The One About Office Rivals: The Hating Game by Sally | Book Review

When you look at my list of all-time favourite tropes, you can be sure to find “rivals-to-lovers” somewhere on that list. I am all for the banter, the slow-burn and everything in-between.

That’s by ‘The Hating Game’ by Sally was one of the most recommended books of the year from my online fellow bookworms and friends. Throughout the year I have been asking for romance book recommendations, and this book always seems to sneak its way onto the list.

That being said, I’ve been putting this book aside and always dismissing it simply because I wanted to be in the right “mood” when I read it. I didn’t want to read it when I’m on a thriller novel binge, nor did I feel like reading it when I was mainly enjoying fantasy books for days on end.

Now you could be asking yourself; “what made you decide to pick up the book and read it, Alyssa?”

The answer is: the movie adaptation.

I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie adaptation that literally everyone and their mother has watched and been talking about for days.


The Hating Game

by Sally Thorne 

Edition: ebook, 2nd Edition, 387 pages

Published August 9th 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks

Literary Awards: Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award (RT Award) for Mainstream Fiction (2016)Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Romance (2016)

Goodreads blurb:

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.


This was a really enjoyable book. It had a trope that I enjoyed reading about, a fairly likeable set of characters, solid plot and low angst. I loved the banter between Lucy and Joshua– I thought the author did a good job of mixing humour, annoyance and a hint of flirting within their banter. It was fun reading the dialogue between the two main characters because underneath all the rivalry, you could tell that there was a romance brewing. It also helped that the one-liners were actually funny, and weren’t repetitive.

Even though I don’t rate this book 5 stars, I struggle to point out what I didn’t enjoy in this book. I will pin it down to the fact that this book wasn’t anything new that has not already been done in the romance genre. That being said, this book did use those predictable tropes in a way that made me want to continue on reading. I thought the author did a great job writing this book overall, so well that I flew through the book and finished it in two days.

Goodreads review:

I read this book just so I can watch the new movie adaptation. It wasn’t anything new, but I enjoyed it. I love the rival-to-lovers trope so I really enjoyed the constant banter between Lucy and Josh. It was quite predictable, but who doesn’t want an easy, fluffy romance to get you through the day? 

3.5 stars. 

p.s fingers crossed that the movie is just as good.

3.5 stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Do you read Romance novels? Any recommendations? 

Let me know in the comments below!

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