Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on May 16, 2019
FINAL DECISION: This book isn’t what I expected from the blurb. I expected a lot of backstabbing and undermining and anger and angst. But this book was such a beautiful romance. I loved both these characters and how their relationship developed. It is a slow-burn romance but not boring — just wonderful.
THE STORY: Lucy Hutton’s nemesis is Joshua Templeman. Lucy and Joshua are executive assistants to the co-CEOs of a publishing company. Now they are both competing for the same promotion. Neither is going to back down from the competition, but at that precise moment, Lucy begins to get to know Joshua better. Perhaps neither really hates the other as much as Lucy expected — or is Joshua playing the long game in winning the competition between them?
OPINION: This book was hot several years ago. I have to admit that I wasn’t attracted to the book then. I ended up reading it recently for a book club. Unlike many “hot” books, this one was amazing.
From the first page to the end, I loved the couple and the story, even though it has many elements that aren’t my favorite — such as it is told in the first person present (by Lucy), and we never get Joshua’s perspective other than what Lucy learns. But it worked for me because it ended up being precisely what the story needed to work.
Lucy is sweet but surprisingly determined and strong when it matters. Joshua … no, I can’t say any more because it will give the story away. I can say that Lucy’s perception of Joshua is that he is a stick-in-the-mud, cold person, and a big jerk. When she finds herself attracted to him, she can’t imagine why.
What I love about this book is that it takes all the tropes of the office romance from 20-30 years ago and writes in a new and unexpected way. I’ve read stories like this many times before, but this book never gave the easy, expected answer. It is modern and funny, but it is also sweet and romantic.
It wasn’t the typical angsty and angry enemies-to-lovers story that I was expecting, but it was definitely worth the reading.
WORTH MENTIONING: THE HATING GAME was made into a movie.
CONNECTED BOOK THE HATING GAME is a standalone.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.