Shel: There's so much I really liked about this novel. So much. I was thinking how atypical this novel is for romance novels in that the characters aren't really what most see these days and I suppose that's true-- Ginger is a female business owner struggling to stay ahead and dealing with the daily misogyny of being a female business owner..and it's not just any business but one that appears to be male dominated: tattooing. She's also made it on her own without a college degree or help from family. Her story is one that feels so very real that I honestly wouldn't be surprised at how much truth there is to her story--I'm sure many readers will relate and appreciate seeing her as a heroine. I loved her fight and her tenacity and her single minded focus and drive to succeed and then there's Christopher and his absolute kindness, patience, and adoration of all of who Ginger which makes him perfect for her. He gets her, for many reasons, and it's his ability to read her so well that helps, I think, make them work together so well. Also, he is absolutely hot and wonderful in my imagination, so that doesn't hurt either.
Court: I really loved her as a character as well. She is literally making her own way and trying to acknowledge at the same time her personality short comings and be a better friend to those she cares about without sacrificing the things she feels passionate about. I completely relate to her in this aspect, because unfortunately a lot of people in life will "like us" if we're checking their little boxes for what they expect us to say, wear and be like. It was like an epiphany went off for me at the same time it did Ginger, and I really appreciate a novel exploring the things that I am going through as well.
Shel: Other things that make this exactly the kind of romance I want to read: diverse characters. The kind of characters we read in this novel are the kinda people I work with, am friends with, and encounter in my real life; it's always nice to see characters with varying backgrounds play important and interesting roles and it makes me sad that it's not more widespread and therefore noteworthy. Until it's just a norm, I always like to point it out and express my appreciation for fiction that has "real people" characters. I also appreciated the way Parrish put us in the mind of an artist and the way Ginger saw the world--I found it so interesting. Additionally, how Parrish had Christopher handle the relationship with his brother and how the brothers interacted and looked after each other endeared me to them for life--I'm a huge fan of them both. Court: Oh, Shel. The further I got, the more I thought of you and how much this is always exactly what we're looking for. We love boundary pushing books, and I think Roan Parrish nailed it. I was a little bit slow to get it into it...I admit. It wasn't the writing so much as it took me a bit to adjust to being completely 100% in Ginger's head, and sometimes her thoughts are in your face. As I adjusted to that, and got to know the characters better I appreciated the style and groove that I found myself in. This adjustment only took until 10% and I attribute it more to this is a new author to us, but one that we thoroughly enjoyed and I already bought Daniel's story before finishing Ginger's!
Shel: While there may be some things that may make this novel seem atypical (to some) in the romance world, it absolutely had all the things we love about a good romance: falling in love, lust, conflict, and these aspects were written in a way that seemed authentic and deeper rather than superfluously and lighter. Court: Oh yes. These people have baggage with a capital B, but I really loved the way their story was told. I loved how the art was expressed and shown to us, and I really love how Christopher was really an optimist and really tried to understand every single point of view that he was introduced with. Because really, at the end of the day even if someone disagrees with us, we really are just looking to be loved and appreciated even if not always understood. The situation with his brother is something that I need more of in my life right now, because I am greedy - yes, but also because I know that book is going to be brutally honest and 100% what we're hoping to read.
Shel: I'm a huge (new) fan of Roan Parrish and am eager to read her older works while waiting for the next one to come out. Court: See. Ditto! We're armed and ready luckily! We will wait (semi) patiently!
Shel: Edited to add: After chatting with Court about some of the reasons why I liked this novel so much, I realized that I'd left something off my original review: I neglected to mention that one of the things that really appealed to me about Ginger was her need to escape to her space and decompress after a day filled with people. As an introvert in an extroverted profession, I can identify with the need to have that space and time to breathe. I also have depressive tendencies so seeing a character that also appeared to battle some of that was appealing. Court: Yes! It was written so honestly that a fellow manic depressive can really relate to what the characters are feeling, experiencing and expressing. I love a good story that really shares revelations about life and I feel like Roan Parrish did that. I cannot wait to read more by this new-to-us author and see what is coming next!
Small Change (Small Change #1) by Roan Parrish
Release Date: 6/1/2017
Ginger Holtzman has fought for everything she’s ever had—the success of her tattoo shop, respect in the industry, her upcoming art show. Tough and independent, she has taking-no-crap down to an art form. Good thing too, since keeping her shop afloat, taking care of her friends, and scrambling to finish her paintings doesn’t leave time for anything else. Which … is for the best, because then she doesn’t notice how lonely she is. She’ll get through it all on her own, just like she always does.
Christopher Lucen opened a coffee and sandwich joint in South Philly because he wanted to be part of a community after years of running from place to place, searching for something he could never quite name. Now, he relishes the familiarity of knowing what his customers want, and giving it to them. But what he really wants now is love.
When they meet, Christopher is smitten, but Ginger … isn’t quite so sure. Christopher’s gorgeous, and kind, and their opposites-attract chemistry is off the charts. But hot sex is one thing—truly falling for someone? Terrifying. When her world starts to crumble around her, Ginger has to face the fact that this fight can only be won by being vulnerable—this fight, she can’t win on her own.
Small Change is the first book in a series that will include M/F and M/M romances.
He was tall, with the thick build of someone naturally powerful, rather than the kind of sculpted muscles of someone who worked out in a gym. His thick red hair was cut close on the sides and long on top, combed back from a square hairline. He had a strong jaw and a smirky mouth, and his stubble was nearly blond. It was his eyes that I couldn’t look away from though. They were almost the same color as his hair—a warm goldish-orange—and shot through with flecks of blue.
My first impression was that his face was arresting, interesting the way sometimes in a gallery there’s one painting that pulls you in and won’t let you walk past. Each line eases into the next, each color shades into the one beside it in just the way your eye desires. Once you start to see the details you can’t look away.
But the more I looked, the more interesting converted to handsome as hell.
“Dramatic start to the day,” he commented, eyes sliding to the spot where I’d been crouched when he came in.
“Not even my first encounter with a floor this morning, unfortunately.” I leaned an elbow on the counter, drawn toward him.
“One of those, huh?” He spoke with the ease of a food service professional accustomed to such exchanges, and the utter empathy of someone who actually meant it.
When he held the bag out to me over the counter it was accompanied by an easy smile that crinkled laugh lines at the corners of those extraordinary eyes and displayed charmingly sharp incisors that overhung his bottom lip a little, like a kid wearing dress-up fangs.
“Just in case the vagaries of your day find you needing another one,” he said.
And then he winked at me. Not the friendly wink of a barista. A filthy, promise-laden wink that shifted his grin from charming to sexy as hell.
Author site: https://www.roanparrish.com/
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.
She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.
Praise for Small Change:
“Small Change is a gem. A beautifully written, deeply emotional story with tons of life bursting out of it’s pages. I loved this story! Can’t wait for more.” --Molly O’Keefe, USA Today Bestselling Author
“I can always count on Roan Parrish to deliver emotional truths and gritty realism. Like many readers, I was waiting for Ginger's story. And what a story it was!" -- Sarina Bowen, USA Today Bestselling author of Goodbye Paradise
"It sounds anemic to say, 'You will fall in love with Ginger,' but you will! This tattoo artist heroine manages to be both a delight and a total badass at the same time. Parrish makes her characters work for their happily ever after, which means Small Change has it all: vulnerability and great big leaps of faith, broken hearts and patched-together hearts the stronger for that patching. (Also: smashing the patriarchy and amazing sandwiches.)” --Jenny Holiday, USA Today Bestselling author