Review: Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren

Review

Christina Lauren’s latest, Dating You, Hating You, hits all the right buttons with a story brimming with charm, sexiness and girl power.

This enemies-to-lovers office romance was a joy to read with its relatability, humor and pop-culture mentions. The chemistry between the equally quirky main characters was off-the-charts irresistible too. It all takes place in an office environment that proves the “boy’s club” is alive and well, making it regrettably relatable (at least for one who has also been called kiddo in the workplace — arg!).

Evie and Carter meet one night at a mutual friend’s Halloween party. As the only two single people there, and both donning Harry Potter costumes, they laugh the night away as sparks fly hot and bright for these two Hollywood agents. Better yet, a successful date night promises good things to come… until they discover their two rival agencies are merging and their jobs are suddenly at stake.

Evil, sexist boss extraordinaire Brad, alludes that there may only be one job available. Despite wanting to make it work, eventually the gloves come off.

The office turns into a battlefield where war is waged one meeting—one prank—at a time. We also see Evie work harder than anyone else to succeed in a workplace where she is constantly undermined for her genetic makeup.

Soon enough, it’s clear there’s more at play in their rapidly unraveling situation, and they must each make decisions that could impact a lot more than their day jobs.

Although Dating You, Hating You is a delicious escape, it’s also a smart and relatable romance written by a talented duo who consistently strike the right balance between humor, heart and sexiness. This one should be on everyone’s summer reading list!

About Dating You/Hating You

Everyone knows that all’s fair in love and war. But these two will learn that sabotage is a dish best served naked.

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 get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, hilarious story of romance in the modern world.

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Exclusive cover reveal: Roomies by Christina Lauren

When it comes to that perfect mix of romance, sexiness and humor, no one quite does it like the talented duo (and fave of mine) Christina Lauren. Every page feeds the all-consuming addiction to whichever story of theirs I’m reading and I cannot wait to read this one. Roomies, which is out October 10th, is a modern love story which unravels between two unlikely roommates. I’m thrilled and honored to share the cover with you today! Read all about Roomies below, and please share this post on!

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About Roomies

From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren’s (Beautiful Bastard, Dating You / Hating Younew romance.

Marriages of convenience are so . . . inconvenient. 

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a bigtime musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entre into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

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Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway: Beautiful Boss by Christina Lauren

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When it comes to wit, sexiness and romance, no duo does it better than Christina Lauren. Their books are so much fun to read, and always so quickly devoured. Now, Beautiful Boss is coming our way on February 29th—a novella featuring Will Sumner and Hanna Bergstrom, whom we met in Beautiful Player. For new readers, this novella can be read as a standalone since it’s a brand-new story for Will and Hanna.

I’m super excited to share with you an excerpt from the book, plus make sure to enter to win a copy of Beautiful Player and Beautiful Beginning!

Pre-order now: Amazon Kindle $1.99 | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble ✦

Synopsis

Feb-29The ninth work in the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling series that started with Beautiful Bastard. In this e-novella, Will Sumner and Hanna Bergstrom (from Beautiful Player) find that a wedding and everlasting love were just the beginning.

One Player tamed. One nerd girl satisfied. And one more major life decision to make. When Will fell for Hanna, her quirky sense of humor and fierce dedication to her career were part of the attraction. (Not to mention her coy newbie attitude toward sex and her willingness to let him teach her everything.) But when the job offers start rolling in for her—and oh, they do—Hanna has trouble deciding what she wants, where they should live, and how much she should burden Will with the decision.

Magic between the sheets is only one part of a relationship…getting on the same page is quite another altogether.

Excerpt

I stepped back, staring at myself in the mirror.

“That’s . . . a lot of white,” I mumbled, swiping at the skirt of my dress. Behind me, Mom and Liv gasped emotionally.

“Are we sure I shouldn’t have gone for blue? Red? Something that maybe communicates ‘I have banged this man daily’ versus ‘virginal’?”

Mom let out a quiet “Hanna.”

“What? No one down there is going to see Will in a tux and buy that I didn’t climb all over—” I stopped midsentence, catching sight of Chloe behind me. “Are you… Oh my God, Chloe. Are—are you crying?”

Chloe reached for a box of tissues—one of many placed around the large bridal suite—and pulled one free, using it to carefully dab beneath each of her perfectly lined eyes.

No,” she scoffed. “It’s dusty over here.”

Liv paused with the curling iron held midair and looked back over her shoulder. “I realize I’m the new kid here, but something tells me that’s not normal,” she whispered.

I had to bite back a laugh. My sister had only met Chloe on two other, brief occasions, and she already understood that no, when it came to Mrs. Ryan, tears of happiness were not a normal thing.

“Well, that’s not exactly true,” George said to Liv, waving her off before separating a few of the curls she had just placed in my hair. “We could go see the most emotional documentary ever made, and she would leave with clear eyes. But the time a heel broke off one of her red patent Pradas while crossing Seventh? Waterworks.”

Chloe laughed, smacking his arm. “Didn’t I fire you this morning?”

“Twice,” I answered for him. “You fired him on Sara’s behalf in the elevator when he referred to you as ‘Mistress of the Dark’ in front of that priest, and a second time when he offered to help Jensen get dressed later.”

Mom let out a tiny squeak of surprise.

“Always so helpful, Hanna, thank you,” George said, tugging a little too hard on a lock of my hair. “In my defense, he looked very busy. I was just trying to be efficient. But as a side note: I should have been warned that Hanna’s brother was so adorable, because really? Tall, Scandinavian, and single? I think I’m the one who’s been wronged here.”

Liv leaned down and met my eyes in the mirror. “Your friends are weird.”

“If by weird you mean awesome, then yes,” I said, grinning at her before looking back at Chloe. “I love that you’re getting emotional at my wedding, though. I feel like I’ve unlocked a life achievement.”

Chloe dabbed her eyes and sniffed into her tissue.

“God, what the hell is wrong with me? This is all just so… sweet.”

“Did the BB finally… break you?” George asked with dramatic awe.

“I will smack you with a hammer,” she told him with a glare. “Even in that fancy suit.”

“This is awesome for me.” Sara came up behind Chloe and hugged her. “Usually I’m the one crying.”

“Because you’re constantly pregnant,” Chloe reminded her, reaching back to gently pat Sara’s enormous, round belly carrying Baby Stella Number Two.

“It sure feels that way.” Sara kissed her cheek. “But look.” She lifted her chin, meeting my eyes in the mirror. “You’ve distracted Hanna from being nervous.”

“What on earth could you possibly have to be nervous about?” Liv asked, pulling a pin from my hand and giving it to George to tuck into my hair. “You and Will are both thoughtful, intelligent, and conscientious. You guys are going to be great at being married.”

Our eyes met, and when she smiled at me, I had to bite my lip to keep from getting a little emotional myself.

“If any man ever looks at me the way Will looks at you,” George added, “I’ll propose, marry, and ask for his babies right there on the spot. Will can barely wait for this wedding. I’m surprised he hasn’t convinced you to run off to Vegas.”

Liv looked at him over the top of my head “I’m not. If he’d ever suggested that, our mother would have cut off all his favorite parts.”

In unison, we all turned to look across the room at Mom, who was standing quietly near the window, watching the whole conversation. She gave a decisive nod, and I just about burst out laughing.

George held up an authoritative hand. “Alas, I’m afraid I can’t let that happen. I’ve agreed to let Hanna marry the man of our dreams today, provided she shares all the intimate details. We need those parts.”

I was getting married today. Me.

I’d pinch myself, but if this was a dream, I never wanted to wake up.

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Christina Lauren talk about the inspiration behind Wild Seasons series

I love talking with Christina and Lo from the fab writing duo Christina Lauren! Every time we get together it’s a frenzy of laughs, fast talking, non-stop book recommendations, and on my part, a whole lot of gushing over the Wild Seasons books!

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I have LOVED every book in this series and the latest, Wicked Sexy Liar, is amazing! If you haven’t given these a try, you must! Touting the perfect mix of humor, heat and romance, each book will leave you with the best book hangover! Plus, each novel can be read as a standalone, so there’s no reason not to jump in!

I’m thrilled to be able to share a feature they’ve written on the inspiration behind this irresistible series! Read on and enjoy!

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One of our favorite compliments came from a reader we met while visiting New York. She said that our books were like little sightseeing tours, and as a New Yorker, she was shocked by how accurate some of our descriptions in the Beautiful series had been. We spend a lot of time on Google and Google Maps—sometimes right down on street level—making sure these details are right, and that you really can get to point A from point C, so we were flattered beyond belief!

It would be impossible for us to talk about the Wild Seasons without explaining how the entire thing came about. In 2013 we were in France promoting the release of Beautiful Bastard. It was Christina’s first trip to France and Lo was having a blast showing her around. We’d stopped in a store on rue Saint-Honoré and the girl who helped us was from America—Southern California, to be exact. When we asked how in the world she’d ended up living in France she explained that she’d married a Frenchman and moved to Paris with him.

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We were fascinated. The wheels started turning and that night we sat in a coffee shop in Paris and came up with the basic story for Sweet Filthy Boy.

I think this is the actual plotting moment, courtesy of Mr. Lo

Most of the Wild Seasons take place in San Diego (one of our favorite places), but a chunk of Sweet Filthy Boy happens in Paris (another favorite city full of some of our favorite people).

Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Garden is located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. This is where Ansel and Mia spend their first real day together, and should be on every tourist’s list.

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Centre Georges Pompidou is an architectural wonder in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, and houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which is the largest museum of modern art in Europe. This building is amazing and really does look like it’s wearing its structural skeleton on the outside. On the roof is Le Georges, a real restaurant with the most amazing view of Paris, and where fictional Ansel and Mia meet up for dinner and a little ::ahem:: pretend.

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The view at dinner

Vegas is where our story all begins, and where three of our four couples tie the knot for the first time. There’s been a little bit of Vegas in both of our series’ to date, and our favorite place there would have to be the Bellagio, and the area surrounding it (Mon Ami Gabi restaurant in the Paris hotel, and The Chandelier Bar in the Cosmopolitan).

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Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo play a part in both Sweet Filthy Boy and Wicked Sexy Liar. Mia’s favorite place to be alone and think is a little corner behind the reptile exhibit at the SD Zoo, and London’s picnic in Balboa Park with the girls is sort of ambushed in WSL. I won’t give too much away on this one but definitely visit if you’re ever in San Diego.

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We attend San Diego Comic Con every year, so the Gaslamp District has become one of our favorite places. Not only is it just an awesome area, but it holds a lot of memories for us as well. Oliver’s store, Downtown Graffix, is located here. And even though we don’t give a specific address, Tahiti Felix’s Master Tattoo Parlor and Museum was a big inspiration. It’s also where we got our matching tattoos so WIN/WIN.

The calm before the storm… #SDCC

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Does it hurt? How about now? Now, @lolozilla?

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If you’re ever in downtown San Diego there are two places you have to eat. Mary Jane’s is located in the Hard Rock Hotel on 5th, and it’s where the guys meet for breakfast in Dirty Rowdy Thing. The oatmeal Ansel has is out of this world. Bar Basic is in the East Village and home to the best pizza you’ll ever have. Get the Mashed if you go there: White sauce, mozzarella, mashed potato, bacon. JUST TRUST US.

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Happy birthday to this cute girl @lolozilla

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An actual Lauren in the actual Mary Jane’s during SDCC

There are a few beaches mentioned in Wicked Sexy Liar. Blacks Beach is gorgeous with a view of La Jolla Cove off in the distance, there’s also a clothing optional section so don’t forget your sunscreen (heheh). Tourmaline Surf Park is at the northern end of Pacific Beach, and is where London teaches Luke how to Surf. It’s known for the massive cliffs that tower over the beach, and if you happen to spot Luke while you’re out, please send him our way.

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