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Book Review: Hate & Liar, by Tate James

I purchased copies of Hate and Liar, by Tate James.
hate and liar covers

“Madison Kate Danvers was murdered tonight.”

Those words changed my life, and not for the better.

They were wrong, of course. I wasn’t dead. But I was set up.

After being charged with a string of offences–and made an example of by my political minded father–I’m eventually released back into Shadow Grove with one thing on my mind.


Someone is going to pay for derailing my carefully laid out future. Someone is going to catch the full force of my hate. How very convenient that someone just moved into the bedroom down the hall from me.

Archer D’Ath and his boys messed with the wrong chick and they’re about to learn just how cold Madison Kate’s hate can run.

my review

I did actually write two reviews for these books because after finishing Hate, I didn’t think I was going to read another. But on a whim, I decided to give Liar a chance. So if you really want, you can see them on Goodreads. But I’m going to combine them here for brevity’s sake.

The writing is fine. My issue is that I hated everyone in these books. I spent a full 80% of Hate, angry and indignant on Madison Kate’s behalf. But also not liking her either. She has the emotional range of a walnut, and, frankly, I have 2nd hand embarrassment for her. She talks smack constantly in situations of true life or death and then follows her threats with pranks of the swap the salt for sugar variety. *cringe*

I find that I can’t root for this romance because I hate the men involved. HATE. (They are all in their early 20s, but they act younger but really should be older for them to fit the roles the author is trying to give them.) They (Archer especially) are needlessly cruel to MK repeatedly and knowingly. They lash out to gleefully emotionally skewer her over and over and over again. Then, when she rationally gets upset, they dismiss her as throwing a princess tantrum. I hate them all. I can’t even get down with the hate-fucking because all I see is her giving them another win. I dislike everyone involved.

At the 80% mark, there is some minor improvement in two of the men and a cliffhanger hook to tempt me into thinking things might improve in the next book. People seem to love this series. So, I keep thinking there must be something somewhere, and maybe it’s just later in the series.

I get that this series is enemies to lovers. I do. But there is a point, as a reader, at which the enemies have done too much harm for me to forgive them and reassign them the lover role. And at the end of Hate, I suspected this series passed it. I like an anti-hero as much as the next woman. But there has to be some hero aspect to being an anti-hero. All I see are overbearing bullies who enjoy hurting the person James is trying to convince me they secretly love. It’s not working for me.

The problem is that the sunken cost fallacy is a powerful thing. So, I decided to chance reading Liar to see if the series improved. I didn’t hate all the characters quite as much as in book one. But it was only a minor improvement. I guessed the cliffhanger ‘twist’ about halfway through Hate. So, there was no surprise there for me. And the spice didn’t really alleviate my dislike. Honestly, I thought about half the scenes didn’t even make sense. James didn’t quite sell it well enough for me to believe Madison Kate would choose to sleep when the men at the moments that she did.

I’ll admit that having finished Liar, I find myself in the same predicament of wanting to give the next one a chance to finally turn things around. But fool me once, and all that…

hate liar photos

Other Reviews:

Madison Kate Series Review

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