Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel: A Hate-to-Love Romance With More Hate Than Love

The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel
Published: May 12th, 2020
Publisher: Forever
# of pages: 334
Tropes: Hate-to-love, opposites attract, office romance
Heat level: Steamy (kissing, talk of sex, but no on-page sex)
My rating: 3.5 stars
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for honest consideration
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Buy: Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Indigo

Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents' latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she's out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later -- the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What's not surprising: he's not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.

Jay Shah looks good on paper...and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He's also arrogant and infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance?

It took me a while to get into this book. My main issue was with the heroine, Liya; right from the first page, you could see how angry and defensive she was. On the one hand it made me curious because I wanted to know what made her that way - and seeing the way her dad treated her gave a good indication - but her behavior and attitude in the first chapter just felt like an overall bad first impression. That impression continued for some time and it took me at least half the book to feel like I connected with her in any way.

That being said, I have an appreciation for characters like Liya because they’re realistic. There are a million different kinds of personalities, and it’s only right for different types to be portrayed in books. We get a lot of sweet, quirky female leads, so it’s nice to see something completely different, but this is where reading becomes so subjective; in real life and in books, I’m drawn to those sweet and quirky people, so Liya’s instant anger, rudeness, and disrespect were jarring. She had justifiable reasons for her anger, distrust of men, and annoyance with the community, but because she was so harsh, I felt some of her good attributes were overshadowed. 

Even though it took me a while to get into the book and I never did feel a true connection with the characters, there were plenty of things I did like. I enjoyed Liya’s friend group and Jay’s family - they brought a lot of humour and heart to the story. I liked that despite everything she’d been through and how people saw her, Liya remained strong and independent, and she was determined to live her life how she wanted to, not how others thought she should. She had put up walls to survive and she didn’t need anyone to save her, but what she didn’t know she did need was a champion - someone to stand up for her, believe in her, and show her unconditional love - and she found that in Jay. She also got all of that from her friends, but she never thought she’d find it in a man; from her experience, men were all the same and only wanted certain things: absolute control and sex among them. Through patience and determination (and a bit of stubbornness too) Jay proved Liya wrong and showed her not all men are alike and that she could trust him and finally let down her walls. I also really enjoyed the cultural aspects of the book. Having grown up in a very white community, I always love learning about different cultural and religious practices.

Once I got into the story, I enjoyed The Trouble With Hating You quite a bit. I wish there had been more love than hate in this hate-to-love romance, but once Liya’s walls started to come down, I enjoyed watching the progression of her relationship with Jay. I look forward to more books from Sajni Patel in the future.

Have you read The Trouble With Hating You? Are you a fan of the hate-to-love trope?

*Please note I'm an Amazon affiliate, and some of the links in this review are affiliate links. All income made through affiliate sales goes directly back into maintaining Ramblings of a Daydreamer. Thank you for your support!  

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