Review: “I Hate You More” by Lucy Gilmore

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: November 2nd, 2021

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Ruby Taylor gave up pageant life the day she turned eighteen and figured she’d never look back. But when an old friend begs her to show her beloved Golden Retriever at the upcoming Canine Classic, Ruby reluctantly straps on her heels and gets to work.

If only she knew exactly what the adorably lazy lump of a dog was getting her into.

If there’s one thing veterinarian Spencer Wilson knows in this world, it’s dogs. Human beings are an entirely different animal. Especially stubborn, gorgeous women clearly in way over their heads. As judge for the local dog show, Spencer advises Ruby to quit while she still can, but her old fervor for winning has returned―and she wants to show the stern, broody-eyed judge that she’s more than just a pretty face. In the end, she’ll show him who’s best in show.

 

I picked this book up for two reasons—the cover is adorable and the blurb sounded so good. I knew it was going to be an enemies to lovers rom-com going in, but I didn’t realise just how much I would love these characters. I Hate You More has dogs, a former beauty queen, a hot (but stiff) vet, quirky old ladies who get high at a nursing home and a host of great supporting characters. It was a cute, fun, flirty and quick read; which I devoured in a day.

Ruby Taylor might have walked away from the pageant circuit the first chance she got, but when she’s asked to take a lazy, adorable and golden retriever as a contestant on a dog show, the shenanigans begin. I loved Ruby so much. I went in expecting her to be a vapid woman who has spent so much time surrounded by hair spray that she’d be hard to love—but I got a whole other character. Ruby is incredible. She’s got a spark and charm, she’s sarcastic and quick on her feet. Ruby has had enough of people only treating her a certain way because of how she looks, so she’s always ready to snap back and put people in their place. Ruby is not a woman to be underestimated, because she’s so much more than her beauty. 

Then there’s Spencer Wilson, a handsome grump of a man who is not only a vet, but also the man that started the dog show. He’s gruff, impatient and honestly has no time for anything or anyone in the world. Spencer was such an incredible hero and the perfect balance to Ruby’s wild and vivacious ways. As a twin, Spencer always feels like he’s the lesser of the two and he’s closed himself off because of that. But despite those things, he’s got so much going for him. Spencer loves animals and he loves his family, but it’s not always easy for him to express those feelings and thoughts. And I love how he’s hot and sexy one minute, but awkward and uncomfortable the next—it shows how amazing he can be!

“She was like the sun walking into the room—and into his life. Every time she appeared, his chest contracted and expanded in equal proportions.”

Their relationship is so entertaining. They don’t like each other from the moment they meet—Ruby’s trying to sneak into the dog show late and Spencer is not having it—but as they spend time together, their relationship evolves and grows into something so great. Ruby has no filter and Spencer’s life is lived through a filter, so every chance they’re around each other it’s a test of patience. It’s obvious that Spencer is drawn to Ruby because she’s beautiful and she’s drawn to him because he’s handsome, but there’s so much more to their relationship and watching that unfold was a great time. Ruby keeps pushing Spencer past his comfort zone and he’s constantly trying to straighten her out as much as possible.

While hot, this book is low on steam. One of my favourite scenes—the 140 push-ups is pretty special too—is after they’ve spent the day babysitting three little boys. It’s a slow burn, but that scene on the couch with her dress and buttons…I was fanning myself a whole lot. I think what really works for them is their chemistry and the sexual tension—which is pretty hot considering Spencer spends so much time refusing to accept that he wants more from Ruby.

I wish I could write a whole book about the book, but there’s so much that you need to discover as you read. Their familial and personal relationships were great, it gives you so much insight into who these two people are. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew Ruby and Spencer personally and when that happens, it’s always a great thing. Plus, if you like dogs, you’re going to absolutely love Wheezy!

Thanks to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Casablanca and Lucy Gilmore for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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