Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai (Forbidden Hearts #1)
Released: July 25, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “You never told me why you decided your car is a woman.”
“Because no man could ever handle my ass for this long.”
Alisha Rai has a new series and it’s angst-filled from page one. I enjoyed it. I’ve seen it mentioned that this book is like Romeo and Juliet, except with a happy ending. And that is right on target. We have two enemy families, tragedy, resentment, and secret love.
Nicholas Chandler and Livvy Kane grew up together, and their families co-owned a large grocery store chain. Nicholas and Livvy fall in love, but tragedy strikes. Nicholas’s mother and Livvy’s father were killed in a car crash. No one knows why Nicholas’s mother and Livvy’s father were in a car together, heading towards a lake house…but this tragedy sets the families on path for a big feud. Blame is thrown at one another. Nicholas’s father buys out the Kane family’s shares at an extremely low price and more hatred is fueled. A feud brews and when Nicholas’s father demands that Nicholas can no longer see Livvy, or he will bankrupt everyone Nicholas holds dear, he decides to leave Livvy to keep her family safe. And she is devastated.
Livvy starts traveling the country, working in various tattoo shops along the way. But once a year – just one day a year – she texts Nicholas coordinates telling him where to meet her. He flys to her, they have sex, and he leaves. This happens except in the tenth year, she doesn’t text. Nicholas doesn’t know what to do with himself not being able to see her.
When Livvy’s mom breaks her hip, she goes home to stay with her for a while. Nicholas shows up shortly after – and this is where the book begins and oh boy, do we get some sexual tension with a good dose of angst thrown in.
That same spark tingled to life as he walked toward her now, But then she noted how his steps were hesitant, reluctant, and that spark died a swift, fierce death.
Because he didn’t want to walk toward her. He might crave her body, but that was all he wanted. And he hated himself for it, the same way she hated herself for being unable to control her feelings for him.
I’ve put an entire book’s worth of intense family dynamics into one paragraph above so I’ve glossed over a million things. But – Alisha Rai does a fabulous job of letting the reader have a very intimate look not only into the lives of Nicholas and Livvy, but their families. Their living parents, their siblings. While it took me a minute to get everyone straight, by the end of the book, I felt like I knew them so well. I feel like she writes this book on a very emotionally intense level – and keeps it there the entire book. Livvy is so, so guarded. She has built up a wall around herself, and does not let anyone in. Not her mother (who has her own wall) not Nicholas, not her brother. Wait – let me mention her brother, Jackson. He left after his father died and no one has seen or heard from him. But then he shows up out of the blue. And he is mysterious, and gruff, and a man of few words. And if Alisha Rai does not let us in his pants …errr…writes him a book, I will weep.
Anyway! Back to the story, Livvy is all tough persona, but crumbling on the inside. She has endured much tragedy in her life, and has had to endure it alone. She fears she will break if she has to give all to Nicholas again. But oh Nicholas. Mr. organized, broody, intense man. He loves running his grocery empire, but his father and him butt heads, a lot. No one has gotten over the death of his mother. His younger sister walks around timid and shy (she also needs a book!). Nicholas has anger but even more – he has a longing for Livvy that made me swoon.
Throughout the book these two clash – romantically and then push each other away. Trying to trust, and break down family walls and expose all the secrets they have held on to for so long.
Do you like books that end with the hero performing a grand gesture? Oh do we get that. And even better, the words he says at the end made me smile. My only complaint is that I wish we had an epilogue! These two end with what I consider maybe not a fragile bond – but they have had to work so hard in the book to get to a happy place, and we don’t see that happy place until the very end. I wanted to see them a few months down the line. How are they coping with all the stress of their families???
Divine angst, intense emotions, and a sexy romance. Well done.