Bite Sized Books // Hate To Love Romance

20 February 2018

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The Hating Game – Sally Thorne
Published: 9th August 2016
Source: Netgalley/Purchased
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
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 prides herself on being loved by everyone at work - except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.

Trapped in a shared office, they've become entrenched in an addictive 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 promotion is on offer.

If Lucy wins, she'll be Joshua's boss. If she loses, she'll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn't hate him. And just maybe, he doesn't hate her either. Or is this just another game . . . ?

I read this book a good long while ago and never reviewed it on my blog or Netgalley. It was a fantastic read and I really enjoyed it, I even bought a copy for me to reread at some point. It definitely feels like a romance I could revisit another day and enjoy just as much,

Last year, there was a lot of hype surrounding this book so I was a little nervous going in. Luckily, this book met all the hype and then some. When I first began reading I was a bit uncertain. I mean, Lucy fully just throws us into hating Josh right along with her and it's funny and weird and I wasn't sure at first, but then I thought it was hilarious. The way it was written was a little over the top but it had the right amount of humour to have me giggling along with the book.

The tension between Josh and Lucy was brilliant, you seriously could tell that there was so much chemistry between them. At times I was fanning myself there was fire between them. You spend a few chapters enjoying the strange games they play and enjoying Lucy's utter obsession with Josh and his different behaviours and then you get to see them together as their chemistry boils over. Josh lusting after Lucy after she's dressed in a provocative outfit and then that elevator scene?!?! Let me just fan myself for a second.

I think this book was so perfect because it was on the edge of being weird. I mean, Lucy and her neurotic behaviour is hilarious. She could come across as crazy (she does come across as crazy) but she is adorable whilst doing it and Josh doesn't even bat an eyelash at it. Their battle of wills and their competitive streak with one another is just awesome.
It's hard to fully describe this book and explain why it is so great. It's hilarious and such a swoony romance and it's just brilliant. It's partially a throwback to older 'chick-lit' in the general tone of the book, but yet it's completely it's own book at the same time. I think I've stopped expecting books to be funny like this when it comes to romance and it's showing me I'm wrong for thinking that.

The only reason I didn't rate this book 5 stars is because the ending just felt lacking in some way. I almost felt like we lost a couple of chapters. It was no major gripe, it didn't make me like the book any less, it simply ended too soon for my liking.

14. Love To Hate You
Love to Hate You – Jo Watson
Published: 6th February 2018
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
An unmissable sexy rom-com from the author of ALMOST A BRIDE. Perfect for fans of Joanna Bolouri, Cate Woods and Sally Thorne's THE HATING GAME.

Sera is usually a good girl. (Except for one wild night in the backseat of a stranger's car!) But what happens when that bad boy turns out to be her new boss? And what happens when he wants more than one night...and he can be very persuasive...

For more laugh-out-loud, swoon-worthy hijinks, don't miss Jo's other rom-coms, BURNING MOON, ALMOST A BRIDE and FINDING YOU.
I admit, I was drawn into requesting this book on Netgalley because of the comparison to The Hating Game so it felt utterly appropriate to then review it right along with that very book (which I should have reviewed a year ago).

First off, it was utterly ridiculous but very fun. I mean, it starts with a girl having sex in the backseat of a car after going to a gay club and then runs a way after a group of drag queens knocks the car and cheers as she runs away. Like, if that doesn’t say it all with this book I don't know what does. That sort of sets the tone of the book, it’s just that step beyond and a little ridiculous. It’s a perfect light read but at times the ridiculousness took me out of the book as I went ‘really?’ which was a little annoying.

One thing I really liked is this book is set in South Africa! That is exciting for me as my uncle actually lived in South Africa before he died. It’s one place I only want to visit because of the family connection. I couldn’t immediately tell but once it clicked that the author was South African it was really obvious. It was fun to read a book set somewhere different for once.

But onto why this book was ridiculous. It was so OTT and yes it did having me laughing and smiling to myself and it did have rom-coms vibes but if I hadn't been in the mood for a light easy read I might have hated it. Luckily, I was in the mood for it so it worked but I had to say it. It took me out of the story a couple of times so it’s a love/hate thing for this style of writing.

Also, it felt like all the stereotypes were here like the gay couple who were kind and totally out there and the sexy hot stranger/boss with a heart of gold. And the MC with a troubled family who just didn't see how awesome she was. All things which meant characters felt flat at times which is why this book didn't get a higher rating. Romance is all about the characters so if you're not loving them the you're not loving the book. Sera was likeable at times but then sometimes I was rolling my eyes in a bad way at her antics, you know?

I am glad I read this though. It was very reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella and old school chick-lit of the 2000s. It had that fun vibe going for it and I know there are plenty of folks who won't even notice any issues and will love the rollercoaster ride of fun.

And there are my reviews for two hate to love romances. What hate to love romance do you love?
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