Did you read and love The Hating Game? Me too. Good news: a movie adaptation is in the works! Bad news: there’s no release date yet and it may not have started filming before COVID-19 shut down productions everywhere. But never fear, because if you need something to tide you over until the movie comes out, I’ve rounded up 17 books like The Hating Game.
To refresh your memory, The Hating Game is about Lucy and Joshua, coworkers and arch enemies at a publishing company who are suddenly thrust into competition for the top job. Enemies to lovers is one of the most popular romance tropes (for a reason), but The Hating Game adds on some good old-fashioned workplace hijinks for a truly satisfying read. So I’ve tried to find books that have the same feeling for this list. Enjoy!
Books Like The Hating Game
Headliners by Lucy Parker
The latest book in Parker’s London Celebrities series is full of sparks, shenanigans, and a murder mystery on a train. Rival TV presenters Nick Davenport and Sabrina Carlton have never gotten along. The viewing public loves their very obvious feud. But when a secret goes viral, the two are thrown together to present the same morning show in a last-ditch attempt to save their careers. As Nick and Sabrina try to boost the failing show’s ratings, they find themselves drawn ever closer together…and determined to catch the show’s mysterious saboteur, who seems to be thwarting them at every turn.
Bonus: check out The Austen Playbook, Parker’s other novel with shades of workplace drama and enemies to lovers.
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
Maddie and Theo, the main characters in this novel from the author of The Wedding Date, have only two things in common. First thing: they have the same best friend. And second: they hate each other. Unfortunately, they’re both in said friend’s wedding party. Awkward! Naturally, they share an accidental kiss, and as the wedding approaches, they can’t stop thinking about each other, even though they also can’t stop trading barbs. How ever will they release this tension? (I know you know where this is going.)
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Calla Fletcher was born in rural Alaska, but she doesn’t remember it. Her parents split when she was a baby, and Calla and her mom have lived in Toronto ever since. But now, Calla’s dad Wren is sick and wants her to come for a visit. When Calla arrives, she immediately clashes with Wren’s next-door neighbor, cocky (but hot) pilot Jonah. As Calla struggles to adjust, gamely adapting to mosquitos, long hours of daylight, and a totally different way of life, Jonah seems to be around every corner. Their arguments soon turn into something more, but Jonah will never leave Alaska, and Calla has to go back to her normal life eventually…right?
Work for It by Talia Hibbert
Griffin Everett is an isolated farmer who prefers to be alone with his plants. Keynes is a cynical playboy from the city. They couldn’t be less alike, even though they share an encounter. But when Keynes shows up at Griff’s job and they’re forced to interact, it becomes clear that they’re both struggling with mental health issues and could have a real connection, if they can get past each other’s walls.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
January Andrews writes bestselling romance novels, Augustus Everett writes respected literary fiction. They’re old frenemies from college, and oh yeah, they’re accidental neighbors for the summer. Desperate to beat mutual writer’s block, Gus and January agree to a deal: he’ll work on a novel with a happy ending, and January will write depressing literary fiction. Together, they’ll embark on research to learn more about the other’s way of writing. They’ll both finish books, but they won’t fall in love. Or so they think.
Snapped by Alexa Martin (October 2020)
Elliot Reed has just started a new communications job with the Denver Mustangs football team when quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to take a knee during the national anthem. Elliot is assigned to get him back in line, but Quinton knows he has the chance to use his platform for the greater good, and he won’t give that up. No matter how infuriating she is. As they spent more and more time together, Elliot begins to wonder if they have more in common than she thought. Can they get past the fact that her job’s on the line and so is his integrity?
Most Ardently by Susan Mesler-Evans
Elisa and Darcy hate each other from the moment they meet. (Sound familiar? Yes, this is a queer Pride and Prejudice retelling.) Elisa is proud of who she is and who she likes (that’s both boys and girls), and she doesn’t worry about who doesn’t like her. Darcy is a snobby heiress who definitely doesn’t like Elisa. It’s too bad her best friend is dating Elisa’s sister, so they’re thrown together all the time. And as life quickly becomes a little bit too chaotic, that may turn out to be a good thing after all.
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
Lina Santos is a wedding planner who was left at the altar. She’s aware of the irony, thank you. But she’s put it behind her and is ready to take on a big professional opportunity…until it turns out that she has to collaborate with the man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé’s extremely irritating, extremely handsome brother. All they have to do is survive a few weeks working together and nail a presentation before they go their separate ways. How hard could it be?
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Pepper is an all-around overachiever struggling to keep her family’s fast-food business going by running their popular Twitter account. She’s barely managing to juggle it all, and constant thorn in her side Jack doesn’t help. When Pepper’s family restaurant steals Jack’s family deli’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, it means war. What begins as a spat turns into a whole Twitter feud—but behind the scenes, Pepper and Jack are anonymously communicating on a chat app, and falling for each other more and more every day. What’s a girl to do when her real-life enemy may just be her online crush?
(Note: this is a YA novel, so not as steamy as some others on this list, but it’s a modern update of You’ve Got Mail and hello, it’s about a grilled cheese war between characters named Pepper and Jack.)
A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Portia Hobbs leaves New York to do an apprenticeship with a Scottish swordmaker in Edinburgh. Things are made slightly more complicated by the fact that he’s hot and all she seems to do is irritate him, even as she’s using her expertise to help his struggling business. For his part, Tavish McKenzie doesn’t exactly appreciate having an American tell him how to run his business…even if it is working, and even if she’s very attractive. And that’s when he discovers he’s the long-lost heir to a dukedom and things get really complicated.
Open House by Ruby Lang
When a thriving community garden is threatened, Tyson Yang steps up to protect it. But Magda Ferrer is desperate to sell the garden’s lot as well as her uncle’s long-for-sale Brownstone. It’s one way to prove to her family that she’s serious about taking control of her life. So even though the community spokesperson is charming and incorrigible, she can’t let him get to her. Until one night when the lines between them blur, and it suddenly seems like anything is possible.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
When your mother is the president (of the United States, that is), your image becomes bigger than you. Or at least that’s how Alex Claremont-Diaz feels. And unfortunately for him, he doesn’t get along so well with a literal British prince, Henry, and the press knows. In an effort to control the damage, Alex and Henry stage a fake truce. But when their bickering turns to attraction, and then a secret relationship, they have another hurdle to face: how can they be true to themselves if they’re keeping their feelings a secret?
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
Vanessa Mazur tries not to feel bad when she quits her housekeeper/assistant/general life manager job with grumpy football star Aiden Graves. After all, it was supposed to be a temporary job and he never seemed to like her much anyway—a feeling that was mutual. So when Aiden shows up to coax her back to her job, Vanessa is shocked. How do you say no to the man who gets whatever he wants? And does she even want to?
Bonus: Mariana Zapata’s From Lukov with Love is another sports-themed enemies to lovers romance, this time starring figure skaters. Like the book version of The Cutting Edge.
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Emily’s stuck in a small town helping her sister recover from an accident…and apparently volunteering with her teenaged niece at the local Renaissance Faire. It can’t be that bad, right? She’ll wear a corset and serve some beer. But the volunteer coordinator, stuffy Simon, makes it clear he has no patience for Emily’s jokes or suggestions for how to shake things up. Except when he’s in costume. At the Faire, they can’t seem to stop flirting with each other. Is it real, or is it all part of the act?
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Aspiring poet Ayesha takes a teaching job to pay off her debt to her uncle. She’s busy managing her new job, helping her family, and trying to cover for her flighty cousin, Hafsa. What she doesn’t have time for is Khalid, a strict Muslim who is judgmental…and very handsome. They share an inconvenient attraction that only makes things worse when a surprise engagement between Hafsa and Khalid is announced. As Ayesha looks into some rumors surrounding Khalid’s family and struggles to make sense of her feelings for him, she has to decide who to trust and how to be her real self.
Along for the Ride by Mimi Grace
In an effort to do better, recovering hot mess Jolene Baxter offers to help her sister and brother-in-law with their cross-country move. But at the last minute she’s forced to drive across the country with her least favorite person, Jason Akana, her brother-in-law’s best friend. What could go wrong? Well, car problems, an unplanned pit stop, and an inconvenient attraction that threatens to make this more than just a normal road trip.
And, one final suggestion just in case…
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
This seems obvious, but if you haven’t read Thorne’s follow-up to The Hating Game yet, what are you waiting for? It’s quite different from her first book but equally entertaining. Darcy has been in love with her twin brother’s old friend Tom for as long as she can remember. But he’s off limits, so Darcy has always pined from afar—literally, as she’s always setting off on a new trip. Now, as she returns home to fix up her grandmother’s crumbling old cottage so she and her brother can sell it, she’s surprised to find Tom on the doorstep, holding power tools. And single. Will Tom’s presence be enough to keep Darcy from setting off on another around-the-world adventure? And will their flirty banter finally turn into something deeper?
This list focuses on contemporary enemies-to-lovers romances because that’s what The Hating Game is. If you’re looking for even more of those, we’ve got you covered. Another good way to find books like The Hating Game? Check out our book subscription service, TBR! You’ll be paired with a professional bibliologist who learns about your reading tastes and creates personalized book recommendations just for you. It can be hard to figure out what to read next, and TBR has you covered. We can also recommend a romance subscription service for you! You will never run out of books like The Hating Game.