Audiobook Review: If You Hate Me by Helena Hunting, narrated by Connor Crais & CJ Bloom (Toronto Terror #1)

Note: An advance listener copy (ALC) was provided by the author.

If You Hate Me is the much anticipated new hockey romance from bestselling author Helena Hunting, aaand it happens to be the first in her Toronto Terror series. This is an enemies-to-lovers story featuring a down-on-her-luck accountant who finds herself bunking in her professional hockey playing older brother's loft in the apartment he has with his best friend. On the heels of rage quitting her job, twenty-two-year-old Beatrix Madden is officially homeless, no thanks to refusing to share quarters with her icky roommates who know nothing about boundaries. Her older brother, Phillip, aka Flip, offers her a place to stay while she's figuring out her next steps. Unfortunately, this means there's no avoiding Tristan Stiles. He's been Flip's best friends since they were kids, and now, they're teammates. Oh, and Rix can't stand him, and the feeling is quite mutual, thank you very much. They fight like cats and dogs, and try as they might, they can't avoid each other. Another thing they can't seem to avoid? Those pesky, lustful feelings that can never lead to more. Maybe. Which is why the sooner Rix finds a new place the better. Or could all that hate sex be even better?

From the moment Helena Hunting dropped her first hint about this book, I had it atop my list of anticipated reads. Hunting is one my absolute go-tos for hockey romance, and learning that Connor Crais was one of the narrators for the audiobook of this series starter made me even more excited to get my hands on it. This is only my second time listening to CJ Bloom, but I liked her vocal skills the first time, and now it's clear that it wasn't a fluke. There's romance and there's hockey, but there's also a whole lot of sex in this story, and I'm talking the dirty kind. I confess that there were certain points were I felt a wee bit taken aback at the stuff the main characters got up to, ad that's saying something considering I'm a prolific romance reader and it takes a lot to shock me. So yes, the sex is plentiful, the banter ranging from playful to biting, and there were moments where Tristan's past led him to say hurtful things and turn to self-sabotage. But that happy ending and the growth both characters went through were worth all the hours listening to audiobook and reading the eBook. (Side note: There are some differences between the audio and the eBook, but nothing that alters the story or the ending.) If You Hate Me receives four out of five stars.

Release Date: 07 March 2024

Date Listened to: 02 March 2024

Learn more about Helena Hunting.

Learn more about Connor Crais and CJ Bloom.

Pre-order If You Hate Me on Audible.


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