The first time Xavi saw Nate, there was an instant spark. Xavi spent most of his time with Nate’s sister, who was Xavi’s best friend, and the partying and drinking and taking pills ended tragically when Katy died. Xavi’s life fell apart further and Nate has never hated anyone more than him. Nate took all of his anger and rage out on Xavi and blames everything on him.
Two years have gone by and Xavi has been to rehab and is now starting college. When Xavi shows up at Nate’s house as the new roommate, Nate is not having any part of it, but Xavi doesn’t have much choice and doesn’t exactly listen to Nate. Xavi still sets Nate’s body on fire and it’s affecting everything. Nate is a star basketball player and his game is suffering, his life is suffering, all because he can’t stop thinking of Xavi. He wants to get his hands on Xavi and make him hurt as much as Nate does.
Xavi knows what Nate is up to, but he can’t resist him. Xavi believes all he deserves is pain anyway and if Nate is going to take it out on his body and his mind, Xavi will let him. But there is a fine line where Xavi is going to crack from the mind games Nate is inflicting on him and, with more going on here than either of them know, they need to work out their issues and relationship and come to terms with their pain before they break each other for good.
This book shows the darker, more obsessive, more hurtful side of relationships. Xavi and Nate are enemies, although neither of them truly want to be. Xavi was best friends with Nate’s sister and, when she died, Nate blamed Xavi for everything. Nate also blames himself and he misses his sister. Neither of their parents are a support for them emotionally and Xavi and Nate have been left to drown in their own pain while expecting to continue on with life.
Nate comes across as a player and, while he is, he also has strong ties to his close friends. Many of his relationships are volatile, however, especially the one with his closest friend, Carter. Nate is really buried in a lot of unmanaged pain from the death of his sister and he channels most of his rage directly at Xavi. Xavi doesn’t believe he deserves anything except pain. He doesn’t feel he should be alive while Katy isn’t and he’ll take any attention that Nate gives him, even if it hurts—and Nate truly wants to hurt Xavi.
However, Nate and Xavi can’t stay away from each other. Each time, Xavi thinks this will be the time that Nate doesn’t immediately throw him out of his bed and will be nicer to him, but hurting Xavi has become a way of life for Nate and, while he adamantly states he has no interest in changing that, he truly has no idea how to change his behavior.
The author does a great job of getting us into the minds of both Xavi and Nate. Not everything is clearly laid out as the story unfolds and there are pieces that need to come together throughout the entire book to get the full picture. There were a few times I felt the book got repetitive and, while much of it worked to showcase the emotions between Nate and Xavi, some areas could have been tightened up for me. There are several opportunities presented for stories for other characters in this book and I would read them all. Nate and Xavi are destined to be together, but the hurt is all too real for them both. This is not a “traditional” romance, but it is a great choice for a story that hurts so good before Nate and Xavi try to ease their pain.