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.
A little over a month ago I was in the airport, dreading the reason for my trip home. They’d found a mass on my mom’s ovary. We didn’t know what it was. Mom’s surgery had been scheduled for the next day. I texted my friends and asked for the best recommendation they had for a fun read to take my mind off of everything for the next few hours. (Mom’s okay by the way)
Navessa came through. She recommended, within seconds of my ask, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I have to admit, I balked at the $11.99 price. I do not pay that much for e-books. Not unless it’s an auto-buy, favorite, never-let-me-down author (read: Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh, for example). But I’d asked, and I trusted Navessa. So, using my personal hotspot on my phone, I downloaded The Hating Game to my Kindle.
The story pulled me in immediately. Lucy and Josh’s banter, games, and playfulness – even with its level of competitiveness that bordered on crossing lines – made me grin from beginning to end.
I enjoyed the hell out of this book, and despite me never really having an issue, I can see where some readers may take issue with the way Josh is towards Lucy. For a good portion of the beginning of the book he’s pretty horrible to Lucy. And while we know that this is straining and stressful to her, he doesn’t – because Lucy gives as good as she gets. She doesn’t let him see, she doesn’t break, and she doesn’t give in. In fact, she plays the games between them as well – or better – than he does.
So when she does finally break and show exactly how much this is stressing her out, how it hurts, Josh is shocked….and horrified that he’s caused this reaction in her. Not only that, he apologizes and immediately sets about changing his behavior.
That is something I can definitely appreciate, and love. It makes their story incredibly satisfying and a simple joy to read.
Also – funny as heck. I don’t like comedies. Not in books. Not in movies. It just never rings true. This, here, is the exception.
I can definitely see myself re-reading this book for years to come. I’ll be looking for the next release by Sally Thorne. I doubt I’ll be as hesitant to spend $12 on her again.