A VVivacious Review: Rent Mate by Ash Penn

Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

Liam and Martin are roommates with a bad case of hate at first sight.

Liam, Katie and Martin share an apartment and Liam doesn’t approve of Martin’s profession especially so in light of how friendly Martin and Katie have gotten. Liam can’t seem to get over his best friend Katie, no matter how much she doesn’t want to be anything but friends with him.

Martin is a rent boy. His profession isn’t ever the safest but it seems to have gotten particularly dangerous all of a sudden with a man threatening and bullying Martin. But it seems like it just isn’t Martin’s year with the way the timing of his bullying seems to coincide with a surge in Liam’s hatred towards him and how now Liam will do just about anything to get Martin to leave.

But all the trouble that Martin finds himself in, has the advantage of getting Martin and Liam to have to actually start talking to each other and once they start talking it isn’t too late before they find themselves attracted to each other. But it remains to be seen if their attraction will survive the vendetta that Martin seems to have attracted.

What got me interested in this book was its blurb, a rent boy who hates gay men and his flatmate who hates rent boys. The amount of intrigue this line generated was unprecedented and I just had to read it. While this line is slightly misleading, because Martin doesn’t exactly hate gay men (he just avoids them for personal reasons), but I can totally forgive the misdirection because the blurb is the reason I picked up this book and I quite frankly loved the book.

This book is a raw diamond, it lacks polishing but you really don’t need to dig deep to find the value in it. There are certain plot elements that aren’t as well fleshed out as you would want them to be and these are quite minor details but I truly felt like this book just needed a little extra to be brilliant. I feel like the biggest shortcoming of this book was its villain because he kind of fizzes out in the end and while I can’t express the amount of relief I felt as everything righted itself in Liam and Martin’s world because truthfully it was enough to cloud over any realisation I had that the resolution of the conflict looked a little bit too easy.

But remember no matter how unpolished, a diamond is a diamond and the real heart of this story is Liam and Martin and these two were amazing. I loved Liam and Martin separately as characters as well as their relationship together because it was just so awesome. I mean Liam and Martin totally have that we hate each other vibe going on so it is extra sweet and extra fun to see these two having to sit down and really talk instead of just teasing each other and making each-others’ life miserable with their antics.

This book is actually about the changing phases of Liam and Martin’s relationship. They start of as Liam being the guy without any sense of humour and Martin going out of his way to irritate the hell out of Liam to Liam going from passively hating Martin and wanting him out of their house to actively doing the same. And then, we get these two actually having to talk to each other to figure out the problems that have cropped up in Martin’s life. I especially loved the transition when the author changes the animosity that defines their relationship to caring, which is just such a unique transition and it was exceptionally well done in the context of these characters. And finally, all this getting to know the real Liam and the real Martin, leads to a blooming romance that is unforgettable.

Some couples share some really good banter with each other and while these two characters did have some amazing banter between themselves what I truly loved was when they talked to each other. I feel like I could read about these two talking to each other forever, their conversations were just so insightful and funny and deep and intimate.

Reading this book was an amazing experience because of Liam and Martin, they are an amazing couple and awesome people. While the strength of this book is its MCs I also loved the plot of this book that focused around Katie and Liam because it is the first time I have read such a plot element used in such an intricate and well-developed manner and it was nice to know that Liam wasn’t in denial and he actually does have feelings for Katie no matter how misguided. Even the plot surrounding Martin’s troubles, which provides the impetus for Liam and Martin to start interacting and is basically the reason this book is amazing, is really well developed but at the same time I felt like that particular plot point is resolved a little unsatisfactorily, though truthfully I didn’t mind because I loved the ending for this book in terms of the place we see their relationship at, in the end of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and despite the fact it could use a little bit more work, it still made for an amazing read.

Cover Art by Posh Gosh. I really don’t get how the cover ties into the book.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 260 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Pride Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.