The Hate Project (The Love Study #2) by Kris Ripper

This arrangement is either exactly what they need–or a total disaster
Oscar is a grouch.
That’s a well-established fact among his tight-knit friend group, and they love him anyway.
Jack is an ass.
Jack, who’s always ready with a sly insult, who can’t have a conversation without arguing, and who Oscar may or may not have hooked up with on a strict no-commitment, one-time-only basis. Even if it was extremely hot.
Together, they’re a bickering, combative mess.
When Oscar is fired (answering phones is not for the anxiety-ridden), he somehow ends up working for Jack. Maybe while cleaning out Jack’s grandmother’s house they can stop fighting long enough to turn a one-night stand into a frenemies-with-benefits situation.
The house is an archaeological dig of love and dysfunction, and while Oscar thought he was prepared, he wasn’t. It’s impossible to delve so deeply into someone’s past without coming to understand them at least a little, but Oscar has boundaries for a reason—even if sometimes Jack makes him want to break them all down.
After all, hating Jack is less of a risk than loving him…

Although I haven’t picked up all of the Carina Adores offerings, I’m loving what I’ve read so far. Which brings me to the fact that I somehow missed the first book in Kris Ripper’s The Love Study series. I need to rectify that because I really need to get to know Oscar and Jack’s friends – because as friends go, this crew is amazing!

In the beginning, the short description of Oscar and Jack is pretty accurate. “Jack is an a**” and “Oscar is a grouch” – but that’s only on the surface. There’s so much more to both of these guys. The fact that they seem to bring out the worst in each other doesn’t help. They’ve both put up emotional walls that they are desperately afraid to let down.

I loved watching these two get closer and pick away at those walls. It broke my heart when the inevitable happened and those walls came up stronger than they were before. Since The Hate Project was told entirely from Oscar’s POV it would have been easy to sympathize with him, but my heart surprisingly went out to Jack more than once. And although the story was Jack and Oscar’s, their friends were a driving force in The Hate Project. They may have loved Oscar, but they didn’t coddle him. They called him out when he was wrong, but were there for him regardless.

As I said, this is one series that I’m definitely going to back track. The Love Study isn’t part of Carina Adores, but after meeting these characters and reading the description, I already know it’s the beginning that I shouldn’t have missed out on. 😉