Hating Game: A Novel, The

Sally Thorne
Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.                       2) A person’s undoing                       3) Joshua TemplemanLucy 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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-12-26
I have complex feels about this book. It struck me in ways I normally don't experience but may have to get used to.
Specifically, the height and general size difference hit so close to home: I am not a small lady but my love has 13" of height on me. I don't even reach his shoulder unless he slouches. Which he does. Deliberately. So I can reach him. ... ... SWOON.
I liked that it was white hot almost as soon as it started THEN went slow burn. I got a little erotic jolt and hooked on the clever sniping almost all at once. I guess it's hard for me to believe a slow burn without some spark near the beginning of the book. It doesn't have to be at the beginning of the couple's relationship just relatively soon after I start reading about them--without that I'm always side eyeing the supposed intensity of the attraction. I guess my thought is, if it's something that you can control all of the time, how passionate can it really be?
I loved how batshit fucking crazy Lucy was. I related so hard to that. She's this capable, intelligent woman filled with insecurity and broken coping mechanisms. She gets terrified by true and tender emotions. She deflects with humor and tangents. How could I not relate utterly?
Josh is his own bundle of brilliant professional bundled with insecurity and bone deep fear. He gets to have the upper hand, in this book, though, and it's honestly pretty sexy.
Also, I read it in an ~8 hour sitting. I've been miserably sick for over a week.

Bottom line: should you read this book? I'm not here to tell you what to do but the first thing I did after finishing it was look up the author's other books and add them to my to-be-read list.
Reviewed: 2017-12-07
Initial Impressions 8/17/17 + review as posted on The Book Addict's Guide 10/16/17: 4 - 4.25 stars
Well, this book was so incredibly enjoyable! I haven’t read an adult contemporary novel in a very long time (most of my non-YA reads tend to be fantasy or mystery) and this was so much fun! I tend to avoid adult contemporary at large because I like reading to have fun and don’t particularly enjoy reading about more serious realistic topics (divorce, babies, cheating, break-ups, blah blah I know that’s not all adult contemp but you know what I mean) but THE HATING GAME was on sale at Audible in a 2-for-1 sale and I had heard such great things from bookstagram that I grabbed it! Thank you, bookstagram.

I agree with my friend Brittany when she told me that the beginning was better than the ending (hence the four stars and not five). I LOVED the beginning of this book and the hate-fire that fueled the tension between Lucy and Joshua. It was tense, exciting, funny, and sexy. I loved those shared moments when you could tell they hated each other so much that they didn’t hate each other anymore. It was absolutely perfect and I loved how this relationship developed!

The ending was also wonderful too. I loved how the book resolved, how both characters really grew, and how the reader learned so many different things about each character’s past by the time the story concluded. It was romantic and brilliant and I could read so much more about Lucy and Josh (except for the fact that the awesome hate-tension wouldn’t be there anymore). I loved their personalities, especially Lucy, and how this book really came to life.

Mild Spoilers: The only thing I was missing was that I wished the “Hating Game” part of the book had gone on longer. The book starts out with Lucy and Josh positively despising each other and I thought that could have gone on just a bit longer and Sally Thorne could have established their relationship (the hate side) a bit more before breaking that sexual tension. The tension was so fantastic that I just wanted it to keep going, and I thought it should have lasted just a bit longer. I enjoyed watching that hate dissolve and Lucy and Josh still spurring each other on all the while, but it almost felt like the resolution of the book started a little too early and it lost a little momentum. You want to keep reading to see when that breaking moment happens and it just broke a little too early, I thought.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book and I immediately added Sally Thorne’s next book to my TBR (I actually added it before I was even done with THE HATING GAME). It’s not a sequel to this book, which I’m glad this was a stand alone, but I definitely want to read her next novel! I loved the writing and the characters were so vivid and real. I’m so glad I picked this one up after seeing it everywhere!
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