RELEASE BLITZ WITH EXCERPT: If You Hate Me by Helena Hunting

IF YOU HATE ME, a brand new best friend’s sister, roommates-to-lovers, enemies-to-lovers hockey romance from New York Times Bestselling Author, Helena Hunting, is available now!

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This was a last resort.  I just need to survive long enough to find a new job and get a new place…



A brand new standalone hate-to-love, brother’s best friend hockey romance.

My new roommates are two pro hockey players.

First, my manwhore older brother, and second, his seriously hot best friend (who I seriously hate).

This was a last resort.

No one should be sleeping on a futon that smells like Cheetos and ball sweat.

But here I am, trying to get my life together.

Tristan Stiles is the bane of my existence.

He never wears a shirt.

We can’t seem to stop fighting.

He’s an arrogant playboy with a filthy reputation.

Sure, I had a crush on him when I was fourteen, but that was a long time ago.

I know better than to trust him.

I just need to survive long enough to find a new job and get a new place.

And not accidentally let Tristan rail me into next week.



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“…addictive, authentic and full of wit and charm.” ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads


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It smells like Cheetos, beer, possibly ball sweat, and a hint of men’s deodorant in here. My stomach gurgles ominously as I lie on the futon in the loft of my older brother’s condo. If I can’t sleep, I might as well call my best friend and fill her in. 

“I have fifteen minutes between clients. What the heck is going on?” Essie asks when she answers. 

It’s noisy from the big event she’s working. Her makeup brushes click and clink as they’re cleaned and slotted away while she waits for the next person to fill her chair.

“I imploded my life,” I tell her, succinct and accurate.

“This sounds bad. What happened?”

“I rage-quit my job and moved out of my apartment.” 

It sounds even worse when I say it aloud. I’m so disappointed in myself. Asking my brother if I could stay at his place feels like the ultimate failure—he’s a professional hockey player, and I’m now unemployed and un-homed. I’m lucky I even caught him between ice time and going out.

“Did your roommates invite you to join their sex party again?” she asks.

“They did.”

“Why the hell can’t they take no for an answer? That’s harassment!” 

I smile. I appreciate her indignation on my behalf. “Look, I respect anyone doing whatever gets their rocks off, but listen when I say no thank you. And then my boss dropped four boxes of receipts on my desk at the end of the day and said they needed to be sorted by nine tomorrow, so I lost my shit and quit.” 

And when I got home, Eugenia was tied to a pillar in the living room. Naked. That was the last straw and the reason I’ve ended up here. On this futon.

“Seriously?” I can practically see Essie shaking her head. “That’s the fourth time that’s happened! You lasted two and a half months longer than I would have.”

“I really wanted it to work out, you know? It was my first real job at a firm. I had benefits and a steady paycheck, and now I have nothing.” How could I be so stupid and reactive?

“You are highly employable, Rix. You graduated at the top of your class. Come to Vancouver. Where are you staying now? Please don’t say a Motel Heaven.”

“Almost as bad, I’m at my brother’s.” I love Flip. He’s a great brother, and he’s helped me out financially in the past, but this clearly indicates that I’ve failed at taking care of myself. I hate that I’ve messed up my life so completely after being so careful.

“Oh my God. Rix.”

“It gets worse.” Because not only did I lose my job and my apartment, so I get to sleep on a futon in his loft with no doors or privacy, but I also did the unthinkable.

“Worse how?” Essie asks.

“I went to the Pink Taco. And I always overdo it.” Especially when I’m mid-tragedy. I love those freaking tacos. 

“Tell me you didn’t have the refried beans.”

“I had the refried beans. And several margaritas.” So stupid. And expensive.

“Rix, you know better.”

“I know. My stomach sounds like a beast lives in there. A bean-fueled beast. I also might have left Rob an emotional, half-drunk voicemail.” 

When Rob moved across the country, from Toronto to the east coast, to pursue his master’s, I wanted to try long distance. He was pragmatic and did not. We were together for more than a year, so I’m still sore about it. I’d thought we were heading toward moving in together, toward stability and next steps, so being over sucked, even if it was the right thing to do. 

“Dude, you broke up months ago. Noooo.” Essie groans.


“What kind of message?”

“Not one I want to repeat. Maybe he won’t listen to it.” He’ll listen to it. 

“Babe, seriously, come to Vancouver. There are accounting jobs here.”

“It’s enticing.” But also impractical, irresponsible, and expensive. I’ve capped out on all three tonight alone.

The sound of someone trying to get into the condo downstairs has me rushing to get off the phone. “I think my bro’s home. I’ll message later.”

“’Kay. Love you more than chocolate ice cream.”

“Same.” I end the call and press my phone to my chest. Emotions clog my throat. 

I don’t want to explain this to my brother. I’m horrified by the whole thing.

The front door opens, and I take a deep breath, preparing for the inevitable embarrassing conversation. The kitchen lights flicker on. 

“Ah, fuck. Shit. Too bright!” A deep voice echoes off the high ceilings.

My stomach gurgles as I tense. Stupid refried beans. It’s not my brother, Phillip—Flip. That started when I was a kid and couldn’t pronounce his name. Now it’s an ongoing joke because he’s a next-level fuckboy, as in “Flip me over and do me from behind.”  

Unfortunately, it seems that my brother’s teammate and roommate, Tristan, is home. He sounds different, though. Which makes sense since he was eighteen when I last saw him in three dimensions, and he’s in his mid-twenties now. His voice is deeper, grittier. 

It’s hitting home exactly what I’ve signed up for by asking to stay here. My brother I can deal with. His best friend is a whole different story—and the condo actually belongs to Tristan. When Flip was traded to the Terror, Toronto’s pro team, he was so excited about getting to play with his childhood best friend that he moved in with him, too. 

“Lights off!” Tristan slurs. 

The condo goes dark. There’s some shuffling and then an oof and a grunt. “Motherhumping shitbag. Baffrum leg on!” More stumbling around in the dark. More swearing. Something hits the floor with a loud bang. “Bathroom light on.” He enunciates each word slowly, with less slurring. 

I stay in my coffin-style pose on the futon upstairs. He can’t see me from here. I’d prefer to defer my first interaction with Tristan in nearly a decade since he’s clearly shitfaced, and I’ve had a shit day. 

I lie as still as possible and work on breathing quietly. 

The fridge opens. “Fuck. I need t’order gro’ries.” The door falls closed. More rustling. More swearing. “Stupid shots. Ah, shit.”

I give in to curiosity and roll onto my stomach, peeking over the arm of the couch. Tristan’s standing at the island, half a jug of orange juice spilled across the counter, the puddle making its way to the edge. He yanks his shirt over his head and drops it on the spreading liquid, but instead of containing the mess, it drips onto his feet. He stumbles backward into the fridge. 

I’m unable to appreciate his shirtless-ness before he grumbles more profanities and disappears. Not that I want to appreciate all those rippling muscles earned by countless hours on the ice. Because I don’t. Mostly. 

The sound of water running filters up to the loft, along with Tristan’s colorful commentary about stupid orange juice, followed by something about glitter and too much perfume.

The water turns off, then turns on again a moment later. I roll off the couch to the floor, grimacing as my palms land in dirt, or crumbs, or who the hell knows what. This loft needs a serious bleaching. I stay low and crawl on my hands and knees to the railing. From here, I have an excellent view of most of the condo, including the bathroom. The door is wide open. The faucet isn’t running. Tristan is peeing. He lists to the right and grabs the edge of the vanity to keep from falling over and completely misses the toilet.

I hope there’s more than one bathroom in this place. Maybe my brother has his own. Crossing my fingers on that since he’s not known for his exceptional cleaning skills. Tristan swears and pulls an excessively long ream of toilet paper free to mop up the mess he made.

My phone buzzes from the couch. I scamper back into hiding and check it. Shit. Rob is texting. A second later, the phone buzzes with a call. I send it to voicemail and quickly set my phone to airplane mode.

When the sound of water hitting water ends, I expect Tristan to stumble-weave to his bedroom. But that doesn’t happen. Instead, a low groan filters up to the loft. The vaulted ceilings amplify the sound. I frown and close my eyes as I try to place the noises coming from the first floor. 

“Ah fuck, yeah. So hard.”

My lids flip open. He can’t be… Can he?

I leave the protective cover of a gaming chair and peek through the bars of the railing again. 

Oh, he totally is. 

My breath catches and my heart stutters and then gallops. 

Tristan is masturbating. 




WANT MORE? Click HERE to finish reading Chapter 1!




About Helena Hunting: 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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