Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren
Release Date -  June 6, 2017
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  320 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.
Take a burgeoning romance, a work place competition, and serious sexual tension and you have Christina Lauren's newest novel.  It's a rom-com in book format that boasts a charming mix of romance, drama, and humour and it completely won me over.

This novel is perfect for those who are just starting to dip their toe into the romance novel waters. It has a storyline that is just as strong as the romance elements. This is because it spends equal amounts of time on both the story and the romance. It is also one of the tamer reads from Christina Lauren in terms of the sex scenes. There are some sexy scenes within these pages, but they are fewer in number than in previous novels, and less explicit overall. Combine this with the fact that this is a standalone novel and it makes a great jumping in point for not just the romance genre, but Christina Lauren's novels as well.

Sexism in the work place takes a central focus in this novel which creates a deeper level to this romance. It explores all different kinds of sexism from subtle to overt and does so in a way that is a great conversation starter for groups reading the book together. It doesn't just focus on the glaringly obvious ones, but also looks at the way it is ingrained in people. It was one of my favourite elements of the novel as I feel it not only added to the plot, but the character development as well.

The relationship dynamic is deliciously fun, even if it is sometimes frustrating. The 'enemies to lovers' trope works well, especially with the competitive edge thrown in. It will delight fans of banter filled romances. It is sharp witted, and exactly the perfect dynamic for these characters. You totally believe that this is how these characters would act.  It will, however. make you want to scream at the characters at various times. Communication is key to any relationship and you will want these characters to talk to each other more than anything at certain points of the story. There is so much that could be cleared up by them sharing their feelings with each other and you so wish it would happen (even as you want the banter to continue).

The side characters were also a pleasant surprise. The previous series from this author has shown me that they excel at crafting an electric cast of characters that you fall in love with. This is vital to companion novels where those characters will become the focus of the subsequent novels in the series. I was curious to see if that same care would go into the secondary cast of a standalone novel. I was happy to discover that the effort was put into them. They are well crafted, and often steal the scene. A novel is usually made by the secondary cast of characters, and this novel is made all the better by the amazing support system that the main characters have.

A fun, sexy 'enemies to lovers' romance novel that pretty much demands it be read with a cocktail. This is an excellent choice for a fluffy beach read and should be in your beach bag this summer. If you're a romance fan this one should definitely be on your radar. 

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