Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
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: I am actually so ecstatic that I picked up this book! I’ve been seeing it floating around for a while now and as a romance lover I had to read it. And let me tell you: this is one of the best romance books I have ever read. It was such a slow-burn romance I practically melted into a puddle of goo by the end (but in a good way, of course).
Lucy and Josh absolutely HATE each other. They are notorious for their frequent reports to HR and the whole office knows it. They are constantly throwing insults at each other like children and come up with games to see who can win. It’s a source of personal pride for both of them not to show weakness and to always be on the offensive.
Their rivalry escalates when they find out there is only one executive position up for grabs and it’s practically a fight to the death to see who can make it to the top. One night after one of their more heated arguments, Lucy finds herself caught in a steamy dream with Josh. She shows up to work determined to make him feel flustered and the only way she can explain her outfit is to lie and say she has a date. Josh can see right through her lie and offers to drive because he happens to be heading to the same place. Suddenly, Lucy finds herself pressed up against the elevator wall with “serial killer eyes” staring her down–until Josh kisses her.
By some miracle, Lucy and Josh learn to tolerate each other. She takes paintballs for him, he holds up her hair, and they end up watching ER on the couch like an old married couple. It’s a new game that they’ve never played before and there are no rules.
This book was honestly a brilliant romantic comedy with an enemies-to-lovers romance that upped that sexual tension to the point that it basically exploded. I couldn’t put this book down for a second because I had to know what was going to happen next. The writing was so easy to read and I was never bored reading about Josh and Lucy trading snide remarks with each other. It was so cleverly written and this story definitely kept me on my toes. Honestly, this book has restored my faith in the romance genre. It had depth, humour, loveable characters, and just so much heart and soul.