Friday, 16 September 2016

Review ~ The Hating Game by Sally Thorne


Book Description:

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

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.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 stars


“My hostage. My blackmailed, unwilling captive. Stockholm Shortcake.”


There is nothing like a good hate/love book to get your reading mojo well and truly pumping and that is exactly what The Hating Game delivered. Sally Thorne captured everything about those office relationships where competition takes on a whole new meaning and to think that this is her debut novel, I was totally blown away.

Enemies to lovers is one of those tropes that literally has me salivating. You learn more about a person through their actions in that kind of environment, especially in the work place. It is harder to hate than it is to love and there is often a very fine line between the two. Sometimes there is that genuine hate, because let’s be honest, there are a lot of douches and bitches in the world, but more often than not we hate as a veil of our true feelings and that was definitely the case with these two.


“Shortcake, if we were flirting, you’d know about it.”
“Because I’d be traumatized?”
“Because you’d be thinking about it later on, lying in bed.”


Two publishing houses struggling in the economic climate merge to ensure the viability of at least one of them, two CEO’s, two assistants. One male assistant, one female assistant who knock their asses out week after week to be the best. This was all about one-upmanship. Who could work the longest hours, who was more efficient, who has the best ideas etc.: Their competitiveness was the source of many hilarious scenes, yet so relatable having been in a similar environment myself. But they loved to hate one and other, their inter-office games of “hate” had me laughing so many times and this book was written so well their story effortlessly flowed from page to page. This was an easy read, a real page turner.


“The trick is to find someone who’s strong enough to take it. That one person who can give it back as good as they get.”


Lucy Hutton was working in a place that she had dreamt of since she was a teenager. For her, publishing had always been her dreams albeit maybe not as a PA to the CEO. Her position had left her friendless because of everyone’s “snitch” mentality and her only source of enjoyment in her working day were her battles with Joshua. These two sat in the same office where daggers were drawn from clock in to clock out. Where juvenile staring competitions were the norm and trying to decipher codes and logins were their speciality.


“I feel like your Easter egg.”


Joshua was a whizz with numbers, he kept himself to himself and was definitely a closed book. He was an ornery man of rituals and order and was as predictable as they came. But who was Joshua Templeman? With a new position being made as COO, a promotion for Lucy or Joshua, battle lines are well and truly drawn as both know that neither one could work for the other. This was a fight to the death in more ways than one. Lucy begins to see a different side to Joshua when little chinks in his armour are slowly revealed, could this be who Joshua Templeman really is and god forbid Lucy for actually…falling in love.


“The energy that usually lashes ineffectively inside each of us now has a conduit, forming a loop of electricity between us, cycling through me, into him. My heart is glowing in my chest like a bulb, flashing brighter with each movement of his lips.”


The humour and banter in this book was contagious from start to finish, the dialogue was spot on and the chemistry was seriously off the charts. Even in hate mode you could feel those flickers of electricity and you were constantly on edge just waiting for them to ignite into a raging inferno. These two as enemies were hilarious, as lovers totally swoon worthy. I adored EVERYTHING about this book. I made the mistake of starting this late in the day and then read into the early hours of the morning, I couldn’t put it down. The characters were infectious, the plot was riveting and as each layer of Joshua Templeman was revealed my heart just got mushier and mushier. For those that love enemies to lovers this is a must read and the story will speak for itself.


“This is the best game I’ve ever played in my entire life.”

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