Top positive review
4.5 Hate to Want You Stars
Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2019
This book has gotten so many 5-star reviews and was at the top of a bunch of Listopias that were up my alley, so I was interested to read it to see if it lived up to all the hype. In short, pretty much... yeah. VERY steamy! Basically, the book description is your set-up because in chapter 1 (without much exposition), they get it ON. Not in a Fifty Shades way (which I actually appreciated about this one), but in a "hate to want you but can't help myself so do me now" way. Early. Often. And with varying degrees of remorse/confusion/angst/bliss/etc. after each encounter.
Chloe Mills is an intern at the major company in Chicago where she has been employed since college. She has worked for the CEO and his older son (who both appreciate her hard work and like her), but now reports to the younger son to whom she refers to as "Beautiful Bastard" because he is drop dead gorgeous but is always a total dick to her. She has had to put up with him for several months, and to date, their relationship mainly consists of him giving her crap and her rolling with the punches while biding her time knowing she is the best at what she does and once she completes this multi-million dollar deal (which doubles as her master's thesis), she has her ticket punched for whatever and wherever she wants. But while "Mr. Ryan" infuriates her, she also can't help but appreciate the packaging.
Bennett Ryan has always been a perfectionist, and he demands it from all of those who work for him, including Miss Mills with her stony silences and delectable ass...ets. Bennett knows to never mix business with pleasure, and he has worked his ass off to get to where he is as a businessman in his own right; now that he has returned to assume a leadership role in the company his family built, he cannot afford to be distracted. But as tough as he is on her, he can't help but appreciate both her ability to manage him and her feminine wiles. Does she wear those work clothes to intentionally torment him? How can he possibly be attracted to her when she is such a bitch to him most of the time? After dealing with his conflicting feelings for months, Bennett believes he just needs to get it out of his system and finally goes for it in the conference room he finds himself alone with her in after hours... and she doesn't stop him. But that encounter doesn't satisfy him; it only makes him want more. And the same thing happens the next time. And the next time. And the.... you get the picture. This situation is out of control, and both Bennett and Chloe find themselves in a position they are entirely unfamiliar with how to proceed.
What I liked:
--- Very strong chemistry between the 2 MCs who were likeable in different ways (though Bennett had to grow on me a little bc he was pretty much a total dick at first)
--- The interactions they had gave me more than a few chuckles - the humor enhanced the story
--- Their bickering was what inflamed things in the first place; it was amusing to see them do verbal battle and then throw each other up against walls/wrap legs around and go to town
--- STEAMY GOODNESS - and my specific brand (not too graphic/over the top with details but very steamy and HOT); no BDSM elements (not that I don't enjoy it now and then, but it is overdone in the workplace in a post-Fifty world); they stuck with the basics (meaning mostly main event and a couple oral sessions); and way the author built things up between them, you could feel how they basically wanted to inhale each other which was hot
What I didn't like as much:
--- Not much; I wish there was an epilogue because I felt a little cheated without it (mostly I wanted SPOILER to see them together, together --- for most of the book, it was them trying to figure things out with each other; I would have liked to see them as a real couple at least for a little while END SPOILER
--- A little too much angst at time SPOILER specifically, the separation at the end of the book seemed to go on much longer than necessary END SPOILER
--- More than a little weird that they were banging each other and still calling each other "Mr. Ryan" and "Miss Mills" until about the 70% mark of the book
Overall, a humorous enemies-to-lovers read with workplace shenanigans and STEAMY goodness galore!
Plot --- 4.5/5
Main Characters --- 4.5/5
Supporting Cast --- 4/5
Steam Level* --- 4/5
Violence --- none
Language --- some
POV --- Dual
*Note that steam level is not a rating so much as a how hot was it: 0/5 - clean; 1/5 - mild; 2/5 - sensual but nothing descriptive; 3/5 - now we're getting somewhere; 4/5 - yes please! ; 5/5 - they did EVERYTHING in this one, y'all