I enjoyed this book. I got sucked in by the characters. Amadeus and Abe had a lot of chemistry and this was definitely an enemies-to-lovers romance, so there's a nice helping of tension between them. Abe works very hard and has a lot on his plate, while Amadeus is the rich, carefree, gets whatever he wants type. Abe is as drawn to Amadeus as much as he hated him, and Amadeus only grew more and more interested in Abe. This was a fun read. I also really liked some of the supporting characters. This is the first book I've read by this author and I would read more of her work. 4 stars.
Eighteen-year-old Abe is an AP student, student council president, and leader of a club. He can't stand the lazy, layabout Amadeus Dane who relies on his rich father's money and influence to get by. Amadeus also makes a bad habit of stealing his brother's girlfriends, and the way he runs through them is just one more thing Abe can't stand. Yet things begin to change when Abe gets a job at a place Amadeus frequents and he begins to open up.
Be Warned: m/m sex
The burger was too rare. The mozzarella sticks were too cooked. The coke wasn’t diet. The gin didn’t have enough tonic. The tequila had a hair in it. Abe marched up to the table, carrying a glass of brandy, his hands shaking from barely contained rage. He was beyond furious. Jericho had once stolen his favorite teddy bear and cut off its head, and he’d been angry enough to cut hole in all of his underwear. Abe was way past that now. The worst part was that Amadeus and Ty were joking about him the whole time.
He approached the table, holding out the glass of brandy. Amadeus leaned back against the back of the chair, his tongue darting to the corner of his mouth. “You're handy for my brandy.”
Abe held it out, counting inside of his head, trying hard to think of things besides mowing him over with his car and burying him in his backyard. “Here.”
“Oh, this won’t do.” Amadeus didn’t take the drink. Wrinkling his nose, he regarded it as if it was piss in a cup. Abe had been tempted, but no, Olivia was keeping too close of an eye on him. “This brandy isn’t high enough quality.”
Back when he actually had time to breathe, Abe had fancied true crime shows. He’d heard the narrator use the term “snapped” a lot, and he had never fully understood it until that moment. As Amadeus mocked him, he bit his tongue so hard he tasted blood, but that was not enough. In front of Olivia, in front of the whole damn club, Abe tilted the glass and dumped the whole tumbler of brandy on Amadeus’s perfectly blond head.
The entire club went silent. Even Honey, the dancer, stopped twerking. The color drained out of Amadeus’s face, and Abe was pleased for a moment, before he realized he was probably going to be beat up again. Oh well. He was pissed enough he’d get a few good punches in.
Ty burst into laughter, not even bothering to hide it behind his hand, and Amadeus shot him a look so dirty it needed a laundromat.
Amadeus stood up, seized his arm, and dragged him across the club, even though Abe dug his heels in and fought with everything he was worth. The guy pulled him out the back door and into the deserted alley where the word ‘pussy’ had been graffitied on the wall in pink. The smell of pee hung in the air, the perfume of the homeless man who spent his nights by the dumpster.
“Let go of me, you asshole.” Abe ripped his arm out of his grasp.
Though he had released his arm, Amadeus seized him again in a millisecond. Abe shoved him, and Amadeus shoved him back, hard, and his back hit the cold brick wall.
Now Abe had no idea who moved first, or who moved on who, but rough lips landed on rough lips. Teeth clattered together. Lips melded sloppily. Abe, still fighting the other guy on some level, bit his lip, even while pushing himself against him.
Amadeus pressed him harder against the wall, cupping his jaw.
Abe gasped, and Amadeus used the opportunity to slip his tongue between his lips, exploring the roof of his mouth. Amadeus pressed himself against him as if trying to meld them together, and Abe felt that familiar volcano inside of him, then heat in his pants.
What’s happening to me? He had kissed Katie loads of times, but he had never reacted like this. Everywhere Amadeus touched was fire. He was burning, burning up inside and outside, yet he wanted more, more, more.
He pressed his mouth harder against Amadeus’s, then ran his hands up his back, marveling at the muscles, the strength. Amadeus was so different from Katie, and already he felt stiffening in his pants, just like in his dreams. Amadeus ran his hand down his torso, feeling the muscles. Counterintuitively, Abe was so hot he shivered, longing for his hands, his mouth, his cock to explore lower.
Amadeus dragged his lips away from Abe’s mouth only to lay kisses along the day-old growth of his jaw. Slowly, the other guy kissed his way down his Adam's apple, stopping to bite at the nape of his neck, and Abe felt like the other man’s lips spread magma. He had no idea how long they could have gone or how far they could have gone because a burst of a woman’s high-pitched laughter broke the spell. The smell of urine was back. The alcohol dripping from Amadeus’s head was back. The hatred was back.
Abe, feeling like he’d just sold his first-born child to Beelzebub, shoved him away. “Don’t touch me.”
Not saying a word, Amadeus held up his hands and stepped back. He looked pale, just as pale as Abe must have been. The back door opened, and Olivia stuck her head out. “You two haven’t killed each other, have you?”
Both of them stared at each other. Abe finally shook his head.
“Good.” Olivia motioned for him to come inside. “You need to get back to work.”
Abe hurried back inside, determined to ignore Amadeus. He needn’t have worried—Amadeus disappeared for the rest of the night.
This was a fairly quick read. A very much enemies to lovers story with Amadeus and Abe also being totally different people so they had to go through quite a lot of changes to get together.
Their attraction was as wild as it was typical. Perfect fit for enemies-to-lovers. Look up the definition and see the faces of Amadeus and Abe. Amadeus is a wealthy player. Abe is the hardworking student, who has to earn everything he has. Witnessing Dane's behavior is soul sucking. The right circumstances for them both and things begin to drastically change. Will they survive it?
Despite the title of the book, this story of 100 percent Abe’s story. His narration pulls you through to the end. I really enjoyed this coming of age and awakening story of Abe (and Amadeus to a lesser extent) finding himself and who is truly is and not living to others expectations of who he should be. Abe has been striving to be the perfect everything to absolutely everyone. Living up to everyone’s expectations of who he should be from his family, to his girlfriend to teachers, is exhausting to read and seeing how people treat him and expect even more is so frustrating. Be prepared to be frustrated and upset at the people in Abe’s life who should be there for him. It was the characters who you don’t expect that were just the people Abe needed, Amadeus, Olivia and Ty. They were some great characters. It was a good read-wished the epilogue went into a little more of their story.
Abe and Amadeus are the epitome of enemies to lovers. They have had fist fights and verbal altercations. Yet, they find themselves drawn to each other even though they have always been "straight". Abe is the overachiever with being student council president, volunteer, chastity group leader, perfect grades and also helps his family by working at a club (his parents nor chastity group would okay) to pay for his younger sisters' medication. Amadeus on the other hand, rarely attends classes, goes through girls like crazy, has money, looks and popularity no matter how many times he "steals" a girl from someone or how many fights he gets into. I did have a little problem will how easily Amadeus accepted being drawn to Abe and acting on it. But then again, he is mister, "I see it and want it so I will have it!". Otherwise, this is a good story of how even young people can find their "real" love with someone unexpected while young. These two have much to overcome between school, work and family but if they stick together, they can make it happen.