The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

Lucy has been the assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Gamin Publishing, and Joshua the assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Bexley Books since before the merger. Now their bosses have adjoining offices, and Lucy and Joshua have desks in one shared space. Which would be fine if they weren’t complete opposites. Where Lucy is quirky and cheerful, Joshua is meticulous and cold. Everyone at Bexley and Gamin loves Lucy and fears Joshua.
They are bitter enemies. Nemeses. Then, their bosses announce a new position opening, and Lucy and Joshua are both in the running. As the competition heats up, so do new tensions, and Lucy discovers that maybe, she doesn’t hate Josh. Maybe it’s all just another game they play: The Hating Game.

This story stood out to me mainly because it’s only told from Lucy’s point of view, unlike most romances which alternate between hero and heroine. It worked well. I didn’t particularly enjoy the sheer amount of objectification that Lucy did of Joshua once things got going, but it did end up serving a purpose. I can’t tell you a lot about it without spoiling some of the jokes, but I will say that the paintball incident was probably my favorite.
This quirky rom-com hit all the right buttons and was the perfect antidote to the reading slump I was in. I especially loved Lucy and Josh’s relationship because of how they supported each other when things, as they inevitable do in romance novels, go sideways.

HHC Rating: 4 Stars.

Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith, #1) – Julia Quinn

Honoria Smythe-Smith has five siblings and 32 first cousins. The loud and lovingly chaotic family warms her heart. She even loves the annual musicale, which is painful for anyone without a tin ear but which they continue to put on because… well, most of them have a tin ear or two.
Marcus Holyrood is the only child of an only child, and grew up with exactly one friend. A single friend, it turns out, is all you need, so long as that friend is Daniel Smythe-Smith. Their friendship takes a turn when Daniel asks Marcus to keep an eye on his youngest sister as Daniel himself is casually fleeing the country, just to make sure she doesn’t marry an idiot. Which should be fine because Honoria is basically Marcus’ little sister too, right?


I loved the inherent closeness the characters had, and the awkwardness that takes over when they start realizing they don’t love each other in a sibling or friendly way. This book has some of the most amusing lines I’ve ever read, simply because of how they attempt to conform to societal standards but can’t quite seem to let go of their childhood attachments. If you’ve read Quinn’s Bridgerton series, you’ll realize this takes place in the midst of Romancing Mister Bridgerton, but there are no spoilers, so you can definitely read this one before, during, or after.


HHC Rating: 5 Stars

Other reviews in this series:
Book 1 – Just Like Heaven *(This Review)*
Book 2 – A Night Like This
Book 3 – The Sum of All Kisses
Book 4 – The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy

Also by this author:
The Bridgertons:: (Coming to Netflix in 2020)
Book 1 – The Duke and I
Book 2 – The Viscount Who Loved Me
Book 3 – An Offer from a Gentleman
Book 4 – Romancing Mister Bridgerton
Book 5 – To Sir Phillip, With Love
Book 6 – When He Was Wicked
Book 7 – It’s in His Kiss
Book 8 – On The Way to the Wedding

Well Met (Well Met, #1) – Jen DeLuca

Emily has just been ousted from a relationship to which she had given her all. Moving in with her sister and niece is just what she needs to find her footing again. The only flaw in her plan is the local renaissance faire. Her niece desperately wants to be a cast member, and minors must have an adult accompanying them to join. With Emily’s sister recovering from a car accident, that leaves Emily to join the cast.
Resigned to the loss of her summer weekends, Emily is determined to enjoy the sights and sounds of men in kilts, and armor, and of course pirates decked out in leather.


I have been craving a ren faire-themed romance ever since I found All’s Faire in Love in 2012, and Well Met checked all the boxes with heart and enthusiasm and without being over-the-top silly or irreverent. Everything about it was delightful, but most especially the moment when Emily smells a shitty relationship on the horizon and runs the heck away from it. Healthy relationships 2020, am I right, or am I right?


HHC Rating: 5 Stars

Other reviews in this series:
Book 1 – Well Met *(This Review)*
Book 2 – Well Played (2020)
Book 3 – Well Matched (2021)