Title: The Hate You Drink
Author: N.R. Walker
Publisher: Blueheart Press
Release Date: May 23rd 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 300 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Erik Keston, son of the Keston Real Estate empire, knows what it takes to be successful. Despite his inherent wealth, he holds his own. He works hard, he’s grounded, he’s brilliant. He’s also secretly in love with his best friend.
Monroe Wellman lost his parents three years ago and never grieved, never recovered. Inheriting the family company and wealth means nothing, and his spiral of self-destruction is widespread and spectacular. Dubbed Sydney’s bad boy, he spends more days drunk than sober, and the only person who’s stuck by him through it all is his best mate.
But when Monroe hits rock bottom, Erik gives him an ultimatum, and his entire world comes to a grinding halt. It’s not until the haze lifts that Monroe can truly see what he’s been searching for was never in the bottom of a bottle. It’s been by his side all along.
An 80,000-word friends-to-lovers story about fighting the demons within and trusting in the love that takes its place.
“Because when all you drink is hate, that’s all there is inside you.”
I’ve said it once, I’ll repeat it- 3-star reviews are the worst to write. It makes you explain why it wasn’t a complete winner.
There were many positives to The Hate You Drink by N.R. Walker–
-Friend to lovers
-Nice set of secondary characters.
-I liked Erik and Monroe.
BUT, it didn’t deliver what I wanted most: RELATIONSHIP ANGST. Aside from the first couple of scenes; there was zero conflict between the two main characters. Everything between them was sugary sweet. I hate to say it, but their relationship was dull and felt borderline unhealthy.
Why did it feel unhealthy? Monroe was going through a rough time (understandably), and Erik was always there for him. Not only was Monroe his best friend but he’d also been in love with him for years. Monroe consumed Erik’s life. Everything was about him; he would even rearrange his work schedule to be there for him. He’d literally drop everything for him. And I understood why: addiction affects not only the addict but those close to them. I hate that I know this on a personal level, so I get it, but nothing was done about them. It was talked about, Erik said he understood, and repeat the same unhealthy patterns.
As for the romance being dull, it wasn’t just the lack of conflict; it was also the lack of relationship development. I felt the love and pining from Erik, but from Monroe’s end, his love for Erik felt like someone just turned the “love” switch on and voila. It felt rushed.
You know, most are going to love this book, and I did like it, but I was expecting more. It fell short for me in some key elements and likely because my expectations were different.