on June 6, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Dark Wild Night (Wild Seasons, #3), Beautiful
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.
I was DYING in anticipation to see what Christina Lauren’s first stand-alone romance outside of the Beautiful and Wild Seasons series would look like. High on drama, Dating You/Hating You was a quirky and fluffy comedy that focused on the almost lovers and then the enemies-back-to-lovers story of Carter Aaron and Evelyn “Evie” Abby.
Dating You/Hating You didn’t start as a traditional Romantic Comedy – Evie and Carter are Hollywood talent agents who meet at a costume party hosted by mutual friends. They have a successful first date under their belt and a blossoming romance … Only to later discover their agencies merged and they’re now vying for the same position. Two two then unleash a series of practical jokes on each other for a competitive edge.
The book relied heavily on the cute and quirkiness of its two main characters. Carter is sweet, optimistic, and overly superstitious – complete with a lucky tie! Evie is high strung and very confident in her job. (I like Carter’s “Evil” nickname for her”). I identified with her as a 30-something career driven woman and appreciated how goal oriented she was. Evie and Carter both made me laugh and were accompanied by a funny crew of supporting characters.
Dating You/Hating You felt more like an over the top office soap-opera with a side of romance thrown in. Carter and Evie’s manager, Brad Kingman, is a sexist sleazeball who’s pitted the two against each other for a job. Brad believes in the “good old boys” club and the tension between him and Evie left me feeling icky. This wasn’t a story about making the best of a bad situation. It was about Evie clawing through an office nightmare with her dignity still intact.
The funny characters and witty dialogue hid how vicious the situation was. I always love how Christina Lauren can make me laugh. Unfortunately, Brad’s villainous subplot detracted from Carter and Evie’s romance, leaving a few of the more romantic gestures coming seemingly out of left field. I’m undecided if I just needed more face-time between Carter and Evie or if I didn’t care for their relationship, but something felt like it was missing. (Or because the similarly themed Dating You, Hating You by Sally Thorne was SO good)
Overall, this was a funny book and the talent agent angle was interesting. There was some great and funny banter, but the villain was almost too villainous and distracted from the overall romance plot. Beautiful Bastard still reigns as my favorite Christina Lauren book, but I’m happy I gave this one a shot.