Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating GameThe Hating Game by Sally Thorne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My new favorite contemporary romance.

I loved, loved, loved this story about co workers at war. It’s brilliantly funny, witty and sharp, with great dialogue, lovable characters and some serious heat. It takes a familiar trope and turns it into something unique and memorable.

If you’re a fan of the genre I think you’ll love this book.


The Blurb (from GoodReads)

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


My Review

This is the best game I’ve ever played in my entire life

OMG I loved this book so much. I’d heard a lot of good things about it but if I’m honest I didn’t buy into the hype. When I read the blurb my first thought was “haven’t I read this before?”. It is quite a common trope, man and woman who hate each other are forced to work together and find out there’s a fine line between love and hate.

Despite having read more than one of these stories, this one was truly a stand out read. We’ve all had those people we don’t get on with at work but Lucy and Joshua take this to a whole other level. This is not the odd snarky comment or prank but a constant daily battle of wills as each tries win. It’s gotten to the stage where they have standard games they play, the staring game and the “you’re just so…” game. They’ve complained so much about each other they’ve worn out the HR department.

The story is told from Lucy’s point of view and I loved her so much. She’s 5 feet of bubbly energy and absolutely full of fire which means she gives as good as she gets when it comes to Joshua. She’s one of those people who wants to be liked, so is a bit of a pushover, but is actually kind of lonely.

Josh couldn’t be more different. Over 6ft calm, confident and super organised the whole office is terrified of him and he constantly looks down at Lucy (literally and figuratively) treating her like something he’s scraped off his shoes. He’s a bit of a mystery and like Lucy I found him absolutely fascinating

Needless to say the relationship between them is explosive. They glare at each other, they fight and they constantly try to one up each other. It makes for some absolutely brilliant reading. Honestly there were so many sparks flying I nearly combusted. It’s hot, hot, hot but also hilariously funny (don’t read in public or you will get funny looks) and occasionally very sweet and cute.

This is a story that’s been done before but the writing definitely lifts it above the usual to one of the best romances I’ve ever read. I kept thinking there’s no way the level of sexual tension could be maintained throughout but somehow it is. It’s not predictable either and I genuinely wasn’t sure how it would all work out.

If you can’t guess from all of the above I loved everything about this story. I’m trying to think of something bad but I’m coming up blank.

Read this book if you like a good steamy romcom.

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