The Hating Game blurb:
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 forty (ok, fifty or sixty) 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.
OMG how did it take me so long to read this?! This book was so adorably amazing and I loved it to pieces. As soon as I finished reading it, I went back and reread certain parts because I just couldn’t let go of the story.
Ok, so Lucy (our MC) works as assistant to a CEO in a publishing house. Yes, to A CEO. There are two since the merger of Gamin and Bexley. The other CEO brought his assistant with him. His assistant is Josh Templeman, Lucy’s nemesis. Between the two of them, they’ve split the the company in terms of who reports to who. Josh has finance. Lucy has marketing. (There’s some other things, but I can’t remember specifics and it’s not really relevant.) And they compete. And play games. And they hate each other. (Allegedly.)
To be honest, this book appealed to me on so many levels, but one of them is that I’ve never been able to explain to anyone what my own job involves. I’m an Executive Officer, which sounds super vague, but I basically help my boss run her division (which is Communications, Media and Marketing). Because the rest of the division do all the comms, etc. I run around writing, editing and QA’ing briefs; I manage projects, finances, reporting, official correspondence, procurement and recruitment – I do all the ‘other’ things that help a division run. So I totally understood Lucy and Josh’s jobs.
I also genuinely loved the characters. I think I could be in love with Lucy. Lucy with her flamethrower red lipstick, who smells like strawberries and collects smurfs. I might also be in love with Josh. He sounds like a grown up, clean-cut version of Ronan Lynch – including the constant sulking. I also love when their exteriors crack and you get to see them be a little bit vulnerable. I especially love when that trickle of vulnerability turns into a raging torrent and then there’s just a mess of emotions and confusion. OMG I just want to pinch their cheeks and tell them they will be ok.
Considering this is a debut novel, you can basically bowl me over because I am so in love with this book. To be honest, it was everything I never even knew I wanted in a story. The writing is smooth gloss, as slick as all the surfaces in their shiny, modern office. I devoured it in about two days, reading as often as I could. (With the exception of the first chapter that I had read a couple of days before.) I wanted to stare at this book as much as Josh and Lucy stare at each other.
The romance is subtle until it really isn’t, and at no point in time is it cheesy. This book would be the PERFECT summer romance read for all you northern-hemisphere readers. And if you’re looking for another recommendation from me to jump into the ‘adult’ fiction category, this one gets a solid tick from me!
PS: There’s an epilogue for this at the end of 99 Percent Mine, so make sure you get them both at the same time!!