Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

I love a good workplace comedy. I honestly haven’t read many of them, but I always enjoy them when I do. I would’ve liked to see just a little more of the workplace satire and more of their co-workers, but there still were several things that made me laugh and relate. I also appreciated that the setting for the majority of the book was set at the office with Lucy and Josh. It’s so different from so many contemporary/romance books and I think it helped set it apart a bit.

I thought we were going to get both POVs in this book, but we only get Lucy’s 1st Person POV. This actually ended up really working for me. I really felt like I got to know her well and I felt a connection to her. I thought she was a likable character, but I did get a little frustrated with her from time to time. While I was initially a little disappointed not getting Josh’s POV, I think it’s better that we didn’t. It would have taken away a lot of the romantic tension if we knew what he was thinking. Though, I have to say, I thought it was pretty obvious what he was thinking the majority of the time. But not to poor Lucy, though.

The humor in this book was fantastic. There are so, so many quotable moments. I wish I would’ve bookmarked them so I could share some. I love banter in books and there was A LOT of it in this book. Thorne’s writing is really sharp and unique. It’s kind of quirky. Though this is her debut novel, I have no doubt going forward that when I pick up a book by her, I’ll know it by her writing style.

The romance was also really well done. It followed the “Hate to Love” trope and was definitely a slow burn romance. I was shipping them so hard and loved seeing even the smallest steps forward. I hate using the word “swoony”, but I have to admit it could get pretty swoony. Josh is definitely one of my new favorite leading men. He was a perfect mix of sarcastic and sweet. One thing, though, that I didn’t love was it ended up being a lot more romance-novely than I was expecting. And by that I mean there was more sex talk and sex scenes than I generally care to read. It never got super graphic, though, so I can kind of look past it.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Hating Game. It had great humor and great romance and it was just so fun to read. I know that this is going to become one of my go-to books to revisit when I’m feeling book-slumpy. I look forward to reading more from Thorne in the future

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

4 stars

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15 thoughts on “Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

  1. Woohoo – awesome review!! I bought this one and hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. I’m so glad to see you liked it, because now I have no doubt it’ll be worth the money.
    Lately, if you can believe it, all the sex and romance overkill in books has been too much for me. I know, right?!! I just finished a book that was going SO GOOD, and then it got all alpha male and over the top sex scenes by the 3/4 mark, and I was rolling my eyes. It redeemed itself with the suspense and twist at the end, but I just find myself getting sick of that anymore. What’s happening to me?!?! Lol.

    • Thanks! I hope you enjoy it! I am usually so picky with what books I let myself buy and I hate buying books by authors I’ve never read before, but I gave in on this one and I’m so glad I did!
      I think that whenever you read a lot of something you eventually kind of get over it (at least for awhile). I personally think a lot of times an over the top sex scene can ruin a book for me. I really don’t see the need to go into so much detail. I’m quite happy leaving it at the “shift focus to the fireplace” method haha.

  2. I loved this book! I loved the banter and found myself getting swoony over Joshua. I appreciated the slow burn romance. I think this will be one of my go to romances when I am in a book slump. I hope she writes another one soon.

    • The deciding factor when I bought this was that you said in your review on Good Reads that Kristan Higgins said something good about it. And if it’s good enough for Kristan… I’ve already started re-reading parts of it at random times when I’m bored. There was a sneak peak of her next book in my copy, but I don’t think it comes out until next summer.

      • That is what made me read it instead of returning it to the library. I had too many books come in at once and had to make a choice so when I saw Kristan’s little endorsement I was sold. I am glad you liked it and I forgot to mention before.great review!

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