ARC Review: Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Series: Forbidden Hearts #1
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Rating: 4/5
I volunteered to review an ARC.
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Alisha Rai, one of contemporary romance’s brightest stars, makes her Avon Books debut with the first novel in the sexy Forbidden Hearts series!

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.

One thing about Hate to Want You is its unique mixture of feuding families and second chance romance but more importantly, the story had a lot of emotional depths I didn’t expect.

From the get-go, the sexual tension and chemistry of Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler were already established. Both of them came from powerful families who had a fallout when a tragedy came leaving them in between of this-won’t-work anymore. They had been together when they were younger but said tragedy forced them apart. But with the bond they had together, it was very difficult to be away from each other, resulting them in bed in some random hotel at some random place to fuck. But only one night (of Livvy’s birthday), no talking and no one can know. That was their routine for a decade until it stopped one day and she’s back in town where all her pasts lie and the man she only loved.

Man, this book is just emotions overload!! I was heartbroken with how the main characters suffered from a sin they didn’t commit. Only because of the speculations that Nicholas’s mom and Livvy’s dad died in a car crash together. This is also one of the reasons Nicholas’s dad blackmailed him to leave Livvy. They couldn’t be together which left her very devastated. The author did also a wonderful job for readers to have a peek of other characters’ lives (Livvy’s twin brother whom she hasn’t seen in such a long time, her best friend who’s also the widow of her brother, and Nicholas’s sister, Eve), how human and fragile they all are.

The story revolved around the push and pulls of wanting each other but cannot because there’s too much at risk. I was so glad that Nicholas wasn’t an asshole I’d hate because of his closed off character but he really was different with Liv. It’s like he let his guard down only with her but he’s not perfect. A handful of times I wanted to smack his head for not fighting for her when they both deserved happiness. Then there’s Livvy whom I love with all my heart. She’s been through really tough times yet came out stronger. She’s passionate about art (she’s a tattoo artist), full of love for people around her even when they’d been shutting her out. She had depression which was surprising to me because I didn’t see it coming but she acknowledged it. She’s also Japanese-American so that’s a plus in my book. Both characters went through a lot, suffered a lot so I was really glad to know how they both grew up as individuals. I was in tears with the grand gesture Nicholas pulled to prove his love for her and their openness to each other after such a long time. Oh did I mention this book’s hot? Yeah, it’s sizzling! Also, I loved loved LOVED Grandpa John, okay?

I was bummed out that we didn’t get to have an epilogue but overall, I really like this book; it’s now a favorite. The angst and tension, the emotions, the heat level, the love and banter between the characters–it’s everything I wanted. Looking forward to the next books in the series!

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  • Lisa Filipe

    Thank you for sharing your lovely review!