Executive assistant Lucy Hutton hates her publishing house coworker Josh. Typically well-liked and cute as a button, Lucy’s usual charms failed to break the stony demeanor of her work partner, leading to childish animosity between the two adults. Lucy and Josh’s resentment plays out as a series of rancorous “games” in which the winner revels in getting under the other’s skin. Their hatred is so visceral that HR frequently intervenes and halts their little hating games. A steamy elevator make-out session changes everything and Lucy begins to examine the fine line between hate and lust — or maybe even, gasp, love?!
Give me a fluffy, enemies-to-lovers story any day and I am a happy woman. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne perfectly executes my favorite romantic trope, and it made for a lighthearted Valentine’s Day read. I am an absolute sucker for a rom-com and this book plays out similarly to some of my on-screen faves. Think The Shop Around the Corner meets The Proposal. Thorne’s writing is bubbly and lively. She embraces romantic cliché rather than taking it too seriously, and the result is an easygoing brain vacation.
I don’t want to spend time on my gripes, because it removes the ebullient spirit of The Hating Game. If I want nuanced, dynamic characters and layered romance, I will crack open some Jane Austen or one of the Brontë sisters. This book knows what it is and the reader is all the better for it to just sit back and enjoy the frivolity of it all.