When Brian “Brin” Schubert’s condo floods, he takes his co-worker up on the offer to stay on his crappy futon for a while. The last thing he expects is for his friend’s roommate to be the one guy he despises the most. The same guy who stomped on his heart senior year of high school. And by the looks of the girl on his arm, the same man who’s still deep inside the closet.
Nicholas Dell never predicted that eleven years later, one of his greatest regrets would show up on his doorstep down on his luck. Nick has made some terrible mistakes—story of his life—and he’s been paying for them ever since. And if the guilt and shame aren’t enough, his first crush had to turn into one of the sexiest men he’s ever laid eyes on.
Nick and Brin have weeks to steer clear of each other. Weeks to avoid strangling each other. But when stubbornness leads to skyrocketing sexual tension, hate-sex doesn’t seem like such an awful way to work through their frustration. Except hate is a powerful emotion, especially when it’s turned inward. And in Nick’s case he’s been drowning in a sea of self-loathing for so long, he can’t see his way out.
As Brin reconnects with Nick, his perception of what really happened in their past begins to change. He’s finally ready to forgive him and take a second chance on the one guy who stirs him like no other. But Nick’s demons are complicated, heart-wrenching…demanding. So devastating, he might never allow himself true happiness—even with the one man who’s always owned his heart.
5 + Stars
After a pipe causes a flood in Brin's condo, his best friend, Elijah, offers him the spare room in his apartment while the repairs to his home are taking place. When Brin shows up he comes face to face with Elijah's roommate, Nick, who also happens to be Brin's old high school crush and someone who hurt Brin badly. Will living in close quarters help these two men reconnect and maybe mend the rift between them? Can Brin forgive Nick and does Nick even want forgiveness?
This wasn't an easy read. At times I felt like I was being pulled down under all the guilt and despair Nick felt. It was palpable, heavy and it came off the pages at you. It sat in my chest like a lead weight and as much as I wanted to put the book down and take a breather, I absolutely couldn't put it down. My heart broke for the pain Nick was in. He is beyond shattered and I wasn't sure he could ever be put back together. I love second chance romances, but this story isn't just about getting a second chance at love, it's also about getting a second chance at life.
As sad as the story was, I absolutely loved it. Christina tore my heart out with Nick's story, but she put it back together with this beautiful love story. The book is well-written and paced well and the author gives an ample backstory as to what took place between Brin and Nick in the past, while keeping us firmly rooted in the present, something I really appreciated. Brin and Nick are both likable characters and they had good chemistry. It's a slow burn as both men had to really work hard at forgiveness, Brin had to forgive Nick, while Nick had to finally forgive himself for a tragedy that was just that, a horrific accident and nothing more.
I'm really looking forward to seeing whose story is next and maybe getting some glimpses of Brin and Nick in the future. Highly recommended, but bring tissues.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***