Friday, December 30, 2016

REVIEW: Hate Story by Nicole Williams


Shel: Because I've grown to really enjoy everything I've read by Nicole Williams I've gone into the last two books completely blind--it makes for an interesting reading experience for sure. In the case of Hate Story I was tempted, very tempted, to go to Goodreads and look up the synopsis because the first few chapters had me so curious. Who was Nina? Who was Max? How in the hell did they end up in this predicament? The longer I read, the more curious I became, and just as I hit a level of curiosity that was on the edge of frustrating, I got some relief...some answers...and I was able to really settle in and enjoy their 'hate story'. I think what I had to accept, at some point, was that while their heads and hearts were tied up with things in the past, this was really a story about their present and them working on moving forward. So we don't get a ton of backstory, nor do we see them much outside of the bubble of them, but it works; it feels intimate and close and like you're sitting right there in the novel with them. Court: Yeah, girl. There is so much to love about this book, but the premise is original and could have gone about a million ways. I thought that it was such a surprise that I had to keep reading and devouring every page to get those answers that Shel was talking about, and I was glad that we didn't get tortured...for too long...although, there is a lot of ups and downs that were also unexpected and really added a lot of brevity to our story.

Shel: As with the last few Nicole Williams novels I've read, I really enjoyed that Hate Story featured strong characters. Both Nina and Max were stubborn and funny and argumentative and kind; they both hid some deep-seated wounds, hid behind masks, and insisted on sticking to their promises even when their feelings threatened to get in the way.  I also liked that for as strong as Nina is, she's allowed to be vulnerable and uncertain and the one who is way more chicken of a relationship than many heroines are these days. I liked that Max had to be the patient one; he had to accept some things on her terms and he had to make some really selfless choices. Court: Oh he did...but about killed me! There is so much once things start moving for us to find out, but the two characters are both ones that I rooted for early on. Then, there are external factors that really made me insane! Can't really tell ya what...but...I enjoyed Max and Nina every page. Then there is Nicole's is so smooth, and flawless...I could live there forever, and enjoy her like shel said every time. It is brilliance like this that keep us coming back and wanting more. I think y'all will too! 

Shel: What started as a novel that was intriguing almost to the point of frustration (at the very beginning), ended with me sending frantic texts to Court because it was so good and I was dying at all the stuff that was happening. Things kept happening and I was OMG-ing like a lunatic. In other words, Hate Story was really good--so good that I read it all on a Saturday morning, ignoring any and everything that needed to be done so that I could see how Nina and Max would get their HEA. Court: She was...she had me so dang excited to read this book...and then I read it in one sitting because I couldn't stop reading it to do anything productive either!! 


AP new - synopsis.jpg
Nina can’t let herself fall in love with the man she’s going to marry. Both of them have experienced the sting and sham of love and have no intentions of falling victim to it twice. Love is expensive—hate is free.

Three years. A million dollars. A solution to both of their problems. They planned it all, from the story of their first meeting to the date of their divorce. Nothing could go wrong.

But what they didn’t consider was chemistry, and Nina and Max have no shortage of it. After too many near-kisses, Nina convinces herself that hating Max is better than loving him, and the more she gets to know this soon-to-be-husband of hers, the more she discovers just how very much she truly, madly, and deeply . . . hates him.

This isn’t a love story. This is the other kind.

“Okay. So how do you think this is going?” Max tipped the broom handle between us. “You and me?”
My forehead pinched together. “You and me the plan? Or you and me the surprise?”
Max’s brow answered my question.
“And this topic is what you consider not-so-deep?” I nudged him and moved to finish stocking syrups.
“All I’m looking for is a simple estimation. Since we were just talking about school, give us a grade for how you think this is going.”
“A grade? Like A, B, C, D, F?”
“Exactly like that.”
I shook my head. “Did you have a rough day at work today? Lose an Olympic-size swimming pool of money or something? Are you needing your daily ego stroking to come from somewhere else today?” When I glanced back at him, I found Max leaning into the door he’d relocked, arms crossed and waiting.
“Our relationship is unique,” he said. “Intricate. I’m asking not because I need my ego stroked, but because I care. If I need to make some changes, I’m willing to. Anything you need, whatever you want, that’s what I’ll give you. But first, I have to know how I’m doing.”
If a man could get a woman pregnant from a piercing stare and a collection of words, I’d just gotten myself good and knocked up. With twins.
“You know how it’s going,” I said, trying to focus on the syrups instead of what—or who—I wanted to focus on.
“I know how I think it’s going. I’d like to know how you think it’s going.”
My mouth went a little dry. Having these kinds of talks was hard for anyone—they were next to impossible for me. “Well, you haven’t gone and confessed your undying love or scared the hell out of me by asking me to be your baby mama, so you’re keeping your promise to take it nice and slow.” When he gave a mini bow, I rolled my eyes. “Not to mention you aren’t too shabby in the sack, you don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, and you share the remote well.”
Max’s face went flat. “Not too shabby?”
“Oh, please. You know how good you are. Stop fishing for compliments.” A flush crept up my neck as I thought of the most recent evidence to support that theory.
A slow, crooked smile spread across his face. “I want a grade.”
“Like comprehensive? Or broken down by category?” I was stalling, and Max knew I was stalling.
“You’re making this way too difficult,” he grumbled.
“An A minus,” I said abruptly. “I’d give you an A minus.”
“Why not an A plus?”
I kept my head turned so he couldn’t see my smile. Only Max Sturm would be outraged by an A minus. “Because there’s always room for improvement. And I wouldn’t want it to go to your head, that’s why not an A plus.”
The door creaked when he shoved off of it. He made no move to tame the way he was checking me out, leaning into the counter as I organized the syrups. “Something’s definitely going to my head.”
My gaze roamed his zipper region. “I was talking about the one north of your neck.”
“And I’m talking about the one at the end of my dick. My, at present, hard dick, thanks to you.” He came up behind me, fitting himself against my backside as his hands moved around to work on my jeans.
“Max,” I protested, my eyes closing a second later when his dick nuzzled deeper into my backside.
“Nina. I’m taking your body. Here. Now.” His chest pressed into my back as he lowered my zipper. “Accept that so we can move on to the next part.”

AP  new -about the author.jpg

Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.


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