“RoomHate” by Penelope Ward

I’m struggling to find a way to present this review and it’s proving more difficult than it should be, primarily due to the lack of credibility beginning with the plot premise. Amelia and Justin have loved each other since they were barely out of middle school but because she thought her chances with him were slim to none, she moved away and left him flat to avoid getting her heart broken. All of that when she was only fifteen. It’s now ten years later and they’ve each inherited half of her grandmother’s summer house. The GM had practically raised Justin and she loved him. 20thlike a son. Despite Amelia having run out on him years ago she has been pining for him ever since. Uh huh.

Second Chances

When Justin shows up to claim his half of the summer house, he has his girlfriend in tow and makes it his mission to be obnoxiously loud when he and the gf are gettin’ it on. He’s also unspeakably rude and hateful to Amelia. She puts up with his verbal abuse because …….. Well, because she feels guilty. Oh, the melodrama! Adding insult to the reader’s intelligence, we’re to believe that his boorish behavior makes her want him even more and that she’s convinced their connection is as strong as ever. It’s a classic love/hate relationship, which makes for some steamy bedroom antics, no surprises there. But the plot could have been borrowed from almost any soap opera.

“RoomHate” is a Penelope Ward standalone second-chance romance and in my opinion, it doesn’t measure up to the high standards I associate with her writing. As previously mentioned, on the believability scale it nearly bottoms out and the characters are lacking in authenticity. Amelia lets Justin use her like a doormat and it makes her hot for him. Really?  Overall it elicited more eyerolls than you’d expect from a tweenie and that’s a lot. Three stars.

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