The Hating Game

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne Book Summary

USA Today Bestseller!

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 and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne Book Reviews

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- He was in the back room5 star

Hey baby I’m bout to go to bed

- Meh1 star

It was over hyped and so slow I skipped so many chapters out of boredom

- New Favorite, Hands Down5 star

If you want to get caught looking like an idiot, smiling while reading a book (basically throughout the entirety of it), this is the one for you. My all time favorite book was Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (who am I kidding, all her books are amazing), but The Hating Game quickly took that #1 spot. I could not put it down, I read it in less than 12 hours nearly nonstop, and never wanted it to end. The banter between these two characters is hilarious, the slow(ish) burn built anticipation and angst, but I never became frustrated wanting to rush to the “good part”. The entire book is the good part. Seriously, read this. Right now. But only if you have a day to spare... good luck putting this one down. 😉

- So sweet!5 star

No doubt one of my favorites! Absolutely loved it.

- I really enjoyed this book!4 star

I love how it ended! i love how the author really wraps everything up. The writing itself is incredible. SO much happened and it was well thought out :3 ----- - - this might be a little spoiler-ish. The only thing i didn't like about this book was the fact that he was "so big" and she was "so tiny" kept being repeated. i dont know, it kind of weirded me out when he said "i love how tiny you are". didn't sit right with me. being short myself, yes, everyone calls you small but i feel like it was overused.

- Amazing5 star

SO GOOD. One of my favorite books.

- So Feel Good5 star

This book gave me all the feels. I freaking loved it. It made me laugh out loud. It made me so, so happy. I literally felt like I could float after reading this.

- Awesome5 star

Awesome story!! Finished in 2 days, I couldn’t put the book down! Completely in love with this story. Can’t wait for the movie.

- Loved this book!5 star

This book just remind me of just how much of a hopeless romantic I really am! I only wish she had if Lucy got the job or not, but otherwise I ABSOLUTEY loved this book

- Funny, cute, sexy all in one5 star

it’ll keep you entertained. thats for sure.

- I loved it!5 star

I loved it so much I finished it in two days!! It’s so funny and witty I wish she would write a part two!

- Astonishing5 star

This is the book that got me into reading. Now I can’t go back. It’s funny, steamy, and my personal favorite of going from hate to love. Two polar opposites, but you know what they say opposites attract. If you loved this book, I recommend “Fix Her Up” by Tessa Bailey.

- The hating game5 star

I loved this book so much. It seriously kept me up. 10/10 would recommend

- Good read4 star

Usually I like fantasy more than pure romance but this book made me change my mind. I fell in love with this funny, cute, and sometimes sexy book. I have to say that I didn’t appreciate how the author kept pointing out how small and short the main character was compared to the muscular and tall love interest, but it is probably my bias since I am a fairly tall girl. I read this book in one day and could not put it down. The first chapter may seem slow but push through. You won’t regret this book! P.S. If you are looking for amazing writing, this is not your book. I liked the plot but the writing sometimes felt undeveloped.

- Read this book!5 star

I’ve always stayed away from romance novels but I loved each and every page. I never wanted it to end. Cute, sexy, sweet, and loved the tone!

- I’m wrecked5 star

Usually it takes a lot for me to get so worked up about a book, and it is normally a several-book series and I’m so immersed that I feel like the main character. But The Hating Game wrecked my soul. It blew my brain to bits. I am sitting in the after-the-ending haze and I have goosebumps alighting all over random parts of my body. My calf, my scalp, my left buttcheek. I’m speechless and almost completely comatose. I’ve never loved a book so fiercely, so fast, and so completely. This Author has a new lifelong fan. I can’t wait to read literally anything else she writes, even if it’s her grocery list.


I loved it the characters had so much chemistry it had me on the edge of my seat.

- Love It!5 star

One of my favorite books! I read in one sitting!

- One of my all-time favorites!!5 star

It was hard to find another book to live up to The Hating Game after reading it. I DIDN’T WANT IT TO END!! One of the best enemies to lovers troupe that I highly recommend!!

- AMAZING!!5 star

5/5 would recommend!! Not into reading(trying to though lol) and this book is definitely worth it!!!

- Smart, quick-paced romantic comedy5 star

Read it — you won’t be disappointed

- Love love love5 star

I’ve read over 250 books so far this year and this is BY FAR my favorite one. The banter is incredible and their chemistry is insane 😩 wish there were more!!

- Love Love Love5 star

If you love romance stories, like I do, this is definitely the book for you!

- The Hating Game5 star

I’ve re-read this book a few times, my favorite so far and I read a lot.

- As good as everyone says it is5 star

And that’s high, high praise!

- Kept waiting for it to get better.1 star

I had high hopes!

- Cute, funny & sexy5 star

Great chemistry, super fun to read. Was not disappointed.

- Yes!!5 star

The book his hilarious, and for one, the “nemesis” love interest of this trope is not an arrogant unlike able jerk!

- The Review.5 star

I love the cuteness of this book🥰🥰🥰 I love how they both act as an anchor each other. I love the fact that the female protagonist melts the heart of the big bad wolf. I love everything about this book. They way it was written, the dialogue, and the characters. I love how incredibly bold Lucy is to anything. Especially the scene where she stood up for Josh. Oh gosh, I wish I had a Josh. I know I’m being redundant using love, but that’s the only word that can be articulated when thinking about this book. I only wish it was longer or had a sequel!!

- Okay2 star

I had really Hugh hopes before starting this book. The vast majority of reviews for this book absolutely raved about it, saying how it was so good and blah blah blah. I was disappointed to say the least. The book in theory seemed good because it’s the common trope of enemies to lovers deal, but it just wasn’t doing it for me. It was just I think too unconvincing too me idk I just found it lacking and then your at the end and it’s like how did I get there.Also there are some plot holes. Overall the story was fine it just want what I was expecting and lacking in areas.

- The best5 star

I’ve been looking for a new book and this was it, it met all of my expectations!!!

- Cheesy, but made my heart smile4 star

While this book makes your heart speed up, goosebumps rise, and your toes to tingle in some portions, other portions I find incredibly cheesy. The nickname was cute the first 20 times but after it was mentioned for the 45th time I was over it!!!!! I also don’t love how often we’re reminded that she’s tiny and small and he’s big and masculine. Overall a good book but dialogue is cheesy and conversations seem as though they take place in a high school instead of a CEO’s office.

- Hilariously funny5 star

This book will have you laughing from the first page to the last. I finished it in 2 days. It starts off incredibly well and SO funny- and doesn’t let up. Such a cute love story. If you’re thinking about buying it stop and just do it.

- Hilarious and adorable.5 star

Absolutely loved this.

- Don’t quit too soon!5 star

It took me a handful of chapters to really get into it - so much that I would forget what was going on when it had been less than 24 hours since I last read. But man what a comeback - had me laughing out loud and holding my breath until the last page. Please give us a sequel!!!

- ilove5 star


- Astonished5 star

I have read thousands of romance novels in every sub genre imaginable. None - not a single one - has been written quite like this one. It took my breath away. I felt like I was holding my breath from the first page till the last. This will be one of those books I re-read hundreds of times before I die.

- Totally addicted!5 star

I’ve read this book four times now and I love it more every time. It’s a really really great and slightly unusual love story. The writing is EXCELLENT and Lucy (main character) is incredibly funny!!

- Such a great read5 star

My all time favorite book! I couldn’t put it down

- No2 star

I felt life I was reading the first draft. The dialogue is unnatural and forced, the “sex” and kissing scenes feel like they were written by a middle schooler. If you were to replace the characters with high schoolers this might actually make sense. I had to force myself to finish reading this in hopes it got better- it did not.

- So Cute!5 star

This is such a cute story. I was unsure of it at first, but I became hooked after the first few chapters. Give it a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised! It is a great read.

- Adorable5 star

Super cute read!

- Such a well thought out plot...excellent read!!5 star

The characters in the story mesh so well together that you root for them to get together the entire book. This book is special and the characters were very relatable. It’s a great read!

- Favorite book ever5 star

I’ve read it 3 times and it’s perfect every time

- Obsessed5 star

I am so obsessed with this book that I had to read it back to back twice, plus listen to the audio book. This the the perfect romantic comedy novel! And the characters are just so lovely. I’m so sad there’s no sequel. I need more of Josh and Lucy!

- MUST READ!5 star

I LOVE this book, it was such a great read and I’ve read a lot of romance novels but this one was unique in its monologue and sexy scenes. I didn’t like her other book 99% mine but this one is amazing

- One word Awesome4 star

Great book couldn’t put it down two days it took me to read this the fastest I have ever read a book. It would have been five star but well I’m not giving away my disappointment due to the other readers. I don’t want to ruin it for them your just going to have to read it your self.

- So good!!5 star

I loved this book! It was really hard to put down. The whole inner monologue of the main female character was fab. Also, the banter between the two was great. It was funny & smart. Love! Love!

- Really fun read4 star

I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters are fun. Much better than her most recent book, 99% Mine.

- Fantastic!5 star

The best dialogue ever!

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Pantface - Smouldering4 star

A nice quick read but very enjoyable. Well written with comedic interludes. Perfect beach read.

majh94 - Couldn’t put it down5 star

So good, I read it in one day. I do wish we would get a little more at the end, but I’ll live

scherbrooke - Meh2 star

This book was a giant tease and seemed way too far fetched. It was annoying at times how Josh just knew exactly what Lucy was thinking, right down to her computer password. I love a good romance novel but this was hardly believable, even for the most amorous. I found the ending was abrupt and didn’t tie up all story lines. If it was all meant to be implied at the end, then I don’t know why it was mentioned at all in the story line. The entire book was between two rivals fighting for a promotion and yet we don’t even know if Lucy got it. So strange.

rbs,2020 - Best book!5 star

I finished this book in a day, I couldn’t put it down. Great story, amazing characters and really funny. I will definitely be reading this again.

ellenalbright - The Hating Game1 star

The beginning was great and very interesting but the story got lost and characters were forgotten about. I’m disappointed I wasted my time and money on this book.

elme_0212 - I’m obsessed!5 star

This book floored me. I expected a predictable “hate to love” budding romance novel but this was so much more. The characters are so lovable and the writing it beautiful! I think this took me a whole two days to read; I couldn’t put it down! Can’t wait to see what else Sally Thorne releases!

Amyraebt - Love this book!!5 star

I can actually read this over and over, such a cute, happy story.

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Danielle7716 - Made me fall in love with books again.5 star

I suffer from nighttime anxiety and wanted something light hearted to steer my mind free of worry. This book has me HOOKED! It’s an easy read and has me wanting more! I absolutely love this. Hope they turn it into a movie!

apaige98 - Love5 star

I found this book on some random reading list and I am so glad I did. This book was so good and really sucked you in wanting to see what would happen next. I love the story and the humor and the bickering between the two and just everything about Lucy and Josh! I have already reread this book a couple of times because it’s that good!! A must read for sure.

Paoemma - Favorite romance novel of all time5 star

I adore this book. If you can only read one romantic novel in your whole life make it sure is this one. You won’t regret it.

Airedales4ever - Beautiful5 star

This book is beautiful. Also funny as hell.

Ashley Zavislak - Delightful & Easy Read5 star

Don’t start this book unless you have the time to finish it because you won’t want to put it down. It’s a delightful read that hooks you and keeps you entertained.

FlynnPerry - Fantastic!5 star

It’s one that I’ve reread twice!

W Buckshot - Entertaining and funny5 star

I really enjoyed this book. The writing really reminded me of Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones Diary, etc). An easy read with enjoyable characters.

seansmith1993 - Fun Read!4 star

Not so predictable, that it over in the first chapter. Fun summer feel good read!

Reg4luv - Smart, funny, achingly romantic5 star

Loved this book for it’s wit, dialogue, pacing and sense of genuine emotion sans any telltale sap.

Crazy quickdraw - Couldn’t put it down5 star

Loved this book. Easy read. Couldn’t stop reading it because I needed to see what happened next. Josh and Lucy are like Ross and Rachel....the stuff that keeps you reading and wanting more. I was sad to get to the end.

nyneda - My all-time favorite5 star

The tension is off-the-charts, the dialogue hilarious, and the story enrapturing. I’ve read and re-read this book at least four times. When’s the movie coming out??

Ciciken - Heartwarming gem5 star

Charming voice and believable characters. What a rarity in this genre!

amc_6 - SWEET and HEARTFELT5 star

What a sweet book! I was pleasantly surprised by the funny camaraderie between Lucy and Josh. The ending is perfect and I absolutely would read this 29448292025848 more times if I could!

Andyluz - Best romantic book!5 star

Loved this book!!!

Judyj95 - The Review Game5 star

What a great read! Absolutely loved every second of it! I stayed up till 6am reading it when I first started. Simply could not put it down. The characters, Josh and Lucy, complete opposites, are so lovable it almost hurts. Their dynamic is so fun to read I wish the book was longer (or had a sequel!). I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a breathlessly exciting romance.

Ckf12335 - Great book!5 star

Loved it! Page turner!

tee272 - So funny5 star

Read this book in one day. They are so funny with each other. Loved it!

Little eash - The Hating Game5 star

LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK!! very well written and grabbed your attention part way through the first chapter and never let go of it!

rayktay - I loved it!5 star

What a great romance. I loved this couple. This is one that shouldn't be skipped. Worthy of a re-read! <3

paigelovestoread - Hoping for a sequel!5 star

This book is great! Highly recommend if you're looking for a fun read. I didn't want to put this book down--sometimes I didn't! When I finished, I was disappointed to find it is a relatively new release, as I wanted to keep reading about Lucy and Josh.

Devan78 - Predictable and juvenile1 star

It's not the worst written book (but certainly not the best) and the beginning had so much potential to be a fun beach read, but it progressed into an over the top and completely predictable story.

ilovemarylandtoo - CUTE BOOK, GREAT DEBUT5 star

THE HATING GAME, Sally Thorne's impressive debut work, is one of the cutest books I've read in a long time. It's a story about the love-hate relationship between Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeton, office mates and personal assistants to co-CEOs of the merged Bexley & Gamin publishing company. From their first meeting, Lucy and Joshua have annoyed, ignored, and pushed the other in a constant dance of one-up-manship. They play little office games guaranteed to irritate (i.e., the Mirror Game, the Staring Game, the HR Game), the ultimate goal being to elicit smiles or tears. She wears bright red lipstick, and her wardrobe is full of knits and retro. His is strictly business suits and ties, colored with an array of starched shirts. She's only five feet tall. He stands over six feet. She takes baked goods to division heads meetings. He scares even the most hardened staff member. And when they become competitors for a newly created position just above their own, they do everything they can to win the sole promotion spot. So what happens when they realize just how much they love their "hate" relationship? There are so many things I like about this story. First, is the writing style of the author. It's refreshing and engaging, and though I don't usually like books written in present tense, it works here. Second, I enjoy the main story and the subplots. They flow together seamlessly and come to a satisfying conclusion. Also, the two main characters have interesting backstories and are developed so well, I feel like I've known them forever. And finally, by the end of the story, both Lucy and Josh have grown and changed to the point you know that they'll have good things in their future. THE HATING GAME is a witty, engaging debut book and one destined for my re-read shelf. The lighthearted story is perfect for a vacation or for a relaxing weekend at home and would be a great addition to your contemporary romance library. I look forward to reading future works by Ms. Thorne. If You Like This, You Might Like: WEDDING BELLES and SEX, LOVE & STILETTO series by Lauren Layne, FBI/US ATTORNEY series by Julie James, GIDEON COVE and BLUE HERON series by Kristan Higgins, CHICAGO STARS series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, HOT ZONE and LUCKY TRILOGY series by Carly Phillips * Read my other reviews on the Blue Moon Mystery Saloon blog. ** An e-galley was provided by William Morrow and Edelweiss for an honest review.

glhince - This is one of the ‘keeper shelf’ books, guaranteed to perk up a bad day5 star

Lucinda Hutton and Joshua Templeton are polar opposites, the assistants to two CEOs of their two vastly divergent, and now merged, publishing houses. Everything about them is different: Josh is reserved, a bit uptight, tall, obsessively neat and intimidating. Lucy is petite, outgoing, colorful and a bit of a pushover, preferring being liked to being stern. Together they should be oil and water but their dynamic, including her desperate attempts to get ‘even’ by gaining a smile or a laugh not returned their first meeting. Told in Lucy’s point of view, her voice is clear and solid, and should have had me wondering what bug climbed up Josh’s butt, but her obvious desire to know him had me curious as well. She doesn’t ‘get’ the buttoned up, apparently non-book-loving employees that came over in the merge: none seem to have lived, breathed or dreamed publishing….and Lucy most certainly has. She’s that well-loved paperback with the spine taped that you have to hold ‘just so’ but you won’t ever forget every line, and read it often. Josh is that textbook the professer said you needed and never mentioned again – yet you daren’t get rid of it, in case you feel shallow. Keeping score in this admittedly juvenile game they have going, carefully tracking wins and near-wins, peppered with sharp and witty dialogue, clever moments of insight into Lucy, and a bit of slow-reveal of Josh. A team building paintball tournament isn’t the right time to become deathly ill, but Josh not only watches over Lucy like a hawk, he opens up a crack in the armor he uses as a shield to keep her at arm’s length. Sally Thorne’s use of dialogue, character development and reveal and the resolution of the conflicts between Lucy and Josh are clever, leading readers through a believable set of reasons to explain their personalities and the attraction between them. And that attraction is white hot and scalding, especially satisfying in the fact that there is no instant gratification, but a slow build to explosive ‘this is how it should be’ revelatory moments that are both heart and panty meltingly sweet and romantic. This is one of the ‘keeper shelf’ books, guaranteed to perk up a bad day and sure to be read often just for the heart. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Sally Thorne - The Hating Game Comments

About Sally Thorne Wiki

Sally Elizabeth Thorne PhD, FAAN, FCAHS, RN (born 1951) is a Canadian academic nursing teacher, researcher and author. She researched the human experience of chronic illness and cancer, and qualitative research methodologies including metasynthesis and interpretive description. Biography and career Thorne obtained her RN Diploma (1972) from the Atkinson School of Nursing at Toronto Western Hospital, BSN (1979) and MSN (1983) from the University of British Columbia School of Nursing, in Vancouver, Canada, and PhD from the Union Institute for Advanced Studies (1990), now the Union Institute & University, in Cincinnati, OH, USA. Thorne joined the faculty of the University of British Colu...

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