Joint Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Lou: A couple of friends recommend this book to me and I have to say I have awesome book friends because The Hating Game was one of the funniest and romantic books I’ve read this year! The Hating Game is an enemies to lovers trope with some swoon-worthy moments, with a hero and heroine I adored. *happy sigh*

Joshua and Lucy are on opposing sides of the same team when their publishing companies merge. The Bexley and Gamins are at war, with both their CEOs engaging in their own personal war. It was pretty hilarious with Joshua and Lucy as the main knights fighting their corners. Despite their mini-wars it’s  clear to see that Joshua is totally gaga for Lucy, and Lucy lust-hates after Joshua, which made for such funny reading. I loved it!

Has: I was recommended to check this book out by a friend who really loved it and I am glad that I did because this was an awesomesauce delicious and delightful romance. It was filled with snarky and witty banter with one of those most romantic couples I’ve read. I know the idea of two adversarial people who start of snarking and disliking each other slowly becoming sweet and romantic is hard to do, but Sally Thorne not only does this deftly but with style!

I loved the setting in a post merger publishing house which had opposing ideas and corporate cultures, along with Lucy being the total opposite of Josh who is cool and analytical, while she is warm and empathetic. Their games of one upmanship was hilarious and fun and realistic with the way they mirrored their body language, spying on their personal planners and using HR complaints against each other like grenades.

Lou: I adored Lucy. She was so clueless about Josh but that’s what made the novel so delicious. Their fights was pretty much like foreplay! I love your descriptor of using HR complaints like grenades. It truly was a war, but the hidden war beneath was their steamy attraction to one another. I kept thinking, argh we’re probably not going to get a kissy scene until halfway through the book, but NOPE. Joshua goes for it and it was like, omg, steamy kiss. The cover lies! This is no chick-lit (this is not a dig at chick-lit. I’ve loved many chick-lit books) with romantic elements. IT’S A ROMANCE.

And make no bones about it–the cover does do the story a huge disservice because this book was a romantic comedy that had shades of Emma Chase. It was so fucking funny, especially the paintball scene and then afterwards where Josh becomes super hero-material and looks after a puking Lucy.

Has: OMG YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is truly a 100 percent romance. That cover makes it look like it is chick-lit and it is far from it. I definitely agree with you that it has shades of Emma Chase with funny and snappy dialogue, and a hero like Josh, who despite his initial cold demeanor–and once Lucy finds out his true self–I couldn’t help falling a little in love with him too. I also have to agree with you about the sexual tension which is just fucking wonderful. Sally Thorne is amazeballs with the way she describes kisses, let alone the love scenes. Because it is in Lucy’s POV, her thought processes are funny, witty and insightful, but I have to say there were several kiss/make out scenes which leapt out on the page for me. I especially loved the scene when they kissed under a lamp-post which was one of the most romantic kisses that I’ve ever read!

I manage to take a breath and our slow, sexy slide is cut into a series of broken-up kisses, like gentle bites. He’s testing, and there’s shyness there too. I feel like I’m being told a secret.
There’s a fragility in this kiss I would never have expected. It’s the same as the knowledge that one day this memory will fade. He’s trying to make me remember this. It’s so bittersweet my heart begins to hurt. Just as my mouth opens and I try to slide my tongue, he ends the kiss on a chaste note.
Was that a last kiss?

Lou: I had big smiles and so many laugh-out-loud moments reading this book. If Thorne writes another romance like The Hating Game, I have a new-auto-buy author on my hands. Yeah the kissy scenes and the romance was lovely, and the tension was perfect. My only critique was that sometimes I felt the dialogue was too long-winded at times and I thought the ending was somewhat fast. From enemies to friends and to then lovers, Josh and Lucy grow incredibly close, and Josh is not the arrogant so and so we’re led to believe from Lucy’s POV. Lucy bats for him hard towards the family at the end and I was pumping the air with my fists cheering Lucy on.

Has: I definitely agree with you about the ending being abrupt. I was hoping to see a certain outcome in the publishing house and how that panned out for Lucy because it was such a huge focus of the book. However, the romance itself played out just beautifully. I loved seeing Lucy discovering that Josh was actually a nice guy under that cold exterior and that there was a reason why he was like that. I also especially loved a scene at the end of the book when she was defending him, which was romantic, hilarious and sweet. And it was a pure utter delight seeing them in love and being so tender and sweet with each other at the end of the book. I think I just melted when they realised they were in love with each other and that their feelings were based on their mutual attraction that they were hiding from. This was seriously one of the most romantic and sweetest books I read even though they started off hating each other’s guts.

Lou: I love the enemies to lovers trope and The Hating Game had it in spades with the biggest and romantic HEA for these two enemies. I loved everything about the book, apart from those few niggles which I mentioned, which stopped it being an A grade for me.

For those who love their comedic romances and for fans of Emma Chase, definitely check out The Hating Game. You’ll love it.

I give the Hating Game a B+

Has: The Hating Game is a cute, sexy and witty romance with memorable and engaging leads. I loved the little games Lucy and Josh played which ratcheted up their tension and the reward in seeing them finally being together. I love a book that leaves me with a huge smile on my face and being sad to reach the end of the story. The Hating Game was definitely one of the best books I read this year with a truly funny, sweet and entertaining romance!

I also give The Hating Game a B+

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