Alisha Rai comes to the blog today with the third in the Forbidden Hearts series, the first I’ve read. Full of real-world questions, scenes and a multicultural cast that reflects much of what you see outside your door, please read on for my review of
Hurts to Love You
My introduction to Rai’s writing is in the third book of the series, but while the two characters here have some input from earlier stories, their own trajectory works alone. The real difference here is status between the two: Eve is the rich girl with plenty of opportunity, Gabe is the son of the housekeeper – struggling to just achieve an even playing field as a child, and not unfamiliar with hard work and determination.
Gabriel has watched (and wanted) Eve for a long while – but it’s been that forbidden fruit element – and of course he’s got secrets he can’t, won’t or is afraid to share. Perhaps it is just me, but I’m tiring of the ‘big secret’ element that sharing or not sharing could toll the death knell on a relationship – it is a contrivance that is starting to show its age. But, anyhow, Gabe’s secret isn’t all that massive (surprise surprise) and his worry about it is energy wasted. Because the real drama here would come from Eve’s family and her choices –but she’s pretty much decided that being the ‘good girl’ and toeing the family line, amenable to expectations is an overrated way to live. Now with her sister marrying – she and Gabe will be together – and perhaps can explore that attraction?
It’s not that I didn’t like the book, or understand just who was who and how they related – it was that something here was missing – between his angst about his “secret” and the fact that it felt as if it was added for impact and not actually a big deal, or even particularly difficult for everyone to move on from. And their connection was electric – if mired in this ‘can I or can’t I” stuff that seemed to push their chemistry and connection to the side. But, when they finally let down their guards and dip their toes into the sexy pond – it was a dive right in, dirty, steamy, sexy moment that will have you wondering just why you’d think Gabriel was a bit ‘slow to the punch”. He’s observant and reactive, caring and giving and so totally aware of what turns him on about Eve (all of it) and isn’t afraid to share that information. Sexy, smart and fun – those scenes felt most natural and in line with both of their personalities. And you can’t help but like them both, even being frustrated with the back and forth and slow progress – especially in Eve’s dance with the “bunny boiler line’ as she haunts his favorite places hoping to see him. Some see that as cute – I think it was a step too far, but even when discovered Rai made it work. For me – I’d have been happy with small distinctions between them – but everyone here is ‘super” something – super artists, super rich, super chef – just super – and while dancing in the realms above the line is fun – there is something that makes me think much of that was overkill. But, the story had moments that I’d read over again for their unique perspective on things, and I’m curious to meet the earlier couples from the series.
Title: Hurts to Love You
Author: Alisha Rai
Series: Forbidden Hearts #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Multi-Cultural
Published by: Avon
Published on: 27 March 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Being bad never felt so good, in the third novel in Alisha Rai’s sexy Forbidden Hearts series!
Well-behaved women don’t lust after men who love to misbehave.
Heiress Evangeline Chandler knows how to keep a secret . . . like her life-long crush on the tattooed hottie who just happens to be her big brother’s friend. She’s a Chandler, after all, and Chandlers don’t hook up with the help. Then again, they also don’t disobey their fathers and quit their respectable jobs, so good-girl rules may no longer apply.
Gabriel Hunter hides the pain of his past behind a smile, but he can’t hide his sudden attraction to his friend’s sheltered little sister. Eve is far too sweet to accept anything less than forever and there’s no chance of a future between the son of a housekeeper and the town’s resident princess.
When a wedding party forces Eve and Gabe into tight quarters, keeping their hands off each other will be as hard as keeping their clothes on. The need that draws them together is stronger than the forces that should shove them apart . . . but their sparks may not survive the explosion when long-buried secrets are finally unearthed.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.