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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Taking a recommendation and a chance on a debut author, Sally Thorne is on the blog today with her first release. Occasionally there are books that leave me stumbling about and blinking like a vampire in the spotlight. *weakly waves fist (think the French Taunter scene from Monty Python). I fell asleep at 130 am (waaaaay past my bedtime) in the middle of chapter 21.  Only to fall face first into a vat of coffee.  Yes…. Please read on for my review of

The Hating Game

Lucinda Hutton and Joshua Templeton are polar opposites, the assistants to two CEOs of their two vastly divergent, and now merged, publishing houses.  Everything about them is different: Josh is reserved, a bit uptight, tall, obsessively neat and intimidating.  Lucy is petite, outgoing, colorful and a bit of a pushover, preferring being liked to being stern.  Together they should be oil and water but their dynamic, including her desperate attempts to get ‘even’ by gaining a smile or a laugh not returned their first meeting.

Told in Lucy’s point of view, her voice is clear and solid, and should have had me wondering what bug climbed up Josh’s butt, but her obvious desire to know him had me curious as well. She doesn’t ‘get’ the buttoned up, apparently non-book-loving employees that came over in the merge: none seem to have lived, breathed or dreamed publishing….and Lucy most certainly has. She’s that well-loved paperback with the spine taped that you have to hold ‘just so’ but you won’t ever forget every line, and read it often.  Josh is that textbook the professer said you needed and never mentioned again – yet you daren’t get rid of it, in case you feel shallow.

Keeping score in this admittedly juvenile game they have going, carefully tracking wins and near-wins, peppered with sharp and witty dialogue, clever moments of insight into Lucy, and a bit of slow-reveal of Josh. A team building paintball tournament isn’t the right time to become deathly ill, but Josh not only watches over Lucy like a hawk, he opens up a crack in the armor he uses as a shield to keep her at arm’s length.

Sally Thorne’s use of dialogue, character development and reveal and the resolution of the conflicts between Lucy and Josh are clever, leading readers through a believable set of reasons to explain their personalities and the attraction between them. And that attraction is white hot and scalding, especially satisfying in the fact that there is no instant gratification, but a slow build to explosive ‘this is how it should be’ revelatory moments that are both heart and panty meltingly sweet and romantic.  This is one of the ‘keeper shelf’ books, guaranteed to perk up a bad day and sure to be read often just for the heart.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Humor elements, Romantic Elements
Published by: William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN: 0062439596
Published on: 9 August, 2016
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 29 minutes
Rated: five-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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About the Book:

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.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Check out a few of my favorite moments

I am a mature young woman, legs elegantly crossed, flipping through a medical textbook, sipping my tea.  He’s got on some soft black sweats, a black t-shirt, and nice bare feet. Can’t he have a flaw?

He sits on the edge of the couch, his hair damp and ruffled in every direction. I turn the page and unfortunately a lurid diagram of an erect penis glares up at me.

“I am trying to be a bit more normal.”

He looks at the pages. “How’s it working out so far?”

“I’m glad this isn’t a pop-up book.”

~ * ~ 

I’m hoarse and breathless. “I’m gonna die tonight. Please take your pants off.”

“I want that embroidered on a pillow,” he says, and I laugh until I’m gasping. 

 

 

 

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. The Hating Game is her first novel.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges: