The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (ARIANNA)

 ARIANNA’s Review

I honestly think ‘The Hating Game”’ is that kind of book anyone would enjoy – wonderfully written is a very entertaining way, griping from the very beginning and perfect if you love enemies to lovers stories. I’ve read many books with this trope, so trust me when I say Sally Thorne’s debut novel was a great one. More than great actually. It was fabulous! It was fan, entertaining and so refreshing. Needless to say, I devoured this little gem from start to finish.

“I’m twenty-eight years old and it seems I’ve fallen through the cracks of heaven and hell and into purgatory. A kindergarten classroom.”

Lucy Hutton met Josh Templeman when Gamin Publishing and Bexley Books merged to avoid financial ruin. They are the executive assistants to the two owners of “Bexley & Gamin” publishing house and they have been hating each other from the moment they met. Well…almost! Lucy and Josh are opposites in every way. While Lucy is sweet, fun and quirky, Josh is grumpy and cynical. From the very beginning, Lucy and Josh have been playing different games – games like ‘The Staring Game’, ‘The Mirror Game’, ‘The HR Game’ and of course ‘The Hating Game’ – trying to frustrate and intimidate each other.

“I should mention that the ultimate aim of all our games is to make the other smile, or cry. It’s something like that. I’ll know when I win.”

Everything seems to get worse between Lucy and Josh when they find out one of them will be the other boss. But the dynamic between them changes again with an earth shattering kiss.

This was such an awesome read! I’m not exaggerating when I’m saying this was one of the most entertaining enemies to lovers story I’ve read so far. Lucy and Josh’s story was fun, sweet and so well done. Told entirely from Lucy’s POV, “The Hating Game” has one of the best slow burn relationship I’ve read in a while. I loved how the relationship between these two unfolded. The transition from enemies to lovers was perfection IMO, gradual, believable and gave me tons of butterflies.

“Watching you pretend to hate that nickname is the best part of my day.”

Lucy was an awesome narrator and a fantastic, endearing heroine. I loved her portrayal. She was sweet, kind, considerate and so much fun. She was a genuinely good person, a refreshing, relatable character I’m sure many readers will love from the very beginning. I think what I loved the most about her was the way she pushed Josh’s buttons. *grin* Pure entertainment! As for our male main character…Josh was so much more than I’ve initially thought he will be. He was arrogant and a little cruel, but not too much to be annoying and like Lucy he loved their “silly” games. Btw, I totally loved their games myself.

“…if I were your boss, I’d work you so fucking hard. So fucking hard.”

They were fun and enchanting and I couldn’t read fast enough to find out who will win a certain game or how their relationship will unfold. I loved Josh’s humor, his shirts…lol, his sweetness, his vulnerability and of course the fact he was a cuddler. The man was very swoon-worthy most of the time.

The witty banter between these two was fantastically done. They made me smile and grin so many times as the story progressed and I really had a great time watching them hate each other less and less and slowly falling in love. The sexual tension between these two at times was…combustible and all the sexy teasing…so good! LOVED IT!!

“All I want to do is kiss you until I fall asleep. I want to slide in between your sheets, and find out what goes on inside your head, and underneath your clothes. I want to make a fool of myself over you.”

I really enjoyed Lucy’ POV, but I have to admit I really missed Josh’s because there were many times when I wanted so badly to be in his head. Also, I wouldn’t have minded an epilogue…just saying!

All in all, ‘The Hating Game’ was a great debut novel. If you are looking for a fun, sweet enemies to lovers story, with two engaging, well developed main characters and delightful dialogue, don’t hesitate and pick this one up!

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