Book Review – Roomhate by Penelope Ward

by Maryse on February 18, 2016 · 11 comments

in My Book Reviews

Great cover, great title, great author, great story! What a premise. That title says it all, and I could NOT resist making this one my next read.

I really enjoyed this sweet contemporary romance novel, because while it wasn’t one of the crazier-rides we love to embark on (nothing too gasp-worthy, or angsty) it gave us what we’ve come to love in our “new adult” love stories!

✔ A forced-roommates story between two ex-childhood friends, that are so far from it now, as adults.

✔ The author doesn’t hold back when it comes to him! “Mr. Jerky McMeanerson” and his rude attitude! And not in the crude bad-boy way, either. I mean full-on hurtful! So cringeworthy at times, he was making my eyes bug out, and I was thinking, seriously? WOW. UGH. Yet I was secretly thinking… YAY!!! Because I was hoping this meant that the “getting there” (as in falling for each other was going to be hard, but so worth it).

✔ Plus it had that delightful love triangle as she was secretly pining for him (while HE was being so mean to her) AND HE brought his pretty, Broadway star of a girlfriend to stay with them.

✔ that delightful “super-sick” scene where the other one takes care of them… oh I LOVE WHEN THAT HAPPENS!! You just KNOW that will be the turning point!

✔ And well… he’s a hot up and coming musician, and you know how we love our rock stars (and the insecurities they introduce).

So yes… a more “traditional contemporary romance”, but with all of the touches that make a book ours.

Cheryl: I finished Roomhate and loved it. I could use Amy’s nail analogy too because I kept waiting for the “hammer” to drop. I just couldn’t put it down today. I enjoyed the banter between Justin and Amelia, especially early on when Justin was so angry. It did surprise me a couple times with events I didn’t see coming. My gut wasn’t in knots from angst, more the tension of wondering what was going to happen next and just how this was going to end.

Tessa: Finished Roomhate and one word, super sweet. I have to admit, I didn’t feel angsty throughout the book, just happy. However, I’m still smiling over it.  :D

DG: Read RoomHate and LOVED it. Justin gave me the ‘queasy’ tingles in the beginning…but it was so worth it!

Lisa M: RoomHate by Penelope Douglas!!! Wow!!! Talk about angst,anger & love!! Yup it was one of those days work read work read & sneak a lil more reading !! Good thing I work from home or I’d be fired!! Good thing my boss is my hubby or I’d be fired!! Shhh!! I was productive today!! …I would highly recommend!!

Ela: I finished Roomhate and really enjoyed it.

Jean: Finished Roomhate and even though I flew through it, couldn’t put it down, and did love the whole storyline, I didn’t feel a big connection to the characters for some reason. Still definitely worth the read!

So what’s it about?

Amelia and Justin used to be best friends all throughout their childhood and teenage years. Absolute sweetness (you will fall in love with him and how much he protected her) and an obvious crush kept the two inseparable. But he was keeping a secret, and once she discovered it, all bets were off,

Justin ran after me. “Patch, wait. Please!”

I turned around and spewed, “You knew about this?”

… and she deserted him.

Justin never got over it, and even though she’s tried to reconnect through her older years, he had refused her at every turn. That is… until they are forced together when they both inherit a beautiful beach house that once belonged to someone they both loved dearly.

“You think Nana would be happy right now with your attitude? Something tells me she didn’t leave us this house so that we could fight with each other.”

“She left us both this house because we each meant something to her. That doesn’t mean we have to mean anything to each other.”

Oooooh BURN!! Tee hee. rolleyes I’m so corny. DO we even say “burn” anymore? :P

But I digress… either way, there is no way the other is selling their half, and now it’s time to finally confront one another.

“I’d better be leaving—”

“That’s what you’re good at, isn’t it?” a deep voice I hardly recognized interrupted me from behind.

“What’s that?” I asked, swallowing nervously and refusing to turn around to look at him.

“Leaving,” he said louder. “That’s what you’re good at.”

And oh boy, what a confrontation. I cringed!! And so did his girlfriend.

Justin chuckled. “Is that why you can’t find a man?”

I dropped my fork. “You’re a pr!ck. Seriously. I don’t recognize you anymore. How were we ever best friends?”

“I used to ask myself that all the time before I stopped giving a sh!t.”

Eeeeep! No love lost there. Or is there? And that’s when the real fun comes in! :D

Well no, the whole thing was fun, and in fact, my only complaint is that, considering that title, I would have loved for the hate part of their love-hate relationship to have lasted longer… to have made her (and therefore us) agonize harder. To have made the slow change from hate, to resistance, to undeniable need for the other, that much sweeter. That much more intense.

Oh and umm… speaking of intense. THIS ONE IS STEAMY!!!!!!!! HOLY HOTNESS BATMAN! *waggles eyebrows*

Still, even though the jerkish part didn’t last as long as I expected (well you know what? I take that back! Going over my favorite quotes, even when he’s not a jerk, he still kind of is. LOL!!! Throughout! Typical “guy-guy” with no filter, ya know? You’ll see!).

“I think you’re right. This is a little skimpy.”

“A little skimpy? Hustler would be calling you tomorrow if I sent them a picture.”

“Alright. A lot skimpy.”

“You can’t figure this sh!t out on your own? It’s pretty simple. You cover your t!ts and a$$. Done.”

Tee hee! See? There’s a TON of that in here.

“How about this?”


“This one?”


“Okay. This?”

“You got Birkenstocks to go with it?”

LOL!!!! Yeah… I loved him.

And, anyway, the author did hit us with a few angsty curveballs as the story progressed, turning this one into a meaningful journey for two people that thought they had it all figured out. And the best, most hilarious and sweetest part that had me solidly connected? A bumblebee!

You’ll see. ;)

It’s an endearing read, with realistic, fleshed-out characters that stay true to their personalities, and are wholeheartedly believable. Plus, you can’t go wrong with that touching epilogue that will steal your heart!

Jean: The more I’m thinking about Roomhate, it is making me smile like crazy! The end and the Epilogue….perfection! And for anyone interested, the entire book is her POV….epilogue his POV.

4 stars!

P.S. Thank you to the author for sending me a review copy!

Sign up for my weekly newsletter

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Tessa February 18, 2016 at 11:15 PM

Yes! Yes, exactly that. I loved it and it was so sweet, but I wish the hate had lasted longer. :) I love the gut-twisting feeling.

Dana February 19, 2016 at 7:19 AM

Hi Maryse,
I am usually a lurker here, but I wanted to finally comment on this. Thanks for all the great reviews and recs. You and I have the same taste in books. I just got this one based on this review and I am looking forward to reading this asap. I have all Penelope Ward’s books, but have only read Stepbrother Dearest so far. I am currently reading Big Rock by Lauren Blakely, but will read this as soon as I am done. I only like Jerky guys in books, if they thoroughly make up for it by the end.

Jean February 19, 2016 at 8:57 AM

Is it bad that we wanted more hate?!? Lol! Great review Maryse!

Maryse February 19, 2016 at 9:08 AM

Yay!!! Thank you Dana!! I hope you enjoy it, and I’m so glad you’ve come out of lurking!!! *hug* Let me know what you think of it… :D

Maryse February 19, 2016 at 12:20 PM

LOL Jean… well considering the title, I really wanted a good dose of long-term *OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!” ya know? ;)

Jean February 19, 2016 at 12:37 PM

Oh yeah, I know!

Dana February 19, 2016 at 3:09 PM

I will definitely let you know how i liked it. Thanks.

Cheryl February 19, 2016 at 3:47 PM

Great review Maryse. I did love this book, but I agree it could have had angst or more “hate him” moments.

Ashley February 20, 2016 at 7:46 AM

I really fell hard when he fell for a certain bumblebee!

AshleY July 10, 2018 at 10:02 PM

Hi does anyone know the name of the model of the cover for this story roomhate?

Maryse July 12, 2018 at 11:41 AM

Hi Ashley!!!

I have your answer here:

Reader Question – Who’s the model on the cover of this Penelope Ward book?

Leave a Comment


Notify me of followup comments to this post via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: