Roomhate by Penelope Ward
BXTCHES Gotta Warn: This is a stand-alone novel, so no fear of a cliffhanger here. I’ve only read several books by Penelope Ward (I’m not sure what the fuck is wrong with me, I clearly need more from this woman), so my warning is this. . .get ready to get sucked in. It doesn’t matter what I’m in the middle of doing, once I start one of her books, I can’t stop and Roomhate was no different. So, what I’m trying to say is this. . .you need to plan accordingly when cracking this one open, because tasks/chores/getting the “business”, will probably be put on hold. You’ve been warned.
Roomhate will be told through the POV of Amelia.
The beginning of Roomhate finds Amelia leaving an attorney’s office. She just found out that her late nana has left her, her summer beach house. Well, she actually left it to Amelia and Justin. Ahhh. . .Justin, Amelia’s childhood BFF, crush, confidant, love. But, it’s been a decade since she’s last laid eyes on him and was okay if another decade past with many miles between them, but nana had to go and shake things up. I’m sure there is a reason for everything, nana’s are usually all knowing, you know.
Being a teacher, Amelia gets the summer’s off and her year has kind of been shitty. She caught her boyfriend cheating on her and the topping on that craptastic cake. . .the cheating bastard is actually moving in with the
whore, ahem. . .the other woman. Needless to say, the beginning of the summer couldn’t get to her quick enough, and she finally finds herself at her new summer residence. With no signs or news from Justin, Amelia is really settling into her summer life. That is until she returns home one day and finds a leggy beauty in her kitchen. Turns out, the hottie belongs to Justin. So much for fun and relaxation.
Ten years may have passed since they’ve last seen one another, but the hate that Justin has for Amelia is still going strong and he is not holding it back. It should be no secret that Amelia fell in love with the teenage version of Justin and the years may have aged him, but they did a fine job doing so and his presence is having a huge effect on Amelia. It doesn’t help the situation when Amelia can very clearly hear Justin ensuring that his girlfriend, Jade, is fully satisfied.
As much as Amelia wants to hate Jade, she can’t, the woman is just too damn sweet. So much so, they even get a summer job waiting tables together. As the summer moves by, the hate from Justin does begin to dissipate a small bit. It does help when Jade is called back to New York for work (she is a Broadway actress), what I mean is. . .it just seems that Justin doesn’t have to “hate” Amelia as much when Jade isn’t around.
Emotions and feelings do begin to get muddled. One saving grace is Justin doesn’t favor anyone who cheats. He came from a philandering home and holds strong to his moral code. . .if you’re going to cheat, break it off first. Life has a very funny way of figuring things out for you when you are maybe having a difficult time doing so. Well, life does just that for Amelia. Now, I wish I could go into greater detail, it’s just the exploration of two people who come together after years apart, is just too beautiful to ruin.
Roomhate is broken up into two parts (and I can’t really say much about part two without being a spoiler). The first part is the understanding and laying down a certain foundation. It even flashes back to Amelia and Justin’s childhood, in order to piece the puzzle together. Part two finishes the story (of course), and certainly gives a different version of Justin. One that is much more “book boyfriend” material. The first part of Roomhate, presents Justin as more as an unforgiving asshole, but once the two parts merge, the reader certainly has a better understanding behind Justin’s attitude.
There’s not a lot of supporting cast in Roomhate. Of course, there is Jade, which I’m glad Penelope Ward made likable. She could’ve easily been a jealous bitch and it would’ve made perfect sense, but I liked that her and Amelia were friends. There are other characters that kind of fill in the gaps, but Roomhate is really a book about two people, so there isn’t a necessity for other characters to bring it all together.
Sex is inevitable and the sex in Roomhate is pretty scorching. What really brings the vibe to “dropping panty” status. . .is Justin. He is sex perfection in every sense of the idea. From rubbing one out when he thinks he’s alone, to the dexterity in his fingers (and tongue) to his dirty and raunchy vocabulary, his ability to curl the toes and light the “after” cigarette was pretty spot on. And, look at that cover, surely that gets you ready.
My only “issues” with Roomhate (and they’re not detrimental) is I wish and longed for. . .Justin’s POV. I think with a story like this, one that involves years of history between the characters, it really helps to get inside the heads of both characters AND Amelia wasn’t as tough or secure as I wanted her to be, but I think being able to get Justin’s POV would’ve helped with my feelings towards her. She wasn’t a wimp, it’s just I think I needed a little more fierceness from her.
All in all, I loved Roomhate. Funny thing, I started to read the sample, then something (I’m sure one of my offspring) pulled me away, so I never finished the sample. I bought it because I knew the price was going to go up and I wanted to catch it before that happened. I didn’t start it right away because I was in the middle of another book (probably several). So, one day, I just decided to dive in and once that happened, I couldn’t put it down. So, putting my “issues” aside, this was a really terrific read, so much so, I need to invest in more Penelope Ward. Great job.