Author: Kelly Hunter
Release Date: 2 August 2011
Number of pages: 192 pages
Source: review copy provided by publisher through NetGalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle store, Book Depository
Grade: 4.5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Three reasons to keep away from Cole Rees…
1. My mom had a scorching affair with his dad—just think how awkward that "meet the family" would be…
2. His arrogance drives me mad—he might be a gorgeous billionaire, but I hate how he knows it!
3. Every time he touches me I go up in flames…and it's utterly terrifying.
Come on, a fling with the man I love to hate? Like that would ever work out...
I am so glad I wasn't turned off of this novel by its generic and cheesy romance cover, because I would have missed out on a great story! Another occasion when it's proven not to judge a book by its cover...
I really loved The Man She Loves to Hate, it was a very nice surprise: a great love story with interesting characters and intense dialogues. But let's start at the beginning...
Jolie Tanner grew up with Hannah and Cole Rees until she was twelve, when they discovered that Jolie's mother and the Rees kids' father were having an affair. It broke up their friendship and Hannah and Cole never spoke to Jolie again. Losing her best friend so abruptly and bearing the stigma of her adulteress mother Jolie has grown up to be a shy and introverted, beautiful young woman. Her path's crosses with Cole when they are stranded together in a ski cabin in the middle of a blizzard. Where you guess right something happens between them: they can't deny the chemistry and sizzling attraction that is between them, even if they vow to forget it as soon as they get back to civilization.
I liked that despite the constant hurt and gossip and her own shy nature Jolie still had some spunk and fire:
‘Here’s what we’re going to do,’ she muttered grimly. ‘I’m going to clean your head wound. Then you’re going to warm up, and wake up, and thank me very nicely for my efforts. No house. No diamonds. A simple thank you will do. And then when we get back to Queenstown and everybody asks you what it was like being stuck on a mountainside with me, you’re going to go very quiet and then you’re going to say—in front of God, your family, your fancy friends and half the town— “I may not have been entirely comfortable in Jolie’s company, but she kept me alive, and she has my thanks.” Is that really too much to ask? That for once in your life you and your sister and your mother stop hating me for something that was never my fault?’
And then of course I simply melted at the quiet and intense determination of Cole when he quickly realized that he wanted Jolie despite the past of their parents and the present opposition of her mother to his relationship with Jolie.
"And just for the record, when I close my eyes at night I think of greedy lips and silken skin and blinding passion the likes of which I’ve never felt before. Ask me where I go each night, Red."
Grey eyes, wide and startled. A mouth made for kisses; not one kiss but more.
"Where?" she whispered and it was a supplicant’s murmur and it magnified the heat deep inside him a hundredfold.
"I come to you."
"I live simply, Cole. Don’t expect anything grand. You’re coming slumming."
"I’ll be there around nine," he said. "And just for the record, I’m not coming for the scenery, Jolie. I’m coming for you."
"Yes, it’s working well," he said gruffly. "Which is why I’m asking you for more. I can’t keep leaving my world to come and play in yours, Red. Sometimes I’m going to need you—and want you—in mine. Can’t you understand that?"
The sizzling chemistry and then later blossoming love and harmony between Jolie and Cole was heart-warming. How they tried to surmount the obstacles left for them by their parent's affair and their bumpy childhood feelings was not simple but so satisfying to read.
At times the descriptions were a bit choppy and the transition between the scenes was often abrupt (it read like a change of scene in a script), but the highlight of this novel were the dialogues which deliver powerful and poignant sentiments.
Verdict: If you are looking for a fun, heart-warming, toe-curling romance you can't go wrong with The Man She Loves to Hate! It is hot, it is funny and it is definitely romantic! A novel I very much enjoyed!
Cover: 1/10 - ugh so bland and cheesy, don't let it turn you away from reading this great story!