A special treat today. Two reviews for HATE TO WANT YOU by Alisha Rai. I waited with bated breath to see if Samantha and Megan would have completely differing opinions of it. Would they rate it differently? Read for yourself. 🙂
Release Date: Jul 25, 2017
Series: Forbidden Hearts
Heat Level: Hot
Imprint: Avon Books
Wow. The author got this title spot on with Hate to Want You because that is exactly the feeling I got from both characters right off the bat. C&O was one of the largest grocery store empires in the nation, co-owned by the Chandlers and the Oka-Kane’s. The families adored each other and thrived in business and it seemed like the next generation would be no different.
Olivia Kane and Nicholas Chandler grew up together as neighbors and friends due to the connection between their families but, as many young friendships do, their relationship began to change and grow into more. Everything seemed perfect as Livvy and Nick fell more and more in love…until a series of events that tore not only them, but also their families apart. Fast forward ten years and Livvy is back in town. For good.
Like any good forbidden love romance, Livvy and Nick just couldn’t stay away from each other. Every year on Livvy’s birthday, the two lovers would meet for one night under the stipulation that it would be that night only and no one could every know. I enjoyed this twist on your typical Romeo and Juliet love story because it showed just how much they loved each other that they came back year after year (even if they didn’t recognize the emotion for what it was).
Both characters were well portrayed and likable in their own unique way. Nick grew up knowing that he would eventually take over the family business one day, often living with the duty of putting “family first,” as the Chandler motto goes. Livvy had a passion for art as a child and turned that into a career as a tattoo artist, but still felt empty without the bonds of family surrounding her.
While miscommunication and an unwillingness to trust one another played a large role in the events of their relationship, Ms. Rai did an excellent job of forcing both Livvy and Nick to overcome some personal battles as well before they could truly have a go at a relationship. I was particularly proud of Nick when he told his dad to shove it in regards to choosing between Livvy and the company. Take that, Mr. Chandler.
Both Nick and Livvy were surrounded by an excellent cast of secondary characters (minus Brendan aka Mr. Chandler), that each played a role in the reviving of the relationship between the two young lovers. I had a particular soft spot for John, Nicks’ grandfather who still believed in the core values of hard work and determination that made him so successful in building his business. He also loved his grandchildren very much and only wanted what was best for them. If you’ve read Melody Anne’s Billionaire Bachelors series, he reminds me a great deal of Joseph.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I read this book in a day, it was that engaging! I definitely look forward to reading the next in the Forbidden Hearts series that (I looked at the synopsis) revolves around the budding relationship between Sadia and Jackson, two of the secondary characters of this novel.
Olivia Kane’s family lost it all. They suffered setback after setback and they have yet to recover from it. Struggling to deal with everything, Livvy left town years ago only to just return after her mother fell and broke her hip. She is not prepared to stay or run into the one man who she loved. Breaking up with Nicholas Chandler nearly destroyed her.
Nicholas is shocked to learn that Livvy is back in town. They broke things off years ago and only agreed to see each other on Livvy’s birthday each year. Last year, Livvy didn’t respond to the text to meet him and he figured all was lost.
I have never heard of this author before but I am so glad that I got a chance to read her book. Nicholas and Olivia’s family go way back. Their grandparents partnered together to open a multi-million dollar grocery store chain. The families were very close knit and their businesses expanded. When the death and rumor affair of Nicholas’s mom and Olivia’s dad spread through the town, it tore the relationship between the two families apart. Nicholas’s dad stole Kane’s half of the business.
The Kane family never recovered because Olivia’s mom fell into depression, one of her brothers died and the other went to prison. There is a lot of resentment, anger and guilt placed on everyone in the book. Nicholas and Olivia struggle with their emotions towards each other and their loyalties to their families.
I really liked how the author set up the angst and turmoil in this book. It is not easy trying to get past the pain and hurt from all of the deceit and secrets throughout the story. There is an intense chemistry between Livvy and Nicholas which the author handles very well as they try to overcome some big obstacles. The sex scenes are hot! They balanced each other very well.
I loved the fact that this is a interracial romance. The characters are developed and realistic. They face real issues such as depression, classism, etc. Nothing is as it seems and slowly things are revealed.
I will be on the lookout for the next one in the series. I’m curious about Olivia’s brother and other people in the town.