Happy Publication Day to Jenna Levine’s My Roommate Is A Vampire.
Thanks to Penguin Random House for hosting the blog tour.
Published by: Berkley
Publication date: August 29, 2023
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal
True love is at stake in this charming, debut romantic comedy.
Cassie Greenberg loves being an artist, but it’s a tough way to make a living. On the brink of eviction, she’s desperate when she finds a too-good-to-be-true apartment in a beautiful Chicago neighborhood. Cassie knows there has to be a catch—only someone with a secret to hide would rent out a room for that price.
Of course, her new roommate Frederick J. Fitzwilliam is far from normal. He sleeps all day, is out at night on business, and talks like he walked out of a regency-romance novel. He also leaves Cassie heart-melting notes around the apartment, cares about her art, and asks about her day. And he doesn’t look half bad shirtless, on the rare occasions they’re both home and awake. But when Cassie finds bags of blood in the fridge that definitely weren’t there earlier, Frederick has to come clean…
Cassie’s sexy new roommate is a vampire. And he has a proposition for her.
Roommate Wanted to Share Spacious Third-Floor Brownstone Apartment in Lincoln Park
Hello. I seek a roommate with whom to share my apartment. It is a spacious unit by modern standards with two large bedrooms, an open sitting area, and a semiprofessional eat-in kitchen. Large windows flank the eastern side of the apartment and provide a striking view of the lake. The unit is fully furnished in a tasteful, classical style. I am seldom home after sundown, so if you work a traditional schedule, you will usually have the apartment to yourself.
Rent: $200 per month. No pets, please. Kindly direct all serious inquiries to email@example.com.
“There has to be something wrong with this place.”
“Cassie, listen, this is a really good deal-”
“Forget it, Sam." That last part came out more forcefully than I’d intended-though not by much. Even though I needed his help, my embarrassment over being in this situation in the first place made
accepting that help difficult. Sam meant well, but his insistence on involving himself in every part of my current situation was getting on my very last nerve.
To his credit, Sam-my oldest friend, who’d long ago acclimated to how snippy I sometimes got when I was stressed-said nothing. He simply folded his arms across his chest, waiting for me to be ready to say more.
I only needed a few moments to pull myself together and start feeling badly for snapping at him. “Sorry,” I muttered under my breath. “I know you’re only trying to help.”
“It’s all right,” he said, sympathetic. “You have a lot going on. But it’s okay to believe that things can get better.”
I had no reason to believe that things could get better, but now wasn’t the time to get into it. I simply sighed and turned my attention back to the Craigslist ad on my laptop.
“Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is.”
Sam peered over my shoulder at my screen. “Not always. And you have to admit this apartment sounds great.”
It did sound great. He was right about that. But . . .
It’s only two hundred a month, Sam.”
I pulled up the listing on the computer. It hadn’t changed in the time since I last saw it. The oddly formal style was the same. The absurd rent amount was also the same and set off as many alarm bells now as it
did when I first saw it.
But my financial situation also hadn’t changed. Jobs in my field were still as hard to come by. And asking Sam for help-or my accountant parents, who loved me too much to admit to my face what a disappointment I was-was just as unthinkable as ever.
And my landlord was still planning to evict me next week. Which, to be fair, I couldn’t even blame him for. He’d put up with a lot of late rent payments and art-related welding mishaps these past ten months. If I were him I’d probably evict me, too.
Before I could talk myself out of doing it, and with Sam’s worried voice ringing in my ears, I opened my email. I scrolled through my inbox-an ad for a two-for-one sale at Shoe Pavilion; a headline from the Chicago Tribune about a bizarre string of local blood bank break-ins-and then started typing.
From: Cassie Greenberg [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Your apartment listing
I saw your ad on Craigslist looking for a roommate. My lease is up soon and your place sounds perfect. I’m a 32-year-old art teacher and have lived in Chicago for ten years. I’m a nonsmoker, no pets. You said in your ad that you aren’t home much at night. As for me, I’m almost never home during the day, so this arrangement would work out well for both of us, I think.
I’m guessing you’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about your apartment given the location, price, and everything else. But just in case the room is still available, I’ve included a list of references. I hope to hear from you soon.
A pang of guilt shot through me over how much I&’d fudged some of the important details.
For one thing, I’d just told this complete stranger that I was an art teacher. Technically, that was the truth. It’s what I’d studied to be in college, and it isn’t that I didn’t want to teach. But in my junior year of college I fell in love with applied arts and design beyond all hope of reason, and then in my senior year I took a course where we studied Robert Rauschenberg and his method of combining paintings with sculpture work. And that was it for me. Immediately after graduation I threw myself into an MFA in applied arts and design.
*Excerpted from My Roommate Is a Vampire by Jenna Levine Copyright © 2023 by Jenna Levine. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Photo Credit: Berkley Romance (TR)
By day, Jenna Levine works to increase access to affordable housing in the American South. By night, she writes romance novels where ridiculous things happen to beautiful people. When Jenna isn’t writing she can usually be found crying over k-dramas, starting knitting projects she won’t finish, or spending time with her family and small army of cats.