Monday, July 24, 2017

Early Review of Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1) by Alisha Rai

Title: Hate to Want You: Forbidden Hearts
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Forbidden Hearts (Book 1)
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (July 25, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062566733
ISBN-13: 978-0062566737
Author's Website:
Notes:  I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
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Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler were high-school sweethearts when tragedy struck. Her father and his mother both died in a car accident. Neither parent was where they were supposed to be and the rumor mill had it that the two were having an affair. While the truth may never be revealed, Nicholas' father did take advantage of Livvy's mother's grief when he offered to buy her portion of their families' joint owned company, C&O, paying only a fraction of what the shares were worth. Then came the break-up, with Livvy shortly thereafter moving away. There was a catch, however, Nicholas and Livvy agreed to hook up once a year, in secret, on Livvy's birthday until they'd worked each other out of their systems. They'd done this for the past nine years, but last year Livvy never texted a location and the hook up never happened. Now Nicholas has heard Livvy's back in town and he wants answers. The question is will he like what he hears?
First, let me just clarify this review by saying I'm not a huge fan of erotica. It's just not my type of romance. so this book will get a lower rating than if if was one of my go-to romance sub genres. I hate doing this, but it is what it is, and erotica is just not my cup of tea. That being said, the highest rating this one could get is a 4. Is the story hot and steamy? Yes. Are these two going at it like rabbits? Uh-huh. Now, the big question--Is there any depth to the actual story? Surprisingly, there is. Unfortunately, I hadn't a clue about this until the big reveal close to the end when all my questions were finally answered. For the majority of the book I felt like asking these two characters to take a seat on a chaise lounge while I put on a pair of wired rimmed spectacles, got out my pen and notebook, and psychoanalyzed these two. I kept thinking, "What the heck? This relationship is truly messed up." It was obvious the two really liked each other and I just couldn't figure out how they'd ended up in such an unhealthy and potentially damaging relationship--and it wasn't just them. Both their family dynamics were messed up at well.

I'm giving this one 3 out 5 roses. I kept finding myself putting the book down, reading something else, and then returning to it. The characters were multidimensional and had more depth then I first imagined. The ending is what made the book because prior to that I didn't think these two had any chance of coming out of things as a couple. The story turned out to be more emotionally complex and a heavy than it initially appeared. While I didn't like the initial dynamics of the relationship, the lower rating is more a reflection of me and my tastes than of the author's writing. Had the writing not been any good I would have simply never picked the book up again and been done with it. On the Lisarenee Romance rating scale, this one earned a  STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

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