The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

•••

— BLURB —

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 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 forty (ok, fifty or sixty) 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.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

I’ve divided my review into different parts — My impressions on Lucy, Joshua and my overall thoughts on the storyline.

So here we go!

LUCY HUTTON: Ahhhh Lucy. Well… She’s definitely a quirky, one of a kind character. Loved her from the get go just for the fact that she’s sass in a teeny tiny body. It was like “Yesss! Another fictional shorty!” 😀 I instantly connect with characters who are short because whenever it’s mentioned or whenever jokes are made, I instantly relate. Lol! Whenever Lucy mentions her height, or her short legs, or having to wear heels just to get a bit of height had me nodding like a bobblehead in agreement! I know #shortpeopleproblems all too well haha.

She’s so relatable when it comes to relationships too (both with her parents and with guys). I feel like if there was one fictional character that is my spirit animal, it’s Lucy! It’s like I was reading about my life whenever Luce talked about work, her colleagues and that one particular person you dread having to deal with. The one that makes your working day a drainer. Uuck!

Off topic here, but I did work with a colleague once who was the biggest arse. But reading about Luce and Josh’s daily “hating game” reminded me of that time. Except in my situation there was definitely no love lost. Lol. 😅

Question: Who has an annoying colleague you can’t help but think hilariously mean thoughts about — like wishing they would trip over or have something embarrassing happen to them because they’re straight up rude, or smug, or just plain douchey towards you? Anybody??

Anyways, for those who’ve read the book — then you’ll know why I included smurfs into my photo (hehe). But seriously, who doesn’t love a character who has some nerdiness in them!? Although I couldn’t completely agree with her fashion choices, Lucy does have such a hilarious personality, with the most random of thoughts – some of which I still can’t believe she had the guts to say out loud… to Josh no less! There were moments of me blurting “Ahhh! shut up! shut up!” followed by a facepalm! LOL. 🙈

My favourite Lucy Hutton quote:


“Maybe he’ll murder me down there. I’ll end up dead in a Dumpster. The investigators will see my fishnets and heavy eye makeup and assume I’m a hooker. They’ll follow all the wrong leads. Meanwhile, Joshua will be calmly bleaching all my DNA off his shoes and making himself a sandwich.”


and here’s another delightful little comment…


“I want to know what’s going on in your brain. I want to juice your head like a lemon.”


Hehehe.

Lucy is a nice change from female leads I usually read about who ooze cocky confidence and ass-kicking abilities (not that I don’t love them too. If you’ve seen most of my book reviews, those characters are usually leads in some of my most fave of books!)

JOSHUA TEMPLEMAN: And what can I say about Josh? Except when a male colleague is described the way he was (by Lucy) in this book, you can’t reaaally believe that she ‘hates’ having daily banter sessions with the guy. He’s total eye-candy!

Josh may sound jerk-y and rude but I just found his comments and his observations about Luce down right hilarious! His remarks about her height.. her all too niceness towards people.. her choices in attire — I tell ya, all bloody entertaining to read! 😁😁

Maybe I’ve watched wayyyy too many romcoms in my lifetime but his serious, unemotional, mean ‘persona’ – I wasn’t buying it! Uh-uh no way! You just know he’s 100% the sweet, thoughtful, caring guy deep down… (who obviously has personal issues and that’s why he has that facade) but still.

My favourite Joshua Templeman quote:


“I love you, Lucy Hutton. So much, you have no idea. Please be my best friend.”


and then there’s also this:


“When I’m your boss, I’m implementing a corporate support uniform policy. No more of your weird little retro costumes. I’ve already got it circled in the Corporate Wear catalog. A gray shift dress.” He pauses for effect. “Polyester. It’s supposed to be knee length, so it should reach your ankles.” 


See what I mean?! How can you not laugh? As a fellow shorty-mcshorty pants, if someone said that to me ok yes, I would’ve rolled my eyes but then I would’ve cracked up two seconds later because I would’ve been picturing it!

And finally..

PLOT: What is it about contemporary reads that you can pretty much figure out in the first chapter whether you’re gonna like the book or not?! Why can’t it be that easy with fantasy fiction?

This was an enjoyable read. No doubt. Love the characters. Love the dynamics. Love the slow development between the two and getting to know about their lives. But if I had to nitpick I did predict the ending. I guessed it 2/3 of the way through how it would end for Lucy and Josh, and yup… I hit the nail on the head! I did feel a little “meh” about it. But then again it’s not rocket science.. There were obvious signs as to how this was all gonna go down anyways. So no biggie (remember, just nitpicking).

If you guys scrolled right through my review and onto my overall rating, then you guys can pretty much guess that I loved the plot of this one. Contemporary, office romance and best bit… the protagonists’ totally hate each other at the beginning which only means… they really secretly love each other! 😜

I love reading books with love/hate relationships and this is one of the best I’ve read so far. You can’t help but laugh out loud when reading this book and the cringy-ness of some of the things that comes out of Lucy. There were several moments when I wanted to hide behind a pillow for her. Like I said it’s an enjoyable read for anyone who loves romcoms, chick-lit and all round light-hearted good fun.

Sometimes a very well written standalone read can be just as gripping as reading a book series. This will definitely become one of my fave holiday rereads or traveling companion.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

•••


Love Office Romance Books?

📘 Read my review for The Carrero Effect!

The Carrero Effect by L.T. Marshall


•••

Hope you enjoyed my review! Happy reading. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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