The Hating Game
by Sally Thorne
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.
She’s the perfect person to confide in. Mr. Bexley is on the other side of her wall right now, plotting ways to assassinate her. She follows my eye line. We hear a faint honking sneeze, a fart sound, and some grumbling.
I tear my eyes away, but they slide back moments later. Underneath that T-shirt is a body that could fog an elderly librarian’s glasses. I think my underwear is curling off me like burning paper.
Paintball Shootout is located in a small pine plantation. The ground is dusty and stark. The trees ache for death. A crow circles overhead, making ominous creaking noises.
It’s like seeing a bruised nightclub bouncer cuddling a tutu-clad toddler, or a cage fighter blowing a kiss to his sweetheart in the front row. Brute, raw masculinity contrasted with gentleness is the most attractive thing on earth.
I almost quiver with concentration… If I had whiskers, they would be twitching.
I take Josh’s hand and we weave through our spellbound audience. ‘No charge,’ the cashier tells me. ‘Lady, that was better than theater.’
Walking together, matching our footfalls, we exit the lobby like two television district attorneys gunning for justice.
I adored this craftily written and delightful story from start to finish. Sally Thorne has mad skills and was stunned to realize this was her debut effort – I was shocked and totally awed! The writing was simply stellar. The storyline was creative, highly entertaining, captivating, and miraculously highly amusing and heart squeezing all at the same time. It was brimming with snarky banter, clever needling, witty and acerbic observations and inner dialogue. The writing was crisp and fun with the main characters forced to work side by side while locked in a battle of one-upmanship; scrappily facing off each day like Olympic contenders while underneath their armor – each felt miserably lonely and vulnerable. Ms. Thorne’s characters were fully inhabited, well detailed, and well fleshed out. Her highly descriptive writing and wry humor often had me smirking, snorting, and laughing aloud, while it was also observant and full of feels. More please!
About Sally Thorne
Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn’t always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.