Living with him is far from ideal, especially when he claims the best room, has loud parties – and the least said about his kitchen manner the better…

There’s just one solution for Serena – drive him out of the house by being twice as difficult to live with than he is! But Ziggy knows Serena’s game and as war ensues between them, being forced together under one roof may result in some unexpected consequences…

Your Place or Mine? Follows down on her luck Serena, who is losing her job, she is losing her place to live when her boss and friend passes away. Her boss’s two children, Agatha, and Andrew are planning to take over the bakery, Diana’s Tearoom Serena worked at and sell it. Luckily her friend, Taylor, and her husband, Tim, are going on an extended vacation, which means Serena can stay in their house while they are gone. Unfortunately, Tim invites one of his friends, Ziggy, to live there, too. As a musician, he is working through getting things together with his band mates. Ziggy and Serena must then live together even though they do not get off to the best start.

The two were opposites in a forced proximity situation, which is one of my favorite enemies to lovers set ups. As this was a romance novel, I was fully expecting Serena and Ziggy to get together by the end; however, in the beginning of the story, Serena is with a guy named Dean. The two of them go out together, but Dean may not be telling the truth about him and his ex. This was a very unexpected part of the novel as it takes up most of the pages. The other part of the story was an unexpected inheritance from Diana for Serena. Here she navigates trying to figure out how to best move forward and become successful in her own way.

As the synopsis of the story makes it seem that the house would be at the center, it was very unexpected to have a lot more plotlines. I enjoyed each, but I wish there was a little more focus on Ziggy and Serena together in the house. For me, I don’t mind that the center was more on Serena’s journey through life, love, and grief, but I just wish my expectations were altered before beginning the story. Since there were three main plots (the business, Ziggy, and Dean), there was a lot to be accomplished to reach a satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed the ending, but I feel it needed more time for me to fully connect to everything. Some elements felt more unfinished than others, but I enjoyed the originality and I also loved how both characters were not rich with their own places to live. It was nice to see people in their 30s who were financially struggling as it is something you don’t see in a lot of stories. While this was not my favorite MacIntosh read, I still enjoy her style and look forward to reading more of her novels in the future!

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and  Boldwood Books for the opportunity to read this novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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