Published by Gallery Books on June 6th 2017
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Format: Kindle eBook
All’s fair in love and work.
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 realisation 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 thirty-something 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?
I slump my shoulders in mock defeat. “But that’s in married territory.”
“We don’t have tickets to that side of the room,” Carter adds.
Give me these awkward nerds or give me death!
Dating You / Hating You switches points of view between Evie and Carter each chapter, and both of them are complete messes of awkward and very entertaining.
Evie, or Evil as Carter calls her, is in her thirties, married to her work, and knows she has to work twice as hard to still not get taken as seriously as her male colleagues. She’s one of the best, and she knows it, but that means nothing to her boss who won’t let her forget one flop. Her ambitions, concerns, and asides about her life and work are great, and she knows her boundaries in this competition with Carter.
Carter is adjusting to moving, changing companies, and working out this relationship with Evie. He’s charismatic, gets along with everyone, and after some time does end up gunning for Evie’s job. He gets faced with a lot of reality checks in the book—pay disparity, sexism, his own privilege—and despite trying he doesn’t really get it for a while.
I’m not entirely sure what this feeling is, because I’ve never had it before… but I think it’s unmitigated rage. I think my brain has just declared war on Carter Aaron.
The UST between Evie and Carter is great. Their rivalry for the position and the small sabotages they do to each other are fantastic, but they don’t let it get into one of them turning into a horrible human being territory—when it gets close they do realise and work to make up for it which is nice too. It’s fun seeing both sides of the plotting and the pranks themselves, and Evie is definitely my favourite throughout it.
Their text message conversations are great, and (while a couple were kind of difficult to read on my Kindle as they seemed to be images rather than text) I love that they were included in the text rather than only referenced. The ways that the texts went between them over the course of the novel were nice, and the fact that a lot of the time they took a while to look at their phones or answer their texts too were great lol
I loved the banter between characters and the bits and pieces of in-jokes between Evie and her friends, and Carter and Mike. I liked how the competition progressed, though part of me would have preferred more sabotage, and the ways Evie and Carter tried to resolve it to only end in competing again and again.
There were times where both Carter’s and Evie’s narration sounded pretty similar, but that may have been because they have similar senses of humour. However, I would have to say that I preferred Evie’s chapters to Carter’s, mostly because I enjoyed her freak-outs and angry rants a lot more than Carter’s. Carter’s had some really great moments too, though, and I really liked his scrambling to find a way to get ahead in the competition.
Evil would cut off my balls and hand them to me if she thought it would give her an edge. And while that’s not particularly appealing, the idea that I have to constantly keep up is. Evie is smarter, and there’s a rush of adrenaline in having to work to stay one step ahead.
If only I knew how to do that.
The way sexism was explored in the book was good to see too. It wasn’t over-exaggerated and, while it was a factor in quite a bit of the novel, it wasn’t the only factor. The different ways each character deals with or reacts to it is interesting to read, and the attempts of figuring out how to respond are good too. Because it’s hard to respond sometimes, and for some characters it’s a little harder to pick up on, but they learn.
I love how this book ended, and I love how their snarking at each other still doesn’t change. Evie’s and Carter’s banter makes this book for me. Their development, Carter’s especially, is a bonus, but I’m in love with their conversations and non-conversations. Can I just get more books about the two of them, please?