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Publisher's Summary

A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK SELECTED BY BUZZFEED & THE NERD DAILY

"Quick-paced, sharp, and thoroughly entertaining. I couldn’t put it down!”—Helen Hoang

Shake some hands. Kiss some coworkers.

Cutthroat political consultant Thom Morgan is thriving, working on the governor of California’s presidential campaign. If only he didn’t have to deal with Clay Parker, the infuriatingly smug data analyst who gets under Thom’s skin like it’s his job. In the midst of one of their heated and very public arguments, a journalist snaps a photo, but the image makes it look like they’re kissing. As if that weren’t already worst-nightmare territory, the photo goes viral—and in a bid to secure the liberal vote, the governor asks them to lean into it. Hard.

Thom knows all about damage control—he practically invented it. Ever the professional, he’ll grin and bear this challenge as he does all others. But as the loyal staffers push the boundaries of “giving the people what they want,” the animosity between them blooms into something deeper and far more dangerous: desire. Soon their fake relationship is hurtling toward something very real, which could derail the campaign and cost them both their jobs…and their hearts.

©2022 Liz Bowery (P)2022 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Love, Hate & Clickbait

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Unlikable People in Unsavory Circumstances

If you think it's plausible that the dating life of a governor's staff will set Twitter on fire, and if you believe that most people treat each other with sociopathic levels of disrespect on a regular basis, have I got the book for you!

This book takes place in a world where being gay could actually help a political career, yet people abuse other with no consequences. Far from being a hopeful, gay positive setting, it's simply an inconsistent and illogical one. We have an employer that insists that their employees kiss each other in public, as if that's not a career-ending lawsuit just waiting to happen (as well as being deeply vile). It's a dreary place where cruelty, coercion, and fundamental lack of self-knowledge is the norm.

I had to give up after 10 chapters, because I found being in the world of the book left me feeling besmirched and depressed. And after seeing how the two main characters treat each other, there is no future in which a romance between them is a healthy response to who they are as people. I see from other reviews that the book gets sweeter, but I found myself reacting with instinctive distaste whenever the main characters touched each other. That's when I knew I had to get out.

If you're looking for a well-written gay romance in the political world, I recommend Red, White & Royal Blue, and for animosity that turns into gay romance, Boyfriend Material was fantastic.

2 people found this helpful

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Started off HATING this, then...... awww.

When I first started listening, I thought, "nope, nope nope", I'm not gonna listen to another "awkward gay boy pines after gorgeous but bullying straight bro" story. But then, as things moved along, and Liz Bowery's wonderful characters grew and developed, I was intrigued. OMG, Thom starts out as such an a-hole, heartless, political hack. Clay is heartbreaking in his longing and self doubt.

In the end, this is a heartwarming story, full of hope and romance and real comedy, with surprising twists and turns throughout. What began for me as an "ugh, why did I buy this?" experience, ended with me feeling warm and fuzzy and smiling, rooting for both of these guys.

As for Michael Crouch's performance, wow! Pitch perfect, sensitive, emotional, and during the intimate sections (yes, this story includes some very, VERY NC-17 scenes) his read is oh so, so sensual, delicious and exciting!

I may be a hopeless gay romantic, but I ended up totally falling in love with both Clay and Thom.

Hopeless romantic or not, get this book!!

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding character development

At the beginning, I want sure where this story was going to go. I didn't really like either main character and felt slightly disconnected. However. the character development was magnificent. By the end of the book, I had shed some tears and was totally invested in the characters and story. There was no enemies to lovers instalove, no ugly duckling metamorphosis into swan, and no change of inherent behavior. It was about character development, and acceptance of flaws as part of the whole and how that made each person who they were. Absolutely loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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I’m shocked this is a debut romance.

Great writing from a new author. I always love to read a well-written romance and this one checks all my boxes: insightful, humorous, satisfying character growth, unique storyline, and sexy times with just the right amount of sizzle without overtaking the storyline.

Looking forward to more from this author.

Narrator was perfect.

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Save your money

I couldn’t find anything to like about ANY of the characters, the story is thin at best and way to many loose ends when it was over

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Loved it!

I couldn't stop! I fell in love with the characters and needed to know what happened next. Great read.

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4.5 stars overall

This is basically Veep turned into a rom-com and I loved it. I will also never tire of a fake relationship for ridiculous romance novel reasons and two idiots that fail to recognize when it become real.

This won’t be for everyone. The humor is dark and the people are all awful, but this worked so well for me and was paced perfectly; I could hardly put it down. Honestly surprised it’s

Excellent on audio, Michael Crouch is a great narrator.

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Fake relationship trope never gets old

I can totally see why some people don’t like the ‘mean’ lead. He’s got some sick burns in this book 🔥 There must be something wrong with me because I liked him a lot. I actually thought their relationship seemed pretty genuine in a lot of scenes too. But definitely agree about the rough start. Got to power through to get to the juicy stuff.

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Great listen! Rough Start.

Ok...I wasn't sure I was going to finish this book after a couple chapters. The bashing of Clay in the beginning was a bit much. All the characters were horrible to him without giving an actual reason why they or the reader should dislike him.

However, as it continued, it turned into a beautiful and sweet story. I loved the progression of the characters and the love they had felt genuine.

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Cute without being cheesy

Enjoyed this more than I’ve enjoyed a novel in a long time and I read a stupid amount of queer romance. Charming, amusing, characters seemed real and none of it was forced. Also there was zero whining. Not as predictable as I thought it would be in the details, though obvs you don’t read these books for a real twist. Just wish it had an epilogue where the bad guys got their real comeuppance but it’s implied so I’ll allow it.

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  • Agnes
  • 06-17-22

Michael Crouch shines reading Liz's words

I'm a big fan of the narrators approach to this story. Light, real and human. Truly made this good story great!

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  • Nicolette
  • 05-21-22

The most perfect book

I loved it from start to finish. Really fast paced and engaging book. Honestly, it's the best book I've ever read!