Readers and critics alike raved over USA Today bestselling author Sally Thorne’s smash hit debut, The Hating Game, which has sold in over 20 countries. Now she’s back with an unforgettable romantic comedy about a woman who finally has a shot at her long time crush—if she dares.
Crush (n.): a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…
Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.
When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.
Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that's inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.
This next hilarious romance includes a special PS section with two Happily Ever Afters—one for this novel featuring Darcy and Tom and the other, an epilogue featuring fan favorites Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeman from The Hating Game!
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The delicious will-they-or-won’t-they dance of The Hating Game set up sky-high expectations for Sally Thorne’s next book. Good news: She’s lived up to them, and then some. Darcy Barrett is piecing her life together, and she’s only certain of one thing: Tom Valeska, her twin brother’s best friend, is her dream guy. Whereas Darcy’s sort of a mess (think piercings and a snarky inner monologue), Tom is almost too good to be true (he’s buying a house for his mom). When these two opposites get close, the sparks start flying. We were rooting fullheartedly for the brash Darcy, the shyly charming Tom—and their inevitable hookup.
Thorne (The Hating Game) pours just the right amount of boy next door meets rebel girl into this slow-burn romance. Darcy Barret has always been in the shadow of her twin brother, Jamie, and when it comes to Jamie's best friend, Tom Valeska, Darcy is sure she only has 1% of his heart. The three have been friends since Tom got locked out of his house and turned up on Jamie's doorstep when they were eight. Darcy knew from the moment she met him that Tom was special, and has spent 18 years nursing her unrequited crush on him, which is made all the more painful when he gets engaged to his girlfriend, Meg. When Tom arrives unexpectedly to head the remodeling of Darcy's deceased grandmother's house, Darcy can't help but fall for him all over again. Then Tom confesses that he and Meg have broken up, and Darcy decides this is her chance to win the other 99% of his affections. Their sexual chemistry is hard to ignore, and Darcy's snarky comebacks are the highlight of this novel. The mounting drama leaves a little to be desired, as Darcy and Jamie's sibling rivalry, Darcy's inability to stay in one place, the house remodel, Tom's struggling mother, and Darcy's heart problem at times distract from the central plot. However, fans of Thorne's previous work are sure to enjoy the witty dialogue and gradual friends-to-lovers tug-of-war.
I hated how much they denied each other but it was so worth it in the end.
Meh - contains spoilers
Very different from The Hating Game although the tropes are the same. She’s quirky and running from intimacy, he’s the strong/silent type who keeps saving her & her brother from themselves. She annoyed me with her selfishness and self indulgence. Still, I somehow kept reading it. Preferred THG because the characters were balanced by equivalent job descriptions despite their personal differences. This felt like she & her brother treated Tom badly despite saying that he was a sibling of sorts. It was painful to learn that he’d been suffering because he’s loved her for years and she knew it and then was sleeping with everyone and his cousin across the world including practically being raped to escape her feelings for him?!? Please. Then he asks her not to tell her brother about them until the house is done and she dimes him out after 30 minutes. Nice. It’s a mistake to label this a romance. It’s more of a LONG therapy session with a “happy” ending where she’s enormously smug because everyone can tell their sex life is off the charts (she loves that construction workers and elderly cruise passengers are watching them mack on each other). She finally(!) allows him to have the first home EVER that he can call his own instead of SLEEPING ON THE GROUND IN A TENT with her at building sites because she thinks it’s edgy/fun! She’s selfish and self involved, remember? If there had been more than one sex scene, it might have made the therapy session worth it. But there was only one and that one was extremely tame to boot. Meh. Proof once again that the nicest guys always seem to end up with the most awful gals.
Female protagonist can be unlikeable at times. Male protagonist is cliched protector with a heart of gold that missed his shot the first time around. Not on par with the Hating Game, which I’d rate a 4. If you’re between the two, do not pick this one.