My love and respect for the ladies that are Christina Lauren runs deep. I mean, we’ve covered them in so many posts on the blog, from Beautiful Bastard to podcasts about Beautiful Player. We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing them live and in person several times…here, and here. And let me tell you, they are a ton of fun and just as fabulous in person as they seem online. They write amazing stories so, I should not be surprised to find so many layers in their latest book, DATING YOU / HATING YOU. I mean it’s billed as a RomCom and yes, it does deliver on that label but ooo, weee, momma – it’s actually so much more! So, let me tell you why I feel this way.
Evie, our heroine is absolutely incredible. She’s the sort of girlfriend you want at your side, in your personal life, in your work life, you name it. Evie is the best. She’s such a strong heroine, she’s confident, smart as a whip, competitive, and self-aware. As a Hollywood talent agent, she works in a male-dominated industry. We know what that means, don’t we ladies? Gird your loins for the mansplaining and code words meant to deride your success and keep you in your place. Too many times to count, men in positions of authority are so wildly intimidated by smart, strong women, they have to go all in to keep them under their thumbs. Sorry to sound like I’m on my soapbox…nah, no I’m not. Evie’s boss, Brad – is a top notch asshole and he seriously hates women.
Carter is our hero in every sense of the word. He and Evie are down low set up by mutual friends at a Halloween costume party. The connection they share is immediate but doesn’t come across as insta-love. They are both beautiful, intelligent people that find many common interests and make each other laugh. It’s because of this connection that I struggle to label this as an enemies to lovers trope, it’s definitely and office romance kinda’ story, so let’s go with that! Another thing I’d label this book as is feminist with its girl power and strength. See, Cater is a few years younger than Evie but he’s still well established and accomplished in their shared profession. He has never really had a reason to notice the sorts of things women go through until he witnesses it first hand as it happens to a woman he deeply cares about. He’s made it a long way in life to only just now, fully see exactly how many levels of bullshit many women, especially professional women have to deal with on a day to day basis. If Carter is assertive, Evie is aggressive…Carter is confident and Evie is bitchy. Christina Lauren shines a light on that shit.
Asshole Brad pits Evie and Carter against each other in the workplace. This makes for some of the hilarity you’d expect from a Christina Lauren book. Since both are exceptionally competitive, neither knows how to lose. Their love lives are used to taking a backseat to work so they roll up their respective sleeves and get down to winning the coveted role within their newly merged talent agencies. The thing is, the cards are stacked against Evie on a level you really won’t see coming, even with me dropping that nugget, you won’t see it coming!
Dating You / Hating You is exactly what we’ve come to love from Christina Lauren. Strong women, the men who love them that aren’t intimidated by their strength, fantastic and supportive friends and some witty banter, even via text messages! We also get a nice amount of screaming hot sex and scorching chemistry. I’m being purposely vague because I don’t want to give anything away. I will tell you, if Hollywood is looking – THIS is the sort of story I’d pay good money to go see at the movies. In fact, I feel like I’ve already watched it because the writing is so smooth and flawless, the words on the page played out in technicolor in my head. Dating You / Hating You is a standalone, all of the crazy twists get tied up in the HEA we want to see. It kept me up into the wee hours of morning but it was well worth the bags under my eyes the next day. If it’s not already there, get this one on your list – it won’t disappoint. Oh and one last time for good measure…three cheers for strong women, the women on the pages and the ones that put them there!! Huzzah!
Smooches,Tags: christina lauren, enemies to lovers, feminist, office romance, RomCom, scandal, standalone, strong heroine