Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Hate You Drink by N.R. Walker

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.”

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Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The Hate You Drink is one of those books that will affect each reader differently depending upon their personal experiences. While that’s true of most books we read, when reading a story in which one of the main characters has to face their alcoholism and how it’s affecting them and those around them, the reader’s personal experience is going to be even more impactful. For me, I’ve lived on the fringes of addiction and alcoholism. By that I mean, my paternal grandparents were alcoholics but because of geography, I never knew them, so while I knew about their alcoholism, it never had the direct impact on my life it has with people who grow up and live with alcoholics. On my mother’s side, I come from a long line of addictive personalities – some family members’ addictions were illegal, and others redirected their addictive personality in “healthier” ways. My mother was one who turned to illegal substances and again, due to geography, I avoided the front-row seat to her downward spiral to rock bottom. Knowing what I did about my family lines and the crapshoot that is heredity, I was always careful when it came to alcohol consumption and never partook of illegal drugs (yes, honestly, never). In the beginning, I directed my addictive tendencies toward studying (M.S. in Psychology, thank you very much), then shopping (I have the botched credit rating to prove how well that didn’t go), then couponing (because shopping gets expensive), and my current addiction is reading and blogging. There were other hobbies in there that were failed attempts to sublimate my addictive tendencies, but those are the cards I brought to the table when I began reading The Hate You Drink and even my fringe experiences made this a difficult read. So, if you’re one of those people whose life has been directly impacted by alcoholism or addiction, tread carefully because this is not an easy story to read.

N.R. Walker’s decision to make Erik and Monroe wealthy characters is a double-edged sword. At first glance, it looks like it’s an easy out for giving them the financial freedom to do what’s needed when Monroe’s alcoholism must be addressed. But because they come from wealthy, influential families, they’re constantly in the public eye and the focus of trashy gossip programs. Their foibles are plastered across the news and social media for the masses to devour as entertainment. Their every move is fodder for speculation about their relationships, their family businesses, and just how much they can get away with. And it becomes clear rather quickly that between the media hounding him and Erik’s unwavering support (and subsequent enabling), Monroe has never properly grieved his parents’ death in the three years since their plane crashed. Even with the financial advantage, Walker doesn’t take it easy on Monroe – not when he’s forced to confront his alcoholism, not when he comes face-to-face with the real possibility of losing the only friend he could count on, and not with his recovery. This is what makes the story so heart-wrenching in its realism because we not only witness Erik reach his breaking point and Monroe hit rock bottom, but we watch as the two men have to create new versions of themselves and navigate a new reality because while Monroe might be an alcoholic, he’s also Erik’s addiction. I won’t go into the details of Monroe’s recovery and I’m not an addictions counselor, but I loved how realistic it read and how Walker struck a balance between Monroe’s recovery, Erik’s adjustments, and how those things changed the shape of their relationship. Knowing that I can count on an author to deliver a happy ending doesn’t keep me from worrying about whether or not the characters will actually make it to that destination. Fortunately for me, Walker made my red-rimmed eyes and stuffy nose worth it with that epilogue – it was even better than I had hoped for.

As I said before, this is one of those books that is going to take some readers on a deeply personal journey and some of you may not make it to the end because of the realism. Even as someone living on the fringes of addiction, I was profoundly affected by The Hate You Drink and more than once not only reflected on my mother’s ongoing recovery, but worried about the author’s own experiences because this book is written with too much feeling for me to dismiss it as merely well-researched, but I’m glad the Walker shared this story with the world. As a final note, I’m thankful that my mom’s making better choices and living a healthier life, one day at a time, and now that I’ve read Erik and Monroe’s story, I owe my sister more than I ever realized and it’s a debt I’ll never be able to repay because she was there when I couldn’t be.

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things... but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since...

Connect with N.R.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Hate You Drink by N.R. Walker to read and review.

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