The Trouble with Hating You by: Sajni Patel

A fiercely independent engineer walks out on the man her parents have set her up with — only to start working side-by-side with him at her job in this laugh-out-loud debut with “delicious banter, deep wounds, heartwarming friendships, and a path to love that often feels impossibly hard, and a payoff] satisfying enough to give you a book hangover the size of Texas” (Sonali Dev, USA Today bestselling author of Recipe for Persuasion).

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 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?

Content Warnings: Verbal/emotional/physical abuse, sexism, fire, injury and death by fire, trauma, grief, sexual assault, and mention of attempted rape of a minor and racism.

Don’t be fooled by the cartoon cover this book deals with a lot of heavy topics like the sexual assault and attempted rape of a minor, a minor that is shamed and blamed for the assault and labeled “unclean and loose” not only by their community but also by a parent. We also see the lifetime of grief someone faces when they blame the tragic death of a loved one on themselves.

Liya has been told, from a young age, that she’s dirty and shouldn’t expect any nice guys to want her. Focusing on her career, and enjoying life, Liya is determined to never fall prey to the whims of men again. Though her parents know she doesn’t want to marry they still go behind her back to invite a potential suitor to dinner. What other option than fleeing dinner does she have?

Jay doesn’t believe he deserves a happy ever after and is determined to never marry. Blaming himself for the tragic death of his father, when he was a child, Jay does whatever he can to help his brother and mother be happy. Even though he has no plans to marry…Jay can’t turn his mother down when she asks him to meet a potential bride. Why did said match flee their dinner like demons were chasing her? If she didn’t want to meet she could have said so instead of embarrassing his poor mother who now worries they somehow offended Liya before even meeting her.

We get instant enemies over a misunderstanding, then forced proximity when they find out Jay’s the lawyer that’s been hired to help Liya’s company, and then a slow burn as they realize maybe the other isn’t so bad after all. I adored this couple and was cheering for them from the start. If you love romance’s that deal with heavier topics but prefer FTB [fade to black, aka when sex takes place off-page rather than on-page] I highly recommend giving this debut romance a chance.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: