“Hate & Love Duet” Book Review

Cover images from Pinterest


He Hates Me (Hate & Love Duet #1)
He Hates Me Not (
Hate & Love Duet #2)


Isabella Starling and Rina Kent

Publication Dates: 

Book 1 was released 9th April 2020

Book 2 was released 7th May 2020

Genre: Dark romance
Source: Kindle (KU)

Heat Gauge: 4 out 5 red-hot spankings.

The sexual content of these books gets explicit in parts, but these scenes do not distract from the plot. Themes of BDSM and rape fetish are explored, so I would avoid this series if you find such issues to be disturbing.

For 18+ readers only.


The Hate & Love Duet delves into the realm of organised crime with the male protagonist, Jasper, being a mafia assassin. It is during one of his assignments that he catches sight of our heroine, Georgina, an ER nurse. There is something about her smile that unsettles and… captivates him. Like the psychopath that he is, Jasper takes his obsession with Georgina to stalker extremes, and dark romance hijinks ensue.


Let me preface my review by stating that I love a good dark romance and these books were no exception. But I feel that some fans of the genre might be shocked by how far down the rabbit hole Starling and Kent go with this series.


Jasper is not an easy character to relate to, but as the ultimate anti-hero, he is not meant to be. That said, he is f***ing hot. Georgina, on the other hand, comes to life as someone that you could easily know in your own world (complete with her love of cats), at least until the plot twist. I will try to avoid spoilers here, but it is worth noting that Georgina’s backstory is shrouded in mystery. As I progressed with her tale, I found myself formulating theories. But when the big reveal finally came, all my speculations were proven wrong! Well done to the authors for keeping me guessing.


The poorly developed secondary characters let these books down a little. If I had a chance to get to know Georgina’s friends, the predicament she ends up in would have tugged at my heart strings more. As it was, I felt more invested in the mafia intrigue than I did in Georgina’s plight. I also felt that the pace of the sequel was rushed. The story could have easily filled out a trilogy if more time was spent exploring Georgina’s new relationships in book 2.


As far as romance goes, these books did little to engage my soppy side. To get five stars from me, a romance really needs to be a tear-jerker (yes even dark romance can do this). They did, however, make me laugh at times and the erotic scenes had me looking forward to bedtime with my husband.


In short, the Hate & Love Duet is a captivating story full of tension and titillating sex scenes. The books deal with the darker side of humanity, from the psychology of a killer to the exploration of secret kinks. If dark, stalker romance is your thing, I would recommend giving this series a read. Readers who are new to the dark romance genre should probably start with the earlier works of these authors first.

About the Authors

Image sourced from Goodreads

Isabella Starling is a self-published author from the United States who likes to write dark and dirty romance.

Image sourced from Goodreads

Rina Kent hails from the United States and she has a passion for writing dark romance full of twists, violence, and mystery. 

Purchase Links

Start with He Hates Me (Hate & Love Duet #1).

Amazon AU

Amazon US

Amazon UK