Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

the-hating-gameThe Hating Game by Sally Throne
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Audiobook narrated by: Katie Schorr

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

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (ok, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything – especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking. If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date?

After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

D.G.’s Rating: 4.5 stars = A-

Why aren’t more people talking The Hating Game? It’s simply fabulous!

This book is a hilarious mix of romance and chick-lit. And you’ll ask…what’s the difference? Isn’t there always some sort of love interest in chick-lit? Well, yes, but I feel that in chick-lit, everything is about the female character. In The Hating Game, the story is really about both of them, even though it’s told in first person from Lucy’s POV. And then there’s the sexy love scene, who puts it squarely in the romance category (there’s just one but it’s a SCORCHER!) *fans self*

Ahem…anyway, as you can see from the description, Lucy and Joshua hate each others guts. At least, that’s what Lucy thinks. They share an office and spend most of the day either working very hard or looking at the other, “playing” one of a dozen private games they have going with each other. (Because that’s exactly what you do with an enemy…looking at their eyes all day long.)

I don’t know why it took Lucy so long to realize that she really had the hots for Joshua. I mean, right from the beginning, she shares her theory that:

Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them…Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are shredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you.

I enjoyed many things about The Hating Game: the trope, the funny situations, Lucy’s quirks, the romance but at the top is Joshua’s characterization. He’s a difficult guy but that isn’t lauded as a good quality in the usual “he’s so darkly sexy!” sort of way. A lot of people can’t deal with him and his moods (ex-girlfriend, his family, coworkers) and that showed. It made a great contrast with Lucy’s bubbly personality and made you realize why they were so good for each other: they were so different that they provided each other a lot of needed balance.

The setting is never mentioned which bothered me a lot for some reason. Throughout the book, I kept considering and (rejecting) various US cities and finally settled in Canada. Then I discovered the author is Australian, which made me wonder why the author didn’t just set it in a city there. Did she think the book wouldn’t have as big an audience? Or was it on purpose so the story would be more focused on Lucy and Joshua without the setting as a distraction?

The Hating Game is “enemies to lovers” done right. If you love the trope, I’ll guarantee you’ll love this book.

© 2016, Badass Book Reviews. All rights reserved.

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