We are several books now into my contemporary romance marathon of books. I wasn’t really lying when I said I go a little nuts with this genre as soon as summer hits. They cheer me up, and just have this fun vibe that I am addicted to this time of the year. It’s also good to give Fantasy a tiny break when you aren’t having any stellar books to get excited over recently. The one thing I’ll point out before heading into the meat and potatoes of this review is that this an adult romance, so there is adult content in this book. If you’re a-okay with that then proceed!
Dating You, Hating You is another Christina Lauren novel (see the Unhoneymooners review as well!), though this one focuses on a relationship that sounds like it can really go places up until the couple realizes they’ll have to compete against each other for the same job. They set off unsure of how to navigate this new complication, but hope to ensure both can maintain their careers. Of course, there is lots of drama that pops up from this and eventually they do truly compete and sabotage one another in the attempt to come out on top, but perhaps they can get it all in the end?
Given that this is my second book I’m reading by this author, and really not my last (just ordered another for vacation), I thought I’d go into what I learned about the author. For one thing, it isn’t one author, but two; Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. They have also written a young adult, Autoboyography, though I haven’t read that one yet. Their most recent release is Unhoneymooners, which was fantastic, and the next book on my list from them is Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
General Plot Review:
Christina Lauren seems to be really good at taking a common plot synopsis and giving it a twist as well as a healthy dose of realism. Maybe that’s why I’m so addicted to these books, everyone ends happily, but it comes at great risk and quite a bit of heartbreak at some point. This novel’s realism is that it has to overcome a serious barrier that really does exist still in Hollywood; sexism. Say what you will about the wage gap and its current existence, but the one location I’d say it is well and truly thriving is in Hollywood, which I find highly ironic. In the story this comes up in several forms, their boss, who is incredibly sexist and itching for an HR intervention, and some of Evie’s original co-workers. Part of it is a barrier to the relationship because of their competition for the same job, but it also comes into play because Carter is pretty oblivious at first to the signs and moments that the sexism is happening in. I wish I could say he just had an off day, but the dude clearly can’t tell when it is occurring until their boss is super up front with it.
I will say that the twist in the setup was really well done since from the synopsis and title you are imagining two people hating each other and out for blood, but instead are given two people that seem really cute together when we start out. It throws you off the scent of the real story just for a bit, before it all comes crashing down. Beyond that little insight I’ll keep from spoiling too much before I get review blacklisted.
As always, there is really good character development in this story, though it seemed like compared to the Unhoneymooners, the supporting cast was maybe a little more stagnant. Some end up helping to make things right, but it seems more like that was a part of who they were from the beginning, and less them learning from anything that was happening. Honestly though, I think this book can get away with it, since it isn’t set up for the supporting characters to really be directly related to everything happening besides a few moments in the ending. Getting past the supporting characters, the main couple; Evie and Carter are very well fleshed out, and also have great chemistry. They initially meet at a mutual friend’s early halloween party, and bond over being the awkward singles at a couples party. From there you feel the connection and the drawing in, it’s one of the things that make the initial competition scene hit you like a bus. Both are strong and kind characters but you can tell there are flaws that come out of the woodwork during the drama, which of course are the opportunity for growth.
Yes! This was another great Contemporary Romance from Christina Lauren, and definitely fit the bill for my contemporary obsession right now! If you are looking for an adult romance check out this book and their latest release, The Unhoneymooners!