Small Change (Small Change #1) by Roan Parrish

If you read Roan Parrish’s Middle of Somewhere series, you may remember young Daniel’s best friend Ginger. Tough and tattooed, she came out of the pages even in books that weren’t about her. Now she’s back as the star of Small Change.

Small Change is interesting for a few reasons:
  1. Parrish’s previous books have been…gay. As in, from the perspective of gay men in homosexual relationships. This book features a heterosexual relationship (with a bisexual woman). This book includes both f/m and m/m relationships.
  2. There are a ton of LGBT+ characters at every corner, including Ginger herself.
  3. There is a lot of talk about LGBT+ relationships and community outside of the perspective of a gay white man.
Roan Parrish writes LGBT+ friendly books, and this is no exception. It validates that bisexual people in heterosexual relationships maintain their identity! In that regard, Small Change a very important book for visibility.

But anyway, the story.

Small Change picks up after Daniel has left Philadelphia, smitten with his lumberjack, leaving Ginger back in the city, back in her same old life. She’s enjoying it, but work is busy, and her relationships are generally failures. She owns a tattoo shop popular among LGBT+ people, and business is booming. The shop needs another artist, but she’s not about to settle for someone less than perfect, and so everything is crazy.

Then enters Christopher. 

roan parrish small change ginger christopher

Tall, ginger (the hair color, not the person), and handsome, with the added benefit of owning his own sandwich shop, he definitely catches Ginger’s eye…but she’s reluctant to let herself fall for him. If everything else failed, why wouldn’t this? Christopher is persistent and sweet–almost too much so to believe. Ginger may be worried about letting herself fall for someone, but I’m more worried that this nice guy act will fall through. After all, who brings you coffee and sandwiches “just because”?

Here’s a little taste of the beginning of their romance:

Christopher broke into a smile. He put my coffee on the counter between us and held up the bagel for a long moment, assessing me. Instead of putting it in a bag, he put it on a plate with a napkin. His raised his eyebrows over eyes sparkling with mischief, and bit his lip, like he was waiting to see if I’d call his bluff. He looked like a kid reaching for a second cookie when he’d been told he could have one.

Warmth bloomed in my chest at the idea that he was actively angling to have me stay here and talk with him as I ate. “Wow, you’re not subtle, huh?” I said.

“Nope.”

His p popped, and his grin was sunny and boyish. I liked his lack of subtlety. That he was clear about wanting me to stay.

I narrowed my eyes at him, just in case he was joking, but I left the bagel where it was. I shrugged out of my jacket and draped it over the stool, then I sat down across the counter from him. He squeezed his hands into fists and grinned.

“Yay,” he said softly, and I felt another trickle of warmth flow through me that had nothing to do with the coffee.

While his relationship with Ginger blossoms, Christopher writes letters to his brother, Jude. The circumstances of the letters, and of his brother, are pretty mysterious at first, but you get the sense that something has gone very wrong with him. Even as Christopher sings Ginger’s praises, you wait for the other shoe to drop. Something isn’t right. In the mean time, you get to read Christopher’s messages to his brother expressing concern for his well-being, wondering when he’s coming home, etc.

Oh yea, and if you’re unfamiliar with Roan Parrish’s books, they’re all NSFW. This one included.

While I enjoyed Small Change, it wasn’t my favorite Roan Parrish book. When compared to relationships in some of Roan Parrish’s other books, this one seemed to lack spark. Christopher came off as kind of a soft boy to me, no matter how sweet he was to Ginger.

Christopher’s passive aggressive messages to his brother made me dislike him a little.

I suppose if I’d seen more of Jude’s responses, I would be more inclined to believe Christopher wasn’t being pushy to someone who is unwell. Unfortunately, Jude himself was not featured much in Small Change (but I am hoping he’ll show up in a later book in the series!). I’m not going to say Christopher is unlikeable—just the opposite! He’s incredibly kind and understanding of Ginger and her insecurities and sexuality…but he seemed too perfect sometimes. Other times, he seemed to have this image of her as a manic/mean pixie dream girl.
small change roan parrish manic pixie dream girl

Ginger herself was very relatable, and the side characters were as amazing as always.

I was always nodding in agreement at her suspicion around Christopher. What captivated me the most about this book was the series of side characters it introduced—from alien-looking Faron to sweetheart Marcus and moody Jude, I was more excited about the potential for them to get their own books than to see how Ginger’s romance turned out. After all, whatever happened with Christopher, I knew Ginger could get through it on her own fine.

I’d say that if you’re a Roan Parrish fan, you absolutely should give Small Change a read. If you want a different kind of LGBT+ book, give it a read. If you want steamy romance, give it a read! I wasn’t a fan of Christopher, but you might be!

I give Small Change an 9 out of 10. Now let’s see which charming side characters get to take over the next book in the series…

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Author Bio:small change roan parrish author pic

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.

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