Book Reviews

Review: ‘RoomHate’ by Penelope Ward

4 ‘Barcode tattoo’ Stars!

 photo RoomHate - Penelope Ward_zpsbs4vzrdq.png

I seized that Penelope Ward is with us this week in the Shh… Indie Star Chat (feel free to join the fun here: and decided to read her newest release which, I have to say, I was a little bit scared because of the mixed reviews. I am a fan of her books and this one, even though is not my favourite by hers, I definitely enjoyed!

RoomHate is a stand-alone novel and it tells the story of Amelia Payne and Justin Banks. These two started as best friends when they were little, afterwards they fell in love (but never mentioned their feelings for each other) and finally they ended up apart when Amelia run away from everything. Almost ten years later, Amelia is a teacher and a woman who regrets her past decisions and Justin a singer/guitarrist who now shares a beach house with the woman who broke his heart.

“We’re roommates. Nothing more. Stop pretending there is something more to it. Stop pretending to like the goddamn coffee. Stop pretending everything is just great. Cut the shit and see things for what they are. We don’t mean anything to each other.”

I started hating Justin because he was being so mean to Amelia. He appears at their house with his girlfriend, hating or pretending to hate Amelia and hurting both of them in the process. However, these two finally talk about what actually happened and they stop avoiding each other (kind of). Now, the thing is that our main characters still are feeling the sparks between them and it’s very difficult for both of them to stop their feelings.

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 am so sorry if my leaving like that hurt you in any way.”
“Hurt me?” He let out a slight angry laugh then shocked me with what he said next. “It changed me. I loved you, Amelia. I was in love with you. How the fuck did you not know that? […] Losing you taught me not to count on anyone but myself. It shaped who am I today…and that’s not necessarily a good thing.”

I liked the building of their relationship and how they do not act on their attraction for each other while Justin is still with Jade, his (ex)girlfriend. But, there is a twist that I was not expecting at all in the middle of the novel. SPOILER ALERT: Amelia discovers she is pregnant. Pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby. Of course, that changes things, especially when Justin leaves to go back to NYC.

“Your biggest nightmare…just became my reality, Justin.”

Both, the hero and heroine are affected by their childhood and the lack of affection that they suffered from their parents. Justin does not want any children and Amelia is left alone to deal with it. Part 2 of RoomHate begins when Justin comes back, finds Amelia and her sweet daughter (Bea) living in the beach house and he sees how dedicated Amelia is to Bea that she has forgotten about taking care of herself. Everything changes, they start behaving as a family (which btw is so freaking sweet!) but Justin and Amelia (now both single) are still not together.

“I’m afraid to be with him and afraid to be without him.”

That was what bothered me about this book: the couple stays too much time worrying about other stuff and they are too much time apart or not being together. I mean, their first kiss happened on the 60% of the book and they don’t have sex until past 80%. I was expecting more steam!! Don’t get me wrong, the few kissing/sex scenes they have are off-the-charts hot but I wanted more of these two TOGETHER.

“Don’t ever forget that I respect the hell out of you,” he said as he stuck his hand up my dress and grabbed onto my panties.
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I’m about to fuck you full of disrespect.” He ripped my underwear off, the elastic burning my thighs from the friction.

See? I wanted more of this! LOL Still, I loved the relationship between Justin and Amelia, especially the flashbacks, the song moments (Justin is so hot and sweet when he sings!) and their smokin’ chemistry. Also, it really got me when Bea transforms them into a beautiful family. I can’t deal with their moments together, I love when Justin calls her Bumblebee: so-freaking-cute! And the ending and having a little bit of Justin’s POV was perfect!

“There is no music without you. Music is an expression of all of those things you live for…a reflection of the passion within your soul. I live for you. You’re my passion. You’re my music…you and Bea.”

Therefore, my rating for RoomHate is 4 STARS because I really enjoyed this love story even though I was expecting a little bit more from it, especially in the sexy times department. Still, I love Penelope’s style and characters so this was definitely a good read for me! If you have read anything by hers or want to try, please give this one a chance: it’s worth it 🙂



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