Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: RoomHate ~ Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward
Contemporary Romance
Insatiable Press/May 2016

Sharing a summer house with a hot-as-hell roommate should be a dream come true, right?

Not when it’s Justin…the only person I’d ever loved…who now hates me.

When my grandmother died and left me half of the house on Aquidneck Island, there was a catch: the other half would go to the boy she helped raise.

The same boy who turned into the teenager whose heart I broke years ago.

The same teenager who’s now a man with a hard body and a hardass personality to match.

I hadn’t seen him in years, and now we’re living together because neither one of us is willing to give up the house.

The worst part? He didn’t come alone.

I’d soon realize there’s a thin line between love and hate. I could see through that smug smile. Beneath it all…the boy is still there. So is our connection.

The problem is…now that I can’t have Justin, I’ve never wanted him more.

Oh, boy. . . I wasn't expecting the hero to be such an ass. I did finish the book and I'm glad I did but Justin pissed me off so much I was at the point where I didn't want a HEA for Amelia and Justin. He was that bad! There was a little bit of redemption towards the end but at that point I was ready to be done with him.

I did enjoy the writing. Penelope Ward does well in creating the atmosphere of a house inhabited by two people with such strong emotions towards each other - you know it's only a matter of time before they explode. She certainly writes characters that leave an impact on the reader. Not sure if I would say Justin's impact was good. He absolutely made an impression so in that sense it was better than fading into the background. But good?

Amelia is a teacher, taking the summer off to spend it at the home her grandmother left her. She knows of the conditions of the willing and is both anticipating and dreading the possibility of seeing Justin again. She isn't sure how he will react at seeing her after all these years, but isn't prepared for how cruel he is. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Amelia. When Justin does show up, he brings his girlfriend Jade with. Jade is actually nice and I felt sorry for her because she is with Justin. lol  I also felt sorry for Amelia when she had to listen to Justin and Jade having sex. And especially when Justin acted proud in front of Amelia for making all the noise, knowing Amelia had heard him and Jade.

Justin. I've already mentioned him a lot so you have a good idea of my feelings for him. I don't get why he had to be such an ass for something that happened when he and Amelia were teenagers. When Amelia and Justin do sit down and discuss what happened to cause the animosity, I couldn't help but think he was over-reacting. When it happened - sure, he had every right to be hurt and upset with Amelia but she was fifteen at the time and they are both now in their twenties. Past time to get over it and act like an adult. And what happened when they were teenagers was traumatic for Amelia. It wasn't only Justin who was hurt.

They do eventually get on better terms and actually find they enjoy spending time together - when Justin stops being an ass. He still has his asshat moments, but they lessen and are not as severe. And if you are wondering if there is any cheating going on, no. You could say there is a love triangle since Amelia still has feelings for Justin but she does try to fight those feelings and genuinely doesn't want to hurt Jade. I kind of wished Jade had been a bitch, then it would have made it easier to cheer on Amelia and Justin. And to be fair to Justin, he treats Jade well, so he can be a nice guy, he just happens to hold a grudge. There are a couple of twists that keep the story moving, one in a direction I did not anticipate. I liked the plot, it's just that damn Justin and his first impression left a lot to be desired.

I'm not sure how to rate this. I've gone back an forth between a C/B. I'll compromise and give it a B-. Or should that be a C+? I do think many readers will not have the strong dislike I had for Justin. I would suggest reading other reviews from readers who enjoyed this more than I did rather than base your buying decision on this review alone. :)

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