Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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Source: advance e-galley courtesy of William Morrow Books on Edelweiss

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.

Source: advance e-galley courtesy of William Morrow Books on Edelweiss

Two ultimate rivals facing off every day, doing their best to out-maneuver one other makes The Hating Game a quirky and witty office romance that’s full of surprises.

Lucy and Joshua are forced to work together at a publishing house because of a merger that was badly needed to save both companies that they worked for. As a result, many people lost jobs or were forced to work with replacements. Lucy and Joshua are both ambitious, stubborn and cynical. Each is indispensable to their respective bosses. To pass the days, they come up with games to see who caves first. Lucy and Joshua are opposites. Everyone in the company knows that they don’t get along and it’s kind of a joke. Now they’re gunning for a promotion and only one of them can win. Talk about the ultimate competition!

The writing to me felt informative though I didn’t find it a distraction from the story. I loved the pace, their silly-quick banter and how Lucy and Joshua try to outwit each other at every turn. The thing is, they don't realize how much they both thrive on challenging each other the way they do. Joshua forces her to be more firm as a manager while Lucy’s influence helps to soften him around the edges. So as certain forces encourage them to become closer, there’s always this inkling in the back of her mind as to whether she can trust what’s happening and what it will mean for her career. Their games are fun but they’re ridiculously adorable when they set aside their differences.

I’ve wanted an adult romance that’s atypical from what I’ve read recently. Office romances can be tricky due to the politics involved and the potential for a disastrous outcome, all of which is alluded to in here and which is what makes The Hating Game so appealing!

~ Bel

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