Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Genre: Romance

Buy It On: Amazon

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is an exquisite romance with a dash of comedy that delves deeply into the complexities of Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman’s relationship, offering readers an immersive and thoroughly satisfying experience.

Lucy Hutton is an endearing protagonist whose vivacious personality shines through the pages. Thorne’s expert characterization brings Lucy to life, painting a vivid picture of her insecurities, dreams, and fears. Lucy’s voice is authentic, and her inner monologues are filled with hilarious observations, making her an immensely relatable and lovable character. As the story unfolds, readers witness her transformation from a spirited but self-doubting executive assistant to a confident woman unafraid to go after what she truly desires.

Joshua Templeman, on the other hand, is the epitome of the brooding, enigmatic hero. With his intense gaze and aloof demeanour, Joshua exudes an undeniable charm that draws readers in. Thorne expertly peels back the layers of Joshua’s character, gradually revealing his vulnerabilities and the reasons behind his guarded nature. The slow unveiling of Joshua’s emotions adds depth and complexity to the story, making him a fascinating and irresistible love interest.

The chemistry between Lucy and Joshua is palpable and electrifying. Their verbal sparring is a constant source of entertainment, as they engage in a battle of wits and pranks that borders on obsession. Thorne’s skilful writing creates an exquisite tension between the two characters, building anticipation and leaving readers yearning for their inevitable connection. The push and pull dynamic between Lucy and Joshua is expertly crafted, with each encounter and stolen glance intensifying their magnetic attraction.

The supporting characters in The Hating Game are equally well-developed and add depth to the narrative. From Lucy’s best friend and confidante, to their quirky co-workers and the conniving office nemesis, each character contributes to the richness of the story. Thorne ensures that every interaction and relationship feels authentic and serves a purpose, further immersing readers in the intricacies of the office environment.

Thorne’s writing style is sharp, engaging, and brimming with humour. The dialogue is snappy, filled with clever comebacks and banter that will have readers grinning from ear to ear. The pacing is superb, effortlessly transitioning between comedic moments, heartfelt exchanges, and steamy encounters. Thorne strikes a perfect balance between light-heartedness and emotional depth, ensuring that the story never loses its momentum.

While the romantic aspect takes centre stage, The Hating Game also explores themes of personal growth, ambition, and the complexities of workplace dynamics. Thorne offers insightful commentary on the challenges women face in male-dominated industries, as well as the pressures of conformity and the importance of staying true to oneself. These elements add depth and substance to the narrative, elevating the story beyond a simple love story.

The Hating Game is an absolute gem in the romance genre. Sally Thorne has crafted a remarkable debut novel that surpasses expectations, blending humour, romance, and emotional depth with finesse. Lucy and Joshua’s journey from adversaries to lovers is a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave readers enthralled and utterly captivated. Prepare to laugh, swoon, and fall head over heels for this unforgettable tale of love and self-discovery.

How Spicy Is The Hating Game?

Spice Rating: 🌶️🌶️🌶️ (2.5/5)

While the book explores the attraction and tension between the main characters, Lucy and Joshua, it does not venture into explicit or graphic descriptions. The focus is more on the emotional connection and build-up of sexual tension rather than explicit scenes. The romance is flirtatious and filled with chemistry, with moments of sensuality and passionate encounters. Overall, the level of spice in the book is tasteful and suitable for readers who enjoy a hint of steaminess in their romantic reads without delving into explicit content.

Romance Trope Count

Trope Count: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 

The Hating Game incorporates several popular romance tropes that add depth and excitement to the story. Here are a few tropes that can be found in the book:

Enemies to Lovers

Lucy and Joshua start off as bitter rivals, engaging in a constant battle of wits and pranks. The enemies to lovers trope drives the initial tension between them and sets the stage for their evolving relationship.

Office Romance

The story takes place in a workplace setting, where Lucy and Joshua are both executive assistants. The office romance trope adds an additional layer of complexity to their relationship, as they navigate the challenges of their professional lives while grappling with their growing feelings for each other.

Forced Proximity

Lucy and Joshua find themselves in close quarters due to their job responsibilities, leading to frequent encounters and heightened emotional stakes. The proximity between them allows for increased tension and opportunities for their relationship to develop.

Opposites Attract

Lucy and Joshua have contrasting personalities and approaches to their work and life. Lucy is more bubbly and outgoing, while Joshua is reserved and serious. Their differences create a captivating dynamic that draws them together and helps them learn from each other.


Both Lucy and Joshua undergo redemption arcs throughout the story. They face their own flaws and mistakes, seeking forgiveness and a chance for personal growth. The theme of redemption adds depth and complexity to their romantic journey.

These romance tropes in “The Hating Game” contribute to the dynamic, tension-filled relationship between Lucy and Joshua, making their journey from enemies to lovers both engaging and captivating.

Slow Burn

The romance between Lucy and Joshua develops gradually over time, with simmering tension and a slow build-up of emotional and physical attraction. The slow burn trope creates anticipation and allows for deeper exploration of their connection.

Banter and Snark

The book is filled with witty banter and snarky exchanges between Lucy and Joshua. Their verbal sparring adds humour and entertainment to the story, showcasing their chemistry and creating a dynamic that keeps readers engaged.

Love Triangle

While not a central focus of the story, a mild love triangle emerges between Lucy, Joshua, and another coworker named Danny. The love triangle trope introduces an element of competition and adds complexity to Lucy’s romantic choices.

These tropes, skilfully woven together by Sally Thorne, contribute to the overall charm and appeal of The Hating Game, making it a delightful and compelling romantic read.

What Genre Is The Hating Game?

Primarily classified as a contemporary romance novel, The Hating Game falls within the broader category of romance fiction, specifically focusing on the romantic relationship between the two main characters. As the novel features elements of enemies-to-lovers, workplace romance, and romantic comedy, it’s an engaging and light-hearted read for fans of the genre, though not really funny enough to be considered a Romantic Comedy.