Today is the release day of the book I Hate You, I Love You by Elizabeth Haley. There is a fine line between love and hate and that’s clear in this book. Thanks to the publisher and author, I received an ARC to read and review. If you want to know what I thought of this book, keep reading! I also have a little excerpt from I Hate You, I Love You to share with you!
There’s a fine line between love and hate. And these two can’t decide which side they’re really on. . . .
Poetry professor Naomi Price is loved by her students, happily works around the clock, and has credentials no one could deny. Except, it seems, for her arch-nemesis at Hainamor University. The man never has anything polite to say, and now the two of them are competing for a prestigious honor that just so happens to come with a cash award. With every move Naomi makes to impress her colleagues, her rival is right there beside her, elbow to elbow, making it impossible to ignore how devastatingly hot he is—even if he is a total bastard.
Sebastian Blake knows what Naomi thinks of him, and he’s trying hard not to care. Maybe he’s been grouchy with her in the past, but she isn’t making his life any easier with her crusade to win over the Personnel Committee and earn an honor that is rightfully his. Naomi just doesn’t quit, and though he’d never admit it, there’s something sexy about her. Something that has him tied up in knots. Something that makes him want to move beyond his painful past and take a chance—at least for as long as it takes to kiss her silly and see what happens next.
Warning: Intense bickering leads to intense sexual chemistry!
Reading this description I was pretty excited. I have been a big fan of enemies to lovers romances, because they have some great moments. In I Hate You, I Love You we meet Naomi and Sebastian. They’re both teachers and since the beginning they haven’t seen eye to eye. This only gets worse when they find out they’re competing for the same award.
I loved the bickering between these two characters and it had me laughing out loud. It was clear even though they seemed to hate each other, there was some type of attraction. This is what bugged me in the beginning, I think it concentrated a bit too much on the aspect of them not liking each other. At first it wasn’t clear when the POV was going to change and this confused me in the beginning.
The characters slowly start to warm up to each other even though it’s clear they both have more going on. I would’ve liked to have seen this come out more towards the middle. In my opinion it took a bit too long before we got more insight into Naomi’s and Sebastian’s past. I think this would’ve helped a lot more with the story.
In the end, I really grew to love these characters and wanted them to have a happily ever after. I think they both needed each other without realizing it! Naomi and Sebastian are characters that really found the love they needed. I wouldn’t mind another story to see how they’re doing.
I Hate You, I Love You definitely left me with a few questions though. What happened to Elizabeth’s poetry book? Did Sebastian ever finish his book? These are the types of things I get invested in while reading. I like closure with that as well, not only the romance, haha.
An hour or so later, Sebastian stood and packed up his things. She knew he had a class in about twenty minutes, and even though it was only upstairs, he always arrived early. He gave her a slight nod on his way out, which Naomi returned.
As soon as he left their office, Naomi let her head fall to her desk and her leg began jiggling again. “Fuck this,” she mumbled before she leapt up and strode after him.
She caught up to him quickly and pulled him into an empty classroom, shutting the door behind her.
He’d offered a small grunt of protest when she’d steered him toward the room, but he didn’t say anything else until she closed the door. “Well, this is…alarming.”
She chuckled despite herself. “Shut up. I need to talk to you.”
“And you needed to kidnap me to accomplish that task?”
“You’re so dramatic,” she scolded.
His lips twitched again, but he gave nothing else away.
Naomi took a deep breath. “You kissed me.”
His eyes narrowed. “I don’t feel like it was a one-sided act. Nor was it the first time it has occurred.”
No, it wasn’t. But it felt different in some way. The kiss after Lit Day had been arousing, and the words that had followed had held promise. But then so much had happened that they’d never revisited their feelings for one another. They’d never expounded upon the simple words they’d breathed against one another’s lips. And now, Naomi needed those words. She needed some reassurance that they were on the same page, even if they were at opposite ends of it. Exasperated, she fisted her hands at her sides. “I know. But I want to…talk about it.”
“Why talk when we can reenact?” he said as he set down his messenger bag and took a step toward her, crowding her against a wall.
“That is a…a very good point. We could…do that. But talking maybe…too…at some point. Later.” Christ, she sounded like a moron. Her body warred with her brain, and she was pretty sure the latter didn’t stand a chance.
Sebastian moved even closer, settling his hand on her hip. “I think I short-circuited you. That kiss is all you’ve been able to think about, isn’t it?”
“You’re very smug.”
“I’m also very right.” And with that, he pulled her the rest of the way to him and brushed his lips over hers.
The fireworks were back. The sizzle and crackle that flowed between them ignited like a vibrant display of energy. Naomi’s hands gripped his shoulders as he took control of the kiss, deepening it so that she was nearly bent backward.
He almost literally swept her off her feet, and there wasn’t a damned thing she wanted to change about it.
Eventually he pulled back and looked down at her with a smile. He placed one more kiss on her mouth before stepping back.
She felt immediately bereft.
He was still smiling when he picked up his bag. “I think we both already know where this is heading. Probably have for a while. To deny that we’re attracted to one another would be a blatant lie, and I’m not really up to lying to myself anymore. So let’s just…see where it goes. Not make any promises or put any restrictions on it, but instead just let it be and see what it becomes.”
That seemed like a difficult task to Naomi. This wasn’t some random attraction to a guy she met at a bar. This was an inferno of feelings for a man who she’d had strong feelings about from the beginning, even if they hadn’t always been positive. But Naomi had a strong suspicion that Fantasy Sebastian might live within real Sebastian—that he’d maybe be even better, and she didn’t just mean in the bedroom. That possibility was too tempting to ignore. “Yeah, we can do that.”
The smile he flashed her was breathtaking. “Good.” He approached her again. “I have to get to class,” he said before giving her a peck on the lips. “But I’ll see you later?”
She definitely hoped to see him later. Preferably naked. “Absolutely.”
I love enemies to lovers romances! What is your favorite one?