Like You Hate Me by Bethany Winters

Love me Like You Hate me. Punishing himself is not enough, Xavi wants the hurt that only Nate can give him and he can't stay away even though he knows Nate will break him entirely. Grief, guilt, anger, regret - Nate and Xavi can't escape their feelings, even if it is wrapped around an impossible love between them. If you can handle the content warnings, read this book.

From the blurb:

I’ve never hated anyone as much as I hate him.

The day my sister died, I told her best friend I never wanted to see him again, and I meant it.

I lost her because of him. Everything I used to care about means nothing now because of him.

It’s all because of him.

So when he shows up on my driveway two years later and tells me he’s moving in with me for his freshman year of college, I kick his ass and tell him to disappear. For good this time.

But I already know the defiant little brat’s not gonna listen. He never does.

Being near him again makes me crazy. I’m supposed to be the college basketball star my father raised me to be, but now I’m focused on a new game. I’m obsessed with watching him, touching him, breaking him. His body, his head, his heart, anything I can get my hands on…

I’m gonna take it all until he’s got nothing left.

And even though he knows exactly what I’m doing to him, he’s gonna let me do it anyway.

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Hatred to lovers. Hurt/comfort. Dual POV. Heed content warnings. 

Nate blames Xavi for his sister’s death, no matter how much he wants him he can never forgive Xavi. Punishment is what Xavi is seeking, he wants to be sober to feel all the guilt and regret, the pain and the anger, but being around Nate may just break him totally. 

This is an intense story about grief and the hatred you feel when losing someone and blaming another, and while Xavi drowns in his guilt, Nate’s guilt is compounded in that he loves the man he’s supposed to hate. 

Both Nate and Xavi are flawed, and their relationship is not what anyone would deem normal or healthy, and yet this worked for them (and me) on so many levels with their violent emotions and super steamy interactions. After years of a complicated and adversarial relationship Nate and Xavi aren’t complete without the other. 

Like You Hate Me was a fast paced story, filled with emotional flashbacks and some interesting and importantly supportive secondary characters. 

Super entertaining read.

Rating: 5 Stars

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

"Do you really expect me to forget what you did?"

"I don't want you to forget...I just want you to love me anyway."

Damn this was a tough read. Not because it wasn't good, because it really was. It was tough because I honestly thought for almost the entire book that this was not going to end in an HEA. This is my first book by Winters so I had no idea what to expect. I just saw enemies to lovers and was sold. This is REAL enemies to lovers my friends. Even though Nate is inexplicably drawn to the man he blames for his beloved sister Katy's death, he also hates him with every fiber of his being. He's mean and nasty. Cruel, really. I had a hard time having any sympathy for him in his grieving with what he put Xavi through.

Xavi broke my heart. Two years he's spent drowning in his own grief, while also knowing the man he was in love with hates him for simply being alive. It's a bad idea to fall back into Nate's orbit, but someone as broken as Xavi can't help himself. Though I know he dreamed of a day where Nate could actually love him, I think he kept coming back to him as a form of self punishment. Until it wasn't. Until somehow Nate became his everything, while Nate still told him he was nothing. It really was heartbreaking because in between the moments of constant degradation, Nate would do something nice and Xavi would grab onto that with all he could. Hoping, praying, wishing things could be different, all while Nate took a sick satisfaction in his suffering and the fact that Xavi was falling for him again.

"I've never seen him look at anyone the way he looks at me. Not even Katy, and he used to look at her like she was his entire world."

These boys were broken. They were toxic. They were also in love. It definitely wasn't an easy road, but when push came to shove Nate FINALLY came through. I don't know if these two could every be considered happy, but I will say they are happier together than they are apart.

Rating: 5 Stars

Like You Hate Me is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.