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Book CoverTabs’ review of Hate To Want You (Forbidden Hearts, Book 1) by Alisha Rai
Contemporary Romance published by Avon 25 Jul 17

Alisha Rai’s latest has two lovers caught in the middle of a family feud involving death, arson, the swindling of widows, broken hearts, and speculated scandal. Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler grew up together and their friendship blossomed into passionate young love. Then everything came crashing down around their ears. When Livvy blows back into their hometown after a decade’s absence, it’s time to face the past and find a way to move forward.

For the past ten years, they have had no contact with each other, outside of one super secret, no-strings assignation a year. It’s obvious right away that they are madly in love and that they’ve both been practically sleepwalking through their lives when they aren’t together. But there’s so much baggage and emotional issues that moving forward seems impossible and is a tricky road to navigate.

“If someone told you love is rational, they’re a liar. Sometimes you can’t stop loving someone.”

Nicholas is emotionally stunted. He feels strong emotion, but he smothers it and tries to bury it deep in routine and duty. He thinly rations out the things that make him happy so that he can retain some semblance of control. Livvy is, to a degree, the other side of the coin. She fears happiness because it seems to always go hand in hand with pain. She has issues she fears make her ultimately unlovable and she worries that there will be a point where it will be too hard and her loved ones will give up on her. Watching the two of them work through their issues to come together is seriously satisfying.

I also really like how the family drama unfolds in this book. There are a lot of players on the field and their motivations are complex and multifaceted. While some are still holding strong onto their anger, some are just trying to move on with their lives, and others are genuinely longing for reconciliation. I’m excited to see how this continues to develop through the rest of the series, and it’s obvious that some long-buried secrets are going to see the light.

This book is terrific. The sex is scorching hot. The longing between Nicholas and Livvy is palpable. There’s a grand romantic gesture that’s sincere and personal and hits all the right buttons. The characters are real people with real issues and they just can’t wave a magic wand and make everything magically better. I cannot wait for the next book to come out in November.

Grade: A


One night. No one will know.

That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts—and the last names that made them enemies.

Until the night she didn’t show up.

Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn’t have time for distractions and Livvy’s sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She’s the one woman he shouldn’t want . . . so why can’t he forget how right she feels in his bed?

Livvy didn’t come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence—and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.

Being together might be against all the rules . . . but being apart is impossible.

No excerpt available.