By Penelope Ward
A Contemporary (Stand Alone) Romance Novel
Release Date: February 15, 2015
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.
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.
They were best friends, inseparable, sure that nothing would ever change. Until she ran away, and ended what they had. Now, ten years later, events bring them back into each others’ lives, but things have changed, and not for the better.
Penelope Ward cannot write a book that I do not love. I mean, really, I love every angsty, heart-rending, love-filled story, bar none, and ROOMHATE is no exception. From the moment that I began reading Amelia’s and Justin’s story, I could not put it down. I am a sucker for friends-to-enemies-to-lovers reads, and Penelope excels at writing just this kind of book.
The way that these two feel about each other is almost palpable. From the minute that they met, becoming fast friends, the growing, but unnamed, love that blossomed, replaced by the feelings of betrayal and anger, all of these feelings are so vivid, and it makes this story that much more engaging. I love seeing the way that Amelia and Justin react to each other, from the time that they were kids, and, of course, once they are reunited at ‘their’ beach house. They just have so much history, and seeing them unpack the feelings that they have kept buried over the course of a decade is very emotional.
Penelope can write one heck of a hot book boyfriend, and Justin has absolutely joined the ranks of my favorites. His dedication to Amelia, and, later, Bea, is nothing short of swoony and heartwarming, and I couldn’t love him more.
Penelope continues to write books that conjure up every emotion, and reel me in completely, and I happily give ROOMHATE 5 stars. It is one sexy and moving read, and I highly recommend adding it to your TBR.
***ARC generously provided for an honest review.***
Penelope Ward is a USA Today Bestselling author.
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers. She spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career.
Penelope lives for reading books in the new adult genre, coffee and hanging out with her friends and family on weekends.
She is the proud mother of a beautiful 10-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 8-year-old boy, both of whom are the lights of her life.
Penelope, her husband and kids reside in Rhode Island.
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