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Book Review-The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

by | Feb 20, 2017 | Book Reviews | 9 comments

Book Review-The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Book Review-The Hating Game by Sally ThorneThe Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Published by Harper Audio on January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 11 Hours and 29 Mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonLibrary ThingLibrary ThingLiteral Club

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

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.
Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


Lucy and Joshua are rivals and from the first day they started working together began their hating game. A game they have played for months. Their interactions are full of dislike and hatred. They work as assistants to co CEO’s of a publishing house. But the stakes become even higher when both Lucy and Joshua are up for the same promotion and their game becomes even more elevated. Lucy has a love/hate feeling toward her nemesis and even though her deep hidden desire is for them to be friends she knows it is impossible. But suddenly their game boundaries changes after a steamy kiss in a elevator that surprises both of them, how possessive Joshua seems to be, and when Lucy finds herself in a game she is not prepared for….a game that could threaten their jobs when they attempt to try a new and exciting change if they are both up for the challenge…

Plot and Story Line

You know I have heard about this book for months and months and I don’t know why I kept resisting picking this up. But when it became available for audio at my local library, I knew that it was a sign I needed to give in and try it out and boy I am glad that I did. This book was one of the best enemies to lovers romances I have ever read. This is a trope I don’t get a chance to read as often as I would like, and for a debut novel from a new author, the book was simply fantastic and I just didn’t want to put my headphones away. These two were so adorable. The story sets off with these two being so antagonistic towards each other, their quick witted bantering was delightful and I got a kick out of their comebacks toward each other.

❝Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.

Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are shredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you.

Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game — and you have to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.❞

But then we start to see a slow change. It becomes slow though, and then their relationship starts to change to a whole different level. They like each other alot and Lucy doesn’t know what to make of it. She has always hated Josh, and she does get confused by the new status of trying a different “game”.

The Kissing Game goes like this, Shortcake. Press, retreat, tilt, breathe, repeat. Use your hands to angle just right. Loosen up until it’s a slow, wet slide. Hear the drum of blood in your own ears? Survive on tiny puffs of air. Do not stop. Don’t even think about it. Shudder a sigh, pull back, let your opponent catch you with lips or teeth and ease you back into something even deeper. Wetter. Feel your nerve endings crackle to life with each touch of tongue. Feel a new heaviness between your legs. The aim of the game is to do this for the rest of your life. Screw human civilization and all it entails. This elevator is home now. This is what we do now. Do not fucking stop.

Now Joshua he was delightful and I loved him to pieces. Josh we see truly cares for Lucy, and I love the way he cares for her in little ways without giving too much away. Joshua hasn’t had good history with women, they always tend to burn him and so he is pretty closed off.

Shyness takes so many different forms. Some people are shy and soft. Some, shy and hard. Or in Josh’s case, shy, and wrapped in military-grade armor.

And it could be heart breaking at times seeing the way he is with Lucy. He takes things really really slow with her, which drives Lucy kinda crazy. She just doesn’t understand why he is taking things so slow with her and they have to build a new level of trust. These two have their ups and their downs, a certain level of crazy and sexy chemistry that captivates the reader from the first page. Now there was some moments in this book that seriously made me want to shout out. Literally, especially that breakfast moment with Josh’s dad…boy I kinda fell in love with Lucy—so fierce and protective of Josh, I had to replay it a few times because I got such a kick out of it. I honestly couldn’t get enough of these two and their chemistry. I love their bantering, the humor, the rich emotion that filters through and a couple that wins your heart. I think the only thing I would have changed was the ending, I would have liked to know the outcome of the promotion and see Joshua grovel to Lucy’s folks.

The Narration

What a fabulous narrator we have here….at first I wasn’t sure if I would like her. But she grew on me very VERY quickly. She brings in the humor of the book so well and her voice is just the right fit for the tone of this book. I loved the way she showed the levels of emotion and wit with just the right voice and she portrays the book so superb. If you like audio books, you definitely need to try this narrator out.

The Cover

I am not a fan of the cover, I will admit. I don’t care too much for cartoonish covers but I like the colors used.

Overall View

The Hating Game is a delightful mix of angsty romance, silly yet fun bantering, a full belly satisfying love story that will leave you with a smile on your face.

I haven’t wanted you this long, and gone through so much, and given up so much, to have you for one night. It’s not enough.”

About Sally Thorne

Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn't always so easy to find.

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  1. Michele H

    Love the review! I adored this book too. And I’m not always a fan of enemies-to-lovers as it can get super antagonistic and mean. But Sally Thorne did a great job with this couple, didn’t she? Ugh. Love it. 🙂

  2. kimbacaffeinate

    YES! YES! and YES! I loved this and agree best haters to lovers ever 🙂

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    I picked up this one after reading Kimba’s review, Renee, but haven’t cracked it open yet. I’m so, so happy you got your “sign” and grabbed it when it became available. I’m even happier you enjoyed it so well!! This is one of my most favorite romance tropes so I’ll be reading it soon. 🙂

  4. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

    YAY I am so glad you enjoyed this and finally picked it up. I think I need to get the audio for a reread!!! Great review!!

  5. Joyousreads

    LOVE. LOVE. LOVE this book.

  6. Quinn's Book Nook

    I have also heard so many amazing things about this one but haven’t read it. I’m so glad you loved this. And that the audiobook was great. I need to listen to this one.

  7. Blodeuedd

    I wonder how this would have been on audio for me

  8. Lily B

    this was amazing, i loved the writing and I am so glad you gave it a shot!


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