cover image Dating You/Hating You

Dating You/Hating You

Christina Lauren. Gallery, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6581-8

The first standalone contemporary from Lauren (the Wild Seasons series) is an entertaining but uneven workplace romance in which the well-realized relentless atmosphere of Hollywood talent agencies provides the backdrop for a relationship that’s in trouble almost as soon as it begins. Evie Abbey and Carter Aaron, both agents at different firms, hit it off after meeting at a friend’s costume party and are eager to act on their robust chemistry. When their agencies unexpectedly merge and Evie and Carter find themselves in direct competition, their fling takes a detour into mischief and antagonism—until they realize they have a common enemy. Their childish antics are sometimes amusing, but at other times their attempts at sabotage have exasperating consequences, and Carter’s occasional obliviousness to the sexism Evie has fought throughout her career is particularly off-putting. On the other hand, Evie and Carter function well together when they’re focused on the same objective, whether that’s a night of fulfilling sex or an agency retreat, and their lively group of friends sweetens the deal. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Agency. (June)