A Contemporary Romance novel
New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, r.b.a designs
Swoon-worthy Justin Banks is FINALLY HERE in
RoomHate by Penelope Ward!
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Release Date: February 15, 2016
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From New York Times Bestselling Author, Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.
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.
Author’s note – RoomHate is a full-length standalone novel. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
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Kindle Friends Forever: Four Stars
Reviewed by Rachel McEwan and Sharon Thérèse Nuttall
** ARC given by author in exchange for an honest review, with thanks **
“I never hated you. I couldn’t hate you if I tried. Believe me, I have tried.”
The title Roomhate conjured up our imagination and left us so intrigued that when given the opportunity to read and review this standalone, we literally jumped for joy! There is no denying that Ms Ward’s talent as a contemporary romance author is unquestionable and besides that, her word usage and storytelling technique has always had a way of getting under our skin. But let’s get back to the title. We were expecting some real ‘hate’ as is suggested but in our opinion, we have to disagree with this term. The feelings between the two protagonists was more bitterness from an almighty misunderstanding which occurred when they were children. What we cannot dispute is the story’s build-up which seeped in little by little reaching a crescendo to a climatic proportion making us sigh with relief. However, moments when we thought all could be lost were numerous and not without its hardship on our part. Snippets of childhood memories fed throughout the story kept us on our toes and in our eagerness to know why these two friends were estranged for so long, develops into them finding their way. Learning how to forgive, trust, take on responsibilities and adjust to changes is fundamentally what the two protagonists’ story is about.
“I hope you’ll have dinner with us tonight?”
“Actually, probably not tonight. I’d better be leaving…”
“That’s what you’re good at, isn’t it?”
“Leaving. That’s what you’re good at.”
Justin and Amelia’s relationship from hate, or should we say bitterness, was more slow burn than full of passion. Once they had established a few ground rules and after discussing why it had broken down, things go from cool to warm. Warm converts into steaminess and the steaminess scenes are off the charts. All this revolves around a solid and well-thought-out story of coming to terms with what was and what is. The ‘what is’ comes as a shock to both of them. Never in a million years could they have ever imagined that a dearly loved person in their past knew more than they did about themselves and left them no option but to sort out their misunderstandings. It was difficult for us to decide which team we were on. Amelia had her reasons, Justin did too! Dilemma…no doubt about it!
“…. I fully understand why you’re afraid to take things to a sexual level with me. The logical side of me thinks you’re right, but the illogical side doesn’t give a **** and is only thinking about lifting you over my face right now and making you come while you ride my mouth.”
Justin is a thoroughly decent kind of guy. And regardless of him being drop-dead gorgeous; there wasn’t anything that made us we dislike him. We understood his distress and utter dislike when Amelia is thrust back into his life. Taking into consideration that neither of them had had a good start in life and both had worked hard for everything achieved, we felt that the story would have benefitted from hearing his version of events which we think would have given the reader a better dynamic to the book. All he had done from the word go, was love and protect Amelia until, of course, she did the unthinkable in all her naivety. In our minds, they were the ultimate kindred spirits. We loved how the book flipped back to their youth, their past together, and their own personal struggles to become their own persons.
“We both came from broken homes, but from the moment I met you, my world seemed a little less broken. I always felt like my job was to somehow protect you. And my keeping what they were doing from you was only an extension of that. It wasn’t meant to be deceptive.”
Confessions are told sparingly, secrets are revealed like an intravenous drip, but no promises are ever shared. And this aspect of the story, we lapped up with gusto. Seeing them adapt to such a complexities was an absolute delight. Yet, all is not what it seems. Justin has a life and we liked it… a lot. To top the lot, Amelia likes what he’s got, too! Complicated… it is! Amelia. Oh…this gal has so much to gain and so much to lose. She’s sensible, loving but so alone at times that our hearts broke for her.
“You know what they say about assuming things…”
“You end up in a porno theatre watching anal?”
Contrary to many, we are not against cheating as it exists. The author has woven this story around this issue but at the same time, cannily steered well clear of it. Clever, eh? We were most certainly impressed by her modus operandi. The dialogue between all concerned was lacking only adding to that mystery of what could happen next. Told in past tense from Amelia’s point of view, the banter in present is really, really good. The text messages are worthy of highlighting and quoting, the editing faultless and the epilogue… we’re lost for words as we are suckers for endings like this one. What more can we say other than Bumblebee. Bumblebee. Bravo!
“I love you, Bumblebee. I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to tell you.”
Copyright © 2016 by Penelope Ward
My heart felt like it was pounding out of my chest. Watching this whole thing unfold had made me totally lose sense of reality. I felt like I’d been experiencing every movement, every feeling right along with him, except I wasn’t allowed to come. It was as if I’d seriously lost my mind in the process. That was the only thing that could possibly explain why my body decided to betray me, letting out an involuntary sigh….moan? I wasn’t sure and couldn’t even tell you what it was except to say whatever sound I made caused Justin to jump back. His head whipped toward me, and his shocked eyes met mine for a brief second before I ran back down the stairs.
My heart felt like it was in my mouth. Escaping out the front door and down to the water, I continued to run aimlessly on the sand. At one point, about a mile down the beach, it became necessary to stop and catch my breath, even though I wanted to keep running. I’d gotten so wrapped up in Justin that I’d forgotten how sick I was this afternoon. It was all hitting me again as I stumbled over to the shoreline and vomited into the ocean.
I collapsed into the sand and must have sat there for over an hour. The sun was starting to go down, and the tide was coming in. It felt like everything was closing in on me. I knew I couldn’t avoid going home forever.
What if he told Jade what I’d done?
That I was watching him.
He was going to crucify me for this.
What excuse could I possibly give him that would explain why I was hiding behind his door, watching him ejaculate like it was a Fourth of July fireworks performance?
I decided that I needed to get home before Jade did. Maybe I could convince him not to say anything. Brushing the sand off my thighs, I made my way back over to the house.
My heart nearly stopped upon finding Justin standing in the kitchen, drinking out of a half-gallon of orange juice. I stood silently behind him and watched as he put the container back.
Justin turned around and finally noticed me standing there. His hair was wet, making it appear brown instead of blonde. He must have taken a shower to wash away the awkwardness of our encounter. Looking painfully handsome in a brown distressed t-shirt that fit his chest like a glove, he just stared me down.
Here it comes.
I braced myself for his humiliating words. My heart was beating out of my chest as he just continued to look at me blankly without saying anything. He slowly walked toward me, and all of the muscles in my body tightened. He was going to get in my face and do it.
Meet Penelope Ward
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 11-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.
Other books from Penelope Ward
Sins of Sevin
Jake Undone (Jake #1)
Jake Understood (Jake #2)