Earlier in the year the Cannonball Read Romance readers loved Act Like It by Lucy Parker. Parker is new on the Romance scene, and delivered a high wire act of a Contemporary. I rated it at 4.5 stars, and I might end up rounding it up to a 5 eventually, since I probably like it just as much as When a Scot Ties the Knot. When Malin, baxlala, and Beth Ellen sang the praises of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne and compared it favorably to Act Like It, it shot to the top of the ever growing to read list.
Much like Parker, Thorne delivers a Contemporary romance which features characters hovering around 30, with real weight and backstory to their characterization. It is also a similarly limited cast of characters, with the grand majority of the narrative taking place with just two characters: Lucy and Josh.
The book opens with Lucy telling us about her nemesis, Joshua Templeman, and the various ways they hate each other throughout their working lives. Factor in the competition for a new position which would be Lucy’s dream job, a rough year of company mergers, lost friends, missing her parents, and zero social life, and Lucy is ready to rip Josh limb from limb to get this promotion. If only he hadn’t kissed her in the elevator and thrown her entire life into turmoil.
I’m really, really in like with this book. And once the cards were on the table, so to speak, I was very much team Josh. Thorne chooses to keep the narration from Lucy’s point of view, and every so often I’d want to yell at the book exasperated with how she didn’t see what we saw of Josh’s true nature. I had him pieced together pretty early on in the book, and was relieved that the big thing I saw coming wasn’t the real big thing that had to be dealt with (and boy, did Lucy deal with it).
Enemies to Lovers isn’t usually the trope that I like, but Thorne makes believable the backstory that she has in place for them, and I adored how she, through Josh, allowed the pair time to get settled into the idea of not playing all the verbal sparring and one-upmanship games which had previously populated all of their interactions. I am also an enormous fan of snuggling, and there is quite a bit of it in this book.
I recommend this book for nearly anyone reading this genre and happily endorse its comparison to Act Like It.