The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel

Romance, 336 pages, published in 2020

After walking out on the man her parents set her up with, Liya discovers that he is the lawyer sent to save her company. They do not want to be working together, but they realize that they might not hate each other as much as they thought they did.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content Warnings: sexual assault (mentioned multiple times, past and present), grief/guilt, death of a parent (mentioned)

I didn’t totally love this book, but overall, it was a fun time!

The book follows Liya, who just got promoted to a high position in her sinking company, and Jay, a lawyer who was hired to save the company. Liya has a pretty rough relationship with her parents, specifically her father. Her father sticks to pretty strict Indian ideals, so he disapproves of her living alone, being in relationships with men, and prioritizing work over getting married. These pressures have caused her to never wanted to get married or conform at all to what her parents want. Jay, on the other hand, doesn’t think he deserves to be happily married because of the guilt he feels because he believes that he caused his father’s death.

This book definitely goes into gender roles, especially in Indian-American communities. Liya has a reputation for being trashy because she’s dated around, but none of the guys who have done the same have this reputation. There is also a lot of victim-blaming, which was kind of hard to read about. Liya and her female friends are expected to be perfect wives and mothers, even if that’s not what they want for themselves.

I was a little confused at first because I really could not tell how old the characters were. They have full careers and Liya owns $400 shirts and Louboutins, but their interactions felt kind of juvenile sometimes, especially towards the beginning.

One thing I did really enjoy about their relationship was that they had open communication and understanding about their previous traumas.

I really liked how the ending was handled, but I do think it wrapped up too fast. I wish some of the plot points handled at the end could have been expanded and shown throughout the story more.

This book didn’t have any sex scenes, which was disappointing for me, but if you are looking for romance without steamy scenes, I’d definitely recommend this one!

Overall, it was a fun time, but not necessarily a story that is going to stick with me.

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