The Hating Game
Published: 15 November 2010 by Prospera Publishing
Format: Kindle ebook
Published: 9 March 2011 by Prospera Publishing
When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy.
After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £50,000 prize?
Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes.
Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?
Think Blind Date meets Big Brother meets I'm a Celebrity and you've pretty much got the idea of the sort of game show hell Mattie Johns finds herself in.
She's asked to do some embarrassing things during the course of the game show. You expect her to refuse, but she's so determined to save her business she just takes a deep breath and gets on with it. Albeit, with some fabulous putdowns to anyone who annoys her.
I thought I knew how the story was going to unfold but I was wrong-footed by something that happens towards the middle of the book. Several twists and turns follow, which kept me guessing to the end.
Mattie isn't the usual ditzy, chick lit heroine. She is feisty with a capital F. She's also rude and abrasive. At the beginning of the story I found it hard to warm to her, but it soon becomes apparent the 'ball-breaker' image is an act to protect herself from getting hurt again and it wasn't long before I was firmly on her side. It's very hard to make a reader care about an (initially) unsympathetic heroine but Ms Roland pulls it off brilliantly, revealing layer after layer of Mattie's personality.
This is a delightful rom-com, full of wit and with some great, laugh out loud one-liners. If you like Marian Keyes then you're going to love Talli Roland. Remember the name, as I predict we'll be seeing a lot more from this talented new writer.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it 5 out of 5. However, I'll never be able to look at a cocktail sausage the same way again!