Soren Decker. He’s the epitome of the “bad boy, good man” persona. The best of both worlds. The worst of them too. He’s the type of guy most girls would not mind sharing a confined space with, except my new roommate isn’t all swagger and chiseled abs.
He’s bossy. Messy. Cocky. Infuriating. Doesn’t believe in personal space. Has no qualms about roaming the apartment with a loincloth-sized towel cinched around his waist. Seems under the delusion he’s my personal protector (refer back to infuriating). He plays college baseball and holds down a part-time job—I don’t know where he finds the time to get on my nerves.
We’re got nothing in common . . . except for one thing. Our attraction to one another. And in six hundred square feet of shared space, the tension only has so much room to grow before one of us gives in to temptation. But really, what chance do a couple of young kids chasing their dreams in the big city have of making it?
Since Soren claims I know squat about sports (he might have a semi-point), here’s a stat for him—one in a million. That’s our odds.
“Coming in,” I announced, opening the door and stepping inside. A plume of steam rolled over me, instantly coating my skin in a hot, dewy shield. “Hot shower?”
“Hell of a lot better than the cold one I took a couple of nights ago.”
His voice echoed off the walls as I focused on squeezing a glob of toothpaste onto my brush. It was difficult. I found myself quite distracted by the knowledge he was naked behind that thin shower curtain, a whole three feet away.
Just as I was about to stick my toothbrush into my mouth, the shower cranked off, the curtain whipping open right after.
Soren. Wet. Exposed.
My eyes clamped shut, but it wasn’t fast enough. From the low chuckle he gave, he hadn’t missed my two-second gape.
“Sorry. Water got cold.”
I gave him a few seconds to cover up before I opened my eyes and got back to brushing my teeth. He hadn’t covered up though.
“What are you doing? Grab a towel.” My arm flailed in the direction of where we kept our fresh towels hanging from the rack. My eyes felt like they were about to go crossed from staying focused on my reflection instead of his naked one in the same mirror.
“Out of fresh towels. Haven’t gotten around to the laundry.” He moved up beside me at the sink, reaching for his own toothbrush. He was standing so close, his wet arm was brushing against mine.
Don’t look down. Don’t look down. Don’t look at the giant—
Crap. I looked.
He was grinning at me as he brushed his teeth, my face crimson thanks to what I’d glanced at.
“See anything you like?”
My body was still buzzing from what I’d seen that I liked. I kind of hated him for calling me out on it though. I kind of even hated him for having so much to like.
“I know what you’re doing.” My eyebrow rounded as I got to work brushing my teeth too.
He spit in the sink, somehow winding up closer to me when he leaned back up. “Air drying?”
My eyes narrowed in the mirror at him. “Trying to change my mind.”
He stared back, brushing his teeth in all of his naked glory, a cocky tenor to his expression. Once he finished brushing, he rinsed his toothbrush and turned toward the door.
“I don’t need to change your mind,” he said, pausing when he was directly behind me.
When he turned, I swore I could feel his arms coming around me, pulling me into the shelter of his strong body. An involuntary shudder spilled down my back. He didn’t miss that either.
“I just need you to speak it instead of lying about it.” His eyes dropped to the back of my neck, where I knew he could see the raised flesh. I knew, because one side of his mouth lifted.
Bracing my hands on the sink, I didn’t blink as I locked eyes with him in the mirror. “It takes a lot more than washboard abs and a giant . . .” Crap. Something else. “Ego to get my attention.”
Soren leaned forward, his hands framing around the outsides of mine, his arms running the length of mine. His chest didn’t touch my back, but I could feel its expanse hovering above it. “I’ve already gotten your attention.” His eyes dropped from mine to my chest. Where it was rising and falling noticeably hard, my nipples pushing through my camisole. “I’m looking for something else.”
Another shudder, this one spilling down my legs. “What?”
His crooked smile changed into a cryptic one before he leaned back and opened the door. “You’ll see.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll tell you when you give it to me.”
My fist curled around my toothbrush as I turned toward him. “I’m not giving you anything.”
“You’re giving me something right now.” He didn’t glance back before leaving the bathroom. Did he really need to have that nice of an ass when he already had a glorious package? I was screwed. “This point goes to Decker.”
★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse
I couldn’t stop looking at the gorgeous cover; nonetheless, it wasn’t until I’d met the male protagonist that I realised how fitting this model’s image is for the story. Throughout the book his face kept cropping up in my head, and the cap! Flipping adored it and so Soren. What was also brought to my attention was the versatility in the author’s writing. I’ve read a few of her books but nothing quite like this one. She made me think about the difference between young and new adult genres, something I’ve never been sure of. I’d say this book is the perfect read for an age group of around seventeen to early twenties, maybe still at college, in their first job, or have fallen in love for the first time. Maybe just first experiences, too. This standalone has it all for them, so much so that I’d even recommend it to the guys. Lol, maybe they could learn a thing or two from Soren Decker! And although I liked this read a hell of a lot, something was missing. Can’t argue about the pace… it was spot on. Can’t argue about the plot despite roommate reads being the trend. What I really would have liked to hear was Soren’s side of the story. The narrative is from the first-person female’s perspective in past tense meaning I couldn’t get inside his head.
It was Soren who sold me, it was he who I fell hard for. He has all the traits of a bad boy but behind that cocky exterior of his, there’s much more to him than I thought a lad of his age could have. Learning how he ticked was an absolute pleasure. He has little to hide so getting to know the messy Soren, the chivalrous Soren; in fact, the real Soren, was fascinating. He made me laugh out loud too, which just added more light to an even lighter read. It’s low on angst but this is exactly what the story called for. Saying that, the banter and bickering between Soren and Hayden, his roommate, is witty and totally what I would expect to hear from two young people. Having to make the best out of their situation isn’t as easy-peasy as they’d thought, and will be the cause of a couple of run-ins that I actually blamed Hayden for.
I couldn’t fathom out why I had trouble connecting to Hayden. She seemed to rub me up the wrong way which perhaps isn’t fair because I liked how courageous she was by moving to such a big city. Her ambition and determination to get on in her profession was worthy of respect, too. Remembering how young and emotionally closed off she was helped and later on, everything made more sense to me and I gradually warmed to her. Whilst the drama is minimal, at one time I was a tad concerned for Hayden. Her actions were of an innocent nature; however, I felt as if she’d walked into the lion’s den and the one person orchestrating the charged scenario was up to no good.
What makes for a good read in my book is when the main characters’ feelings come over strong to the reader. That’s what happened to me. I felt Soren and Hayden’s affection. Their relationship is very slow burn, very sweet and just plain lovely. The secondary character development was faultless. I disliked Hayden’s agent immensely and loved Soren’s crazy and super-nosey family. Ooh, and like Hayden, it took me a little while to cotton onto the baseball jargon but never go to bed without learning something new! Bravo Ms Williams!
Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.