Author: Christina Lee
Series: Under My Skin, #1
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Page Count: 235 pages
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
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.
I don’t really know how I would classify this story…”Second change love”, “friends to lovers” or “enemies to lovers”…
So I am going with “frenemies to lovers”. What I do know is that this book isn’t exactly “lighthearted”. It didn’t make me burst into a full out sobfest, but it did hurt my heart a bit.
This story starts off with Brin needing a place to stay, because the pipes in his apartment have burst, leaving his place flooded…His friend Elijah offers him a place on the futon in the apartment he shares with his roommate. Since the roommate seems fine with Brin crashing for a while, Brim happily accepts the offer.
But imagine his surprise when Elijah’s roommate is none other than his high school crush…Crush seems to be the proper name in this case since that is exactly what he did to Brin’s heart back then…
...He crushed it…
Nick had never expected to see Brin again. He is happy and sad at the same time. Happy because Brin always meant so much to him…and he still does. Sad because he is so sorry and so ashamed of his behavior back then. He tried to get Brin to listen to him afterward, but Brim wanted nothing more to do with him, which he totally understood.
In the beginning of the story, I was totally on Brin’s side…
I understood why he felt so angry and betrayed and I wanted him to stay far away from Nick. But the more I got to know of Nick and what was plaguing him…the more my heart broke for the guy. Nick had such a low opinion of himself…He was so filled with grief and guilt, I was surprised that he was even functioning at all…
“I couldn’t have what I wanted and still, make up for what I did at the same time. I didn’t deserve it and I’d been paying for it my whole life.”
He hates himself for everything that has happened in his past and he thinks he doesn’t deserve to be loved. He really wasn’t a bad guy, he was just so young and messed up when things went down with Brin and he didn’t know how to handle things. He is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and he just needs someone to show him that he is worthy to be loved…
And Brin is the perfect man for the job.
I also want to give some credit to Nick’s mom who really came through in the end… Awesome lady, though it took her a bit longer. 😛
I really enjoyed this book, though I would have really liked an epilogue.
Epilogs give me closure and I really wanted to see how things turned out for the two of them. Nick spent most of the book being drowned by feelings of guilt,…
So a glimpse of their future would have been nice. 😛