RELEASE DATE: 06.26.17
COVER DESIGN: KANAXA
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.
When Brin's condo floods and he accepts his friend Elijah's offer to crash in his office/spare room, the last thing Brin expects is to discover that Elijah's roommate is the guy he despises above all else and who seems as in the closet now as he was back when they met eleven years ago at high school, Nick Dell.
For Nick, Brin and what happened in their senior year in high school are some of his biggest regrets and even if he tried to apologize back then and now when they meet again, Brin is having none of that. Of course, the guilt and shame from an event from Nick's past that marked his life since he was a teenager and the stress of trying to keep his family's business afloat doesn't help matters either.
Attraction is a fickle thing, though, and soon both Nick and Brin give into their impulses and what starts as hate sex changes into more as Brin realizes there was more to what happened in the past and he is ready to forgive and forget. But is Nick ready to forgive himself and move on?
First of all, I have to thank my coblogger Tracy who warned me of what had happened in Nick's past (don't worry, I'm not telling 😉). Thing is, she knows me, and if I hadn't known beforehand I would've been even more of a blubbering mess than I was. Seriously, I was crying at the office today and hoping that no one noticed. Not an easy feat, I tell you! So I suggest if possible read the last, say 30% or so, somewhere you can cry at your ease because you're going to need tissues.
Christina Lee did a fantastic job handling a theme that is nothing short of heartbreaking, something that could happen to anyone and that could lead to that person carrying an amount of guilt that for some for years would be insurmountable. I especially commend her on not piling anything else on top of Nick's shoulders. It was more than enough as it was.
I loved Nick, I wanted to cuddle him and make things easier and better for him. He was such a good man, caring and responsible and trying to do the right thing for his mom. I loved that Brin had such a quick turnaround when he realized there was more to what happened between them years ago and especially for how he supported and understood Nick. They were perfect together, hot and intense when they were fighting, hot and sweet and loving when they made up.
Overall, definitely a must-read, angsty, romantic, sweet, intense, hot. The progression was just right, not too fast or too slow and the writing was sublime, the feelings that Ms. Lee can evoke with her words are a thing of beauty.
Highly recommendable! (Just don't forget to stock on those tissues.)
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***