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Release Review: Dating You, Hating You: Christina Lauren

Dating You, Hating You
Christina Lauren
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Release date June 6, 2017


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. 
With this writing duo I have come to expect witty banter, chemistry, and some angst. This stand-alone is no exception. Carter and Evie meet at a party as an unexpected set up. Both are work-a-holics not looking for a relationship, but cannot deny the spark and connection they feel. They both work as talent agents but in different firms and areas. It starts with a sweet build up of a burgeoning relationship, sexual tension, and a promise of more.

Then Wham! Their lives are totally upended by the companies they work for and they find themselves competing against each other. It's hard to navigate their conflicting feelings. They like each other, but are thrust into situations that make them angry, hurt, or frustrated. Everything is at stake. Sometimes they go to extremes. Sometimes they soften their attitudes and cease fire. Their attraction cannot be easily disregarded. There is confusion, denial, avoidance, fighting, flirting, and frustration.  But eventually they cannot deny the pull between them. But their work situation is not something that can easily be fixed.

Carter is charismatic, sexy, sweet, and a people pleaser. Evie is particular, tough, smart, and does not care as much about what people think of her. They have a great snappy rapport and good chemistry. They are both intelligent, likable, talented, and hard workers. He iss a bit more outgoing and social, while she just has her small crew. They both are devoted to their clients, but are pitted against each other by their boss in a game with changing rules and obvious threats. Nothing in their lives is a sure bet. They could lose their livelihoods or get transferred without notice. They could get attached and lose each other. And they even share friends that could get hit in the cross fire. Overall they are good people in a bad situation. And there are a lot of pieces at play.

This is not a typical enemies-to-lovers since they had a positive connection first. It made it more complicated and messy.  It's the whole "thin line between love and hate" thing. They literally went from almost dating to competitors/enemies, but then took detours as allies and lovers. Their dynamics were ever changing as they cycled through denial, avoidance, regret, passive aggression, anger, confusion, attraction, hurt, and burying their true feelings. They both had vulnerabilities and insecurities under their tough, guarded personas. The situation made it easy to fall into the trap of misinterpretation and miscommunication. There were others manipulating situations behind the scenes so they had also lost a lot of control over their own lives. And it was hard to truly trust when everything was on the line. 

It is fast-paced, flirty, funny, feisty, and frustrating. It is told in dual points of view and I loved their texts and email exchanges. It is not as focused on the sex scenes as some of their other books, but it is still full of simmering sexual tension and passion. I was invested in them as a couple and trying to work it out. It also brought out some serious topics like gender inequality in the workplace, and harassment.

This is a stand-alone office romance, but there are some side characters  that have potential to spin off perhaps. His brother Jonah is quite intriguing in a troubled hero kind of way. Her friends Daryl and Amelia are part of her girl posse. I loved their shared married friends, Steph and Michael Christopher. And even their assistants added some fun. Fans of Christina Lauren will enjoy the wit, charm, and shenanigans with these two dynamic and likable characters. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages.



Simon and Schuster 


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