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The Hating Game

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

Title: The Hating Game

Author: Sally Thorne

Genre: Romance, Fiction, Humour

Published: 9th August 2016


Start Date: 9th June 2022

Finish Date: 13th June 2022


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 felt like I was playing my own version of the love/hate game as I was reading this book. Lucy and Josh work in the same office, but they cannot stand each other. They trade daily insults fuelled by their mutual hate and dislike, or could the hate be a mask for something else?

There is so much I enjoyed about the Hating Game. I read 2/3 of the book in the flash of light. Josh is adorable, brooding and silent on the outside but sweet and squishy on the inside. The hate banter between Josh and Lucy is filled with clever and witty barbs that had me giggling to myself as I read it page to page. The tension between Josh and Lucy is so visceral and delicious, pretending to hate each other when really they want each other so bad.

Lucy is weird, and she gets weirder as the book progresses. She is hyper, easily freaked out, a people-pleaser and she lacks self-confidence (totally get that) She takes thing the wrong way, so she will perceive slights when there are none and refuses to believe otherwise. She is constantly on the search for signs that Josh hates her, even though there is plenty of evidence proving otherwise. This happens more as her and Josh gets closer to each other, not less, which does not make a lot of sense. She is constantly anxious over what others think of her, as if they are not too busy to be thinking about her.

I found the last part of the book seemed to drag on. Everything that I disliked in the first 2/3 was intensified. Josh is endlessly reassuring Lucy that she is valued and liked, while she freaks out continuously one other the other. I found it very exhausting to read. Also, instead of their usual banter, their dialogue switches to the most mushy talk ever, I am a hopeless romantic but it was too cringy for me at times.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


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