Monday, June 26, 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt & Review: Regret by Christina Lee

Author: Christina Lee
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, M/M, New Adult
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Format: eARC
My Rating: 3 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: 
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.

“Brin, let me introduce you to my roommate,” Elijah said as I followed him through the short hallway to the living room. “This is Nick and his friend, Sarah.” 

Sarah’s curly locks were nearly as blond as mine and Nick’s black hair was mostly tucked beneath a worn blue baseball cap. The two of them were cozy on the couch, Sarah sitting with her legs tucked under her and Nick with his ankle crossed over his knee. They were eating Chinese food off paper plates resting in their laps. Sarah simply waved as her mouth was full from a bite of food but Nick responded, “Hey, how you doing?” after swallowing a piece of what looked like an egg roll. 

The smell of fried rice hit my nostrils and when my stomach rumbled in response, I realized just how famished I was. I was dying to dive right into the second brown bag resting on the coffee table that more than likely contained my food, but I didn’t want to be rude. 

When Nick leaned forward with an outstretched hand, for some reason I zeroed right in on the neatly groomed scruff on his chin. When he tilted his face to look directly into my eyes, I froze, our fingers interlocked. A startled gasp sprang from my lips, and Nick’s eyebrows slammed together in confusion right before they lifted straight to his hairline. 

The same cherry-colored lips, with a center dimple drilled into his chin. Those sad, amber-colored eyes that shuttered out the world. 

Holy fuck. Elijah’s roommate was Nicholas Dell. 

The same Nicholas Dell from Jefferson High who practically ruined me for other guys. 

The same Devil’s third baseman that begged his math tutor to suck his cock in the locker room after practice. 

And given the female nestled up beside him, it was the same Nicholas Dell who was still deep in the closet.

My Thoughts

When I first saw Regret, I was super excited to read it because 1). Christina Lee. I absolutely love her previous novels 2). M/M romance is my weakness. I love a good M/M book 3). ENEMY TO LOVERS TROPE. This is honestly one of my favorite tropes, even if it is used a lot.

What I Liked:
I really enjoyed the pacing of the plot and how little bits of information about Nick’s past are revealed which makes it more engaging. While I’m usually not a fan of dual POVs, I think it worked very well for Regret by adding some character depth, since it allows the reader to see a different side of Nick. I also really liked the minor characters like Elijah, he’s such a cool dude. I wouldn’t mind him getting his own story *coughs* Similarly, the different relationship dynamics were good as well, especially the family dynamic between both Brin and his family and Nick and his mother. And of course the dynamic between Nick and Brin as they become closer to each other (along with smexy times. I love me some good smexy times to be honest). Although the book ends a bit open ended, I actually preferred this to a conclusive epilogue because I like the hopeful feeling it ends on.
Other random quirks I enjoyed: Brin’s loves for comics because I’m weak for cute, nerdy boys.
And the interactions with dogs. Because dogs. LOL.
Also, kudos for adding in some more serious LGBTQ+ topics like the need for more LGBTQ+ representation in main stream media, especially for teens.

What I Didn’t Like:

I think Regret fell a little bit flat for me just because I had such high expectations. Personally, both Brin and Nick felt a bit 2-dimensional/bland to me. I think this has to do with the way the characters were crafted and the character development. Nick’s angsty/traumatic background was a bit cliché and predictable for me, while Brin was the typical “wholesome” character that helps heal the love interest. While the plot was engaging, it wasn’t particularly memorable overall.

In the end, Regret is a fast read with some heart tugging moments. Perfect for those looking for a solid M/M romance with suffering but healing characters.

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son-- her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. 
Because everything is better with kissing. 
She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily ever- afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

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