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The Hating Game- Sally Thorne

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Blurb

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.

Review

The Hating Game was hands down one of my top 5 favourite books of 2016.  As soon as I finished it I read it again…and again…and again. When I was debating my fourth reread I thought maybe I should give the audiobook a chance.  It was just as great listening to it on my commute and it was reading it the first three times!

Some of my favourite books are office romances and hate to love plots, but they’re also so difficult to pull off.  I’m not always a fan of rotating POV and so many enemy to lover stories feature an asshole-ish hero who becomes a reformed womanizer, not something I’m a big fan of.  You won’t find either in the Hating Game.  Told from the single POV of heroin Lucy Hutton the story is a slow burn between two co-workers who are straddling the line of passionate and competitive.  Joshua is her surly but oh-so-attractive colleague and when they made out they’re competing for the same position an already tense working situation becomes worse.

I have a theory.  Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.  I’ve had a lot of time to compare love, and these are my observations.  Love and hate are visceral

Joshua is absolutely everything, and he’s a strong contender to beat out my best book boyfriend of all time, Will Sumner from Beautiful Player.  I love a smart, lanky, broody hero who is self-assured and full of dirty talk, Joshua checks every single box.

…if I were your boss, I’d work you so fucking hard. So fucking hard.

Don’t let the candy coloured, cartoonish cover art and slow burn fool you, this book isn’t chick lit.  It has some steam! I’d categorize as New Adult, falling in that middle ground of not quite erotica and not quite romance.

Like every good hate to love the banter is key and Sally Thorne nails it.  Joshua was totally swoon-worthy and his one-liners were hot.

-‘I didn’t ask for you advice, Joshua. I get so mad at myself, letting you drag me down to your level all the time.’
-‘And what level are you imagining me dragging you down to? Horizontal?’

The Hating Game is the debut book by Australian author Sally Thorne, although you’d never have guessed this was a first book.  I’m sure it’s going to remain a constant on my reread list and I’m anxious to read anything else she puts out!  I highly recommend reading, and then rereading.  The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

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Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn’t always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.

 

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