The Hating Game

Sally Thorne
The Hating Game
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William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date
August 2016
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

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 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.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Jul 02, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
179 people found the following review helpful
THE HATING GAME is romantic comedy at its best and it will give you all the feels. It's a refreshingly new take on the enemies-turned-lovers trope, and once you start it, you won't want to put it down!

The best part of the book for me is its curmudgeonly hero (something I've been searching for to read for a long time!) -- Joshua Templeman. He's got a real problem with his personality (ask the women) and so he decides to make it up to them by making his body as buff as can be. But, underneath, he's lonely and he wants a woman to see him and accept him for himself. (Don't we all?)

Enter Lucy, who can dish it out to him as much as accept what he throws her way. His perfect match, except they seemed to be engaged in all these childish games of one-upmanship at the office. Now that the COO position is up for grabs, there's more competition between them than ever...

I love love love both characters, and the pages flew as I couldn't get enough of them. They're so hot together, and I've got to hand it to Josh for drawing out and heightening the sexual tension for as long as he could. Told mainly from Lucy's 1st person POV, we only get Josh's side from her observations and when they're in the scene together. So, sometimes, he would say something obvious that point to his feelings, but which Lucy never pounced on or which she ignored (which for me is weird or else, she's not as smart as the author portrayed), but these are minor quibbles.

What she said to his father--I felt like cheering and clapping when she finally reached the end of her speech. I wish I have someone defending me so rousingly as well! Lucky Josh!

The resolution to their dilemma was great, and it just brought home again how utterly wonderful Josh is. This book is going on my keeper shelf, and I can't wait to read whatever Sally Thorne writes next!
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Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Aug 20, 2016
150 people found the following review helpful
Whimsically written with such panache, and so many laugh-out-loud moments of a journey from so-called hate to love, ‘The Hating Game' is such a sparkling diamond I'm so glad I unearthed in my usual trawl for these rom-com types. It's the voice of Lucy Hutton that holds the entire story together and what begins as a hostile relationship with Joshua Templeman in the office slides into odd games, insults and banter that you never quite know where the truth and fiction between them actually lie. In fact, it's akin to getting on with a boy who torments a girl he likes, only that it takes place in the office and spills out of it, leaving the grown-ups not knowing what to do except to play along and pray nothing goes out of hand.

But it does, obviously. In a way that makes you take a breath for the confrontation that's lurking around the corner on page 200 while you hope for several curved balls to be thrown your way.

In the end, I laughed, I clutched my chest, I ached for Josh and wondered why the heck they circled each other when it was obvious they simply needed to get it all on.

And the tone that Sally Thorne adopts throughout - smug, unsure, kind, contradictory, bitchy and all - is so richly nuanced that I never felt prouder and more grossly horrified at being female. It's what makes Lucy and Josh the odd-pairing that is simultaneously so wrong and right and what makes their chemistry zing with a tension so thick I wished it exploded with greater fireworks. I loved all the humour (and that very Aussie way of smart-alecky writing) and the comebacks, but the moments I really waited for were buried in the second half of the book, when the sobering bits finally emerged after spending a lifetime simmering underneath the banter and the verbal foreplay that never quite got to the heart of Lucy's and Josh's feelings.

‘The Hating Game' thankfully doesn't sink with heavy angst; any problems were resolved with lightning swiftness, leaving us with an ending so tooth-achingly sweet I knew it had to be fiction.
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