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.
Fantastic friends-to-enemies story!! My heart is literally bursting. Two words: JUSTIN. BANKS.
I don’t know how Penelope Ward does it, but she takes someone who is so filled with hate and venom and turns him into the biggest hearthrob on the planet. Amelia and Justin haven’t had any contact with each other in years – literally – so she feels compelled to sneak a peek at the man she is going to be owning a house with.
“He’s…gorgeous. Absolutely freaking gorgeous.”
Covering my face, I said, “Jesus. Please don’t tell me that.”
“Take a look.”
Before I could refuse again, Tracy shoved the phone in front of my face. It shook in my hands as I took it.
Why did I even look?
Lo and behold, Justin shows up to share the summer home with his girlfriend. Cheating is not a deal-breaker for me but not to worry, it doesn’t happen here. Justin is in love with his girlfriend and in hate with Amelia. And he makes her life absolutely miserable.
“Even though I was too stunned to say anything, my heart was screaming. I knew deep down my reaction wasn’t just because of my physical attraction to him. It was because despite all of the changes, one thing had stayed exactly the same. His eyes. They reflected the same hurt that I remembered from the very last time I saw him.”
Justin and Amelia have THE most delicious love-hate relationship throughout much of the story until the real reason for his deep-seated hostility comes out. It is heartbreaking, emotional and very sad, but he and Amelia make an uneasy truce to continue to share the home that her grandmother left to both of them equally when she passed away.
“Will you at least look at me when you’re talking to me?” He turned around and walked toward me slowly then leaned his face in. I could feel his words on my lips when he asked, “Is this better? You’d rather me in your face like this?”
I could practically taste his breath. My entire body felt weak from the close contact, so I backed away.
“I didn’t think so,” he snarled.
There is SO much to this story that can’t be given away for fear of major spoilers! But once again, Ms. Ward has crafted a richly-woven, very intense story, with beautifully damaged characters who might not ever find their way back together again.
Did I mention the heat factor is off the charts? Sexy, senstive musician anyone?
“Hurt me?” He let out a slight angry laugh then shocked me with what he said next. “It changed me. I loved you, Amelia. I was in love with you.” Justin ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. “How the fuck did you not know that?”
Ah, these two. Living together under one roof becomes almost unbearable. The this book takes a major turn in the second half of the book which only makes Justin and Amelia’s story all the more bittersweet. And the Epilogue!! GAHHH!!! Loved. RoomHate is one of my favorite Penelope Ward books and I already miss these characters!!
(ARC provided by the author in return for an honest review.)
Copyright © 2016 by Penelope Ward
His eyes darted to the side, and he noticed me standing there. We just stared at each other. It was ironic, but the only times I could ever feel the remnants of our old connection were in fleeting moments of silent eye contact. Sometimes moments of silence spoke the loudest.
I left him alone again, making my way back down the hall and into the restaurant to tend to the customers I’d been ignoring.
Things really started to get busy. Without Jade working tonight, we were short-staffed, and I was having a hard time keeping up with the orders. Sandy’s had indoor and outdoor seating. Normally, I would only be working one section, but tonight I was going back and forth between the two.
It was nice out, so I knew they would have Justin performing outside. I kept glancing over to the small stage to see if he was there. It was past eight, and he hadn’t made an appearance yet.
Sometime close to eight-thirty, I was in the middle of serving a large party of ten when I first heard it: the chilling sound of a soulful voice that was not familiar in the least. He gave no introduction. No warning. He just started to sing out the first few words, followed by the strum of his guitar. The song that Justin had chosen to start with was a cover of Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers.
The entire room soon quieted down, and all eyes were on the stunning blond male specimen with the spotlight shining down on him. Despite the fact that I was carrying a large round tray of dirty dishes, I couldn’t move. The vibration of his thick, smoky singing voice had completely paralyzed me, penetrating my body and soul.
Aside from the lone teardrop that fell the night he lost it on me during steak dinner, I hadn’t shed any more tears—until now. It was all too much. Hearing how different his voice sounded, how he’d trained it over the years, was a wake-up call as to how much I had missed. All of the hours of practice that must have gone into honing that beautiful voice, and I wasn’t there for any of it. The guilt, the emotions, the reality of a decade gone…everything started to pummel me at once. Not to mention the song—about a girl leaving. It probably had nothing to do with me, but in my mind, it sure as hell felt like it did.