Cait’s Review of “I Hated You First” by Rachel John

By: Cait Marie


Clay… My best friend has held a grudge against his half-sister, Lauren, forever. It’s unjustified and ridiculous, but I have to take his side. Also ridiculous? How bad I have it for her. My Lauren radar goes off the second she steps in the building. Did I mention we work together and her dad’s the boss? Yeah, she’s so off-limits I might as well start running now and never come back. Except, her family is like family to me. So, I’ll do whatever it takes to stick around, even if she hates my guts.

Lauren… I date guys nothing like Clay on purpose. I will not let my old crush on him get the best of me. It’s going on the list of things I’ve outgrown and will deny ever having, like the Justin Bieber poster I used to keep on the back of my door. It doesn’t matter that I’ve caught Clay looking at me like he’s a jewel thief and I’m a precious gem encased in glass. He’d never choose me over my brother, or his job, or his enjoyment in teasing me. Avoiding Clay is easy, until the day I realize my dad’s asked for Clay’s help in checking up on my dates. No stinking way.


This book was a suggested one on Scribd, so I gave it a try because I wanted another light romance… and I am so grateful I did! It was so cute and fun.

Clay and Lauren have known each other forever. It’s the classic brother’s best friend trope, which is a personal favorite. They have this whole acting like they hate one another thing going on to hide their true feelings. This naturally causes a lot of tension. But then, they start to realize it’s all an act and become flirty friends. Their development, in general, just made me really happy.

I listened to the audiobook, and it sucked me right in. It was such an easy story to get into, with a good narrator, which made it difficult to stop. I enjoyed it so much that I flew through the rest of the series (reviews coming soon) and am now reading the ebook of the newest book because the audio isn’t available yet. I couldn’t wait.

That being said, I do wish this book had been expanded just a bit more. It felt kind of rushed in areas, and I think the backstory could have been a little more detailed and developed. This didn’t take away from the story at all, but I think it could have added more depth to the story and characters.

I really loved this book. Clay and Lauren had great chemistry, and I loved some of the side characters just as much. If you enjoy clean adult romance, I’d definitely recommend it. I’ll absolutely be reading the rest of the author’s books now!

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