ARC Review: Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1) by Alisha Rai

hatetowantyou.jpg

Author: Alisha Rai
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Format: ARC
Page Length: 384 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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BLURB

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.

What are words, even? This book is just…everything. It’s fun, it’s sexy, and it has SHAKESPEAREAN REFERENCES. *squeal* Hate to Love You is a second-chance romance between the daughter and son of two families. Their families had once been great friends before one accident, one night, had ended everything. Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler had been lovers when they were young, but the accident had wrecked their families and tore them apart. They made a deal. An arrangement of sorts. For one night, every year they would hook up no matter what part of the country they were at, what they were in the middle of. Even though their families were torn apart, they couldn’t quit each other.

A crown prince and princess merrily walking hand-in-hand. The royal family, before the villain arrived and threw the realm into chaos.

Livvy and Nicholas’ arrangement has been going on for ten  years now. Well, the tenth year, was an anomaly. Something that disrupted their plans together. Both of them know what they’re doing with one another isn’t healthy for either of them, but they’re both drawn together at every turn. Livvy has been living her own life across the country for the past ten years. Her family in shambles after the accident leaving her father dead, her mother despondent, her older brother lost, and her twin brother disappearing shortly after she skipped down. The accident triggered an avalanche of events that left her family without their inheritance, with her mother having signed almost everything away everything to Nicholas’ father. Nicholas is now president of the company that should have belonged to both his and Livvy’s, but he plays the mediator between his father and grandfather in how best to run their supermarket chain.

This was an interesting take on the rival families and the lovers caught in between the feud. Even though the children didn’t have anything to do with it, the decisions of the parents messed up everything they once had. I loved reading Livvy and Nicholas’ story. They have a passion that sears the pages and their chemistry is electric. We get this story in a wonderful dual POV, and I loved seeing how the stories of their families slowly untangles throughout the book.

The story is very reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, but with a much happier ending. There’s not quite a balcony scene, but one that definitely fits modern times. <333

Small thing to note is that a lot of characters do get introduced really quickly. At first, it was difficult to differentiate who the characters were in relation to one another (the first time outside a fantasy novel where I was tempted to put together a character map to keep track of everyone). It does get easier as we’re introduced to each of the characters in the families and their backstory.

The book isn’t heavy, heavy on angst, but it’s there, I think? Livvy has depression, and I liked how the book showed how she was living with it. I love that the heroine is Japanese-American and possibly Hawaiian? Naturally, I’m totally in love with book.

I loved reading about all the secondary characters – the good and the bad. I particularly loved Livvy’s sister-in-law Sadia Ahmed (who will be our heroine in book 2, YAY!!), who was married to Livvy’s oldest brother, Paul. She’s tough and resilient. She works at the cafe throughout the day, one she inherited from her husband when he passed, works at a bar in the evenings, and still has to look after her child. She has a good support system, but I can’t wait to read her book because she deserves a HEA. Livvy and Nicholas’ families are full of characters who feel so real, despite the Chandler’s owning a multi-million dollar business. And what can I say? Nicholas wears suits all the time and, ugh, all the passages about him taking off his tie and undressing…seriously, don’t mind me, I’m just swooning over here. Nicholas is simply amazing. Okay, so he screws up a few times where Livvy is concerned, but he comes around eventually. And the poor guy just wants to eat some sweets, damn it.

The ending is so perfect it had me tearing up. Like something straight out of a rom com? But it also totally fit the characters and I loved every moment of it. In case you can’t tell, I really loved this book a lot. It sounds like the sequel, Wrong to Need You, will answer a lot of unanswered questions where Livvy’s brother, Jackson, is concerned as well. I can’t wait to read the next book, and I guess in the meantime I’m going to go re-read Livvy and Nicholas’ story over and over until then.

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