The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

27213238Fiction — print. William Morrow, 2016. 384 pgs. Library copy. 

Lucy Hutton hates Joshua Templeman. He sits across from her every Monday through Friday wearing a static rotation of shirts — white with blue stripes to black — and making obscure markings in his paper planner. Both Lucy and Joshua work for the co-CEOs of a small publishing firm in Australia — co-CEOs who also hate one another — but Lucy actually wants to work in publishing whereas Joshua? Well, Joshua dropped out of medical school after the first year and seems to exist only to aggravate Lucy as the two compete for the new Chief Operating Officer position at their firm.

Each February, my book club selects a romance novel to read and then discuss over chocolate and drinks at a confectionery. This year’s novel was a breezy read; I picked it up late Sunday night and finished it well ahead of our Monday meeting. In typical romance novel fashion, Lucy is a quirky woman — she collects Smurf figurines and wears vintage-esque clothes I’m not all too sure would pass my office’s lax dress code — and she doesn’t always realize that the men in her life are interested in her. She certainly doesn’t realize that Joshua is interested in her or, most aggravatingly, that he doesn’t want to attend his bother’s wedding for a very obvious reason.

She does, however, make up one half a very charming dynamic, and Thorne’s novel certainly earns the labels of “cute” and “adorable” and “heartwarming” that are splashed all over GoodReads. It also made for a nice break from the heavy feelings I’ve been carrying around for the last month. Although, I have to say that I was expecting it to come out in yet another (obvious) “twist” that the co-CEOs were actually together, but I guess not all workplace enemies end up in bed together.

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