“His smile is warm and slow, and when it reaches his eyes, something inside my chest turns over in defeat.”
-Christina Lauren, Dating You/Hating You
Hey guys! Not too long ago, I was very lucky to get a copy of Dating You/Hating You by the fabulous Christina Lauren from Gallery Books. (Thank you so much to the lovely people at Gallery Books for my copy!) Christina Lauren are a duo of writing besties, and last year I really enjoyed both the last book in their Beautiful series and Sweet, Filthy Boy, so I had high hopes for this one. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t disappointed!
Dating You/Hating You is told from the dual points of view of Carter and Evie, who meet at the party of a mutual friend. Sparks fly and they’re instantly attracted to each other, even though they’re both high-powered agents working for competing firms, they move past that little awkwardness quickly. And then those competing firms merge into one uber firm, laying people off and leaving Carter and Evie fighting for the same job. And I mean literally fighting. As we all know, the line between love and hate is a thin line, and for Carter and Evie, all that attraction and fire between them turns into an all out sabotage war. Yep, they’re both in their mid-thirties, yep, they’re both highly professional adults at work… Until they start testing each other’s limits. Will the romance between them win out for a Hollywood ending? Or will they accidentally end up killing each other as this dramedy continues?
See what I mean? I was instantly hooked! And it doesn’t hurt that Christina Lauren’s books have a warm, easy readability to them, with highly relateable characters and situations that draw you in from the first page. I loved how funny this book was, and how immature yet hilarious some of the pranks are that Evie and Carter pull on each other in their constant game of one-upmanship.
Wielding the enemies to lovers trope in a masterful way, I loved both the characters of Evie and Carter and the snark between them in their fast-paced dialogues and messaging. The corporate environment, which I don’t usually enjoy that much, was made fun in this book, with the constant pranks, the sizzling chemistry between the pair and the escalating situation of what the pair are competing for. I also enjoyed how irritating Carter and Evie’s boss was, and thought that the novel added in a nice little commentary on sexism in the workplace and how men and women are expected to work to a different set of standards. Carter picks up on this quite early on with the awkward dynamic between Evie and her boss, and the way he talks to her about it to try and understand, and leaves any decisions down to her made me like him more. He’s an assertive character, but pranks aside, he clearly respects Evie and that was great. I also thought the sexism in the workplace was well written-it was subtle and casual, making it more realistic and showing how toxic those little actions and words can be.
There is a good range of supporting characters in this book as well, and although it’s only a standalone, the book was well-structured and allowed time to explore them as well, which was fun. I was invested in reading both about the romance, the professional outcome (which is rare for me but I really wanted to see how it would all play out with the competing and the evil boss), and generally all aspects of the story!
Dating You/Hating You is definitely one to read if you’re a fan of romances or contemporary fiction. It’s fun and sexy and completely satisfying. I’m giving this one 4/5 stars as I guessed quite a lot of things that were going to happen, but I loved it all nonetheless and was addicted to the story the entire time!
Has anyone else read this? What did you think? Are you a romance fan?