How many times have I said I don’t read romance novels? A lot? Well, today’s the day I eat those words. That’s right, Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game changed my mind about an entire genre. Okay, not an entire genre, I’m not about to go buy any of those books at the supermarket with half-naked farmhands on them. But you get my point. I usually enjoy romance within other genres, but I rarely read books where romance is the central plot. After reading The Hating Game, that has definitely changed – after reading this last month, I read TWO romance books this month already. WHO AM I?
(From Goodreads) 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 40 (OK, 50 or 60) 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.
The Hating Game was everything I wanted from a romance novel. It satisfied my craving for a good haters-to-lovers plot, and wasn’t as cheesy as some (ok, most) of the other romance novels I’ve read have been. I think my favorite part was the dynamic between the main characters. I loved the competition between them, and that it didn’t stop after their romance began. The characters themselves were wonderfully dimensional and quirky. I loved that their quirks were unique (i.e. things I don’t feel like I’ve seen before), and were weird, but also completely believable.
I also thought the sex scenes were done really well. They were both satisfying (unlike another book I just read which spends the entire novel building up to something we don’t get to see), and fitting for the story. I don’t see anything wrong with a good sex scene, but, more often than not, I find myself either rolling my eyes at how perfect everything is, cringing because it’s (unintentionally) awkward or uncomfortable, or wondering if it was really necessary for the story. Here, it worked, and it worked well.
Overall, I thought this was an incredibly fun read! It was the perfect break from my more serious reading and thesis work, and definitely changed my mind about reading romance (and admitting that I occasionally read romance).
I am definitely a fan of this book, and I am looking forward to reading more of Sally Thorne’s writing (she has another book scheduled for publication in 2017)! If you’re a fan of romance, in particular, the ever-popular haters to lovers trope, I highly recommend this one!