Forbidden Hearts trilogy by: Alisha Rai

HATE TO WANT YOU

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. “

BOOKSHOP.ORG

Reasons to love “Hate to Want You”…

  • Forbidden love
  • Rival families
  • Second chance romance

Potential triggers…

  • Depression/anxiety/suicidal thoughts
  • Verbally and emotionally abusive parent
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Mention of the Japanese interment camps

Last year after I read “The Right Swipe” I knew Alisha was going to be one of those authors who I’d need more of. Her two follow-up books to The Modern Love series, “Girl Gone Viral” and “First Comes Like” were fantastic! So when I found out she had even more books I knew I needed to make some purchases.

Starting out, based on the back cover summary, I thought this was going to be a mafia romance…maybe I’ve just been seeing too many mafia romance books pop up on my FYP on Tiktok. I hear “two rival families” and instantly my brain goes to…they have to be mob or mafia…right?

Like most families who have bad blood, they have a long history together and it all started with friends. I love the complexities of the three generations of Kane’s and Chandler’s.

Livvy and Nico grew up like two heirs to a kingdom created by both their families. As children they were friends that turned to lovers, they saw forever with each other until one tragedy rocked both their families. Believing there was no way they could be together, they broke up.

Unable to stay away from each other, they meet one night a year. No one, in either family, can ever know about their time together, and for years they continue this one night a year affair…until one night Livvy doesn’t show.

Getting to know both Livvy and Nico and seeing how much they’re willing to do to protect their families was great. They each have their own scars and secrets, some kept from everyone, and some only kept from each other.

If you love a good second chance romance with a complicated history…I feel you’ll enjoy this book and getting to know both the Kane’s and the Chandler’s.


WRONG TO NEED YOU

He wasn’t supposed to fall in love with his brother’s widow…

Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Jackson Kane fled his home, his name, and his family. Ten years later, he’s come back to town: older, wiser, richer, tougher–and still helpless to turn away the one woman he could never stop loving, even after she married his brother.

Sadia Ahmed can’t deal with the feelings her mysterious former brother-in-law stirs, but she also can’t turn down his offer of help with the cafe she’s inherited. While he heats up her kitchen, she slowly discovers that the boy she adored has grown into a man she’s simply unable to resist.

An affair is unthinkable, but their desire is undeniable. As secrets and lies are stripped away, Sadia and Jackson must decide if they’re strong enough to face the past…and step into a future together. “

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Reasons to love “Wrong to Need You”…

  • Falling for your best friends brother
  • Falling for your brothers widow
  • Looks like he could kill you but is a cinnamon roll

Potential triggers…

  • Anxiety/depression
  • Death of a loved one discussed

Having fallen in love with Alisha last year (with her Modern Love series) and really enjoying Hate to Want You I already assumed I would enjoy Wrong to Need You…I didn’t realize I would end up loving it so much more than the first book in the series!

Having previously met Sadia and Jackson in the first book I was excited to see their love story unfold…and it did not disappoint. *fans face*

I’m a sucker for male leads who look big and tough but are actually big cinnamon rolls…and that’s what we get with Jackson. Jackson may be physically intimidating but he’s really shy and hate’s being the center of attention…hence him leaving town when everyone falsely assumed he was an arsonist.

Sadia has always felt like she didn’t fit in with her family of doctors…but she’s always valued family above everything else. No matter how much Sadia struggles she’s determined to stay strong and provide for her young son.

This story was full of passion, forgiveness, family, and connection. The steam was *chef’s kiss* and I couldn’t help rooting for Jackson and Sadia’s love. I also enjoyed how each character handles the other’s battles with mental health…how caring and supportive they are of each other.

With how much I loved book two I’m excited to read the conclusion of the trilogy in Hurts to Love You!


HURTS TO LOVE YOU

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. “

BOOKSHOP.ORG

Reasons to love “Hurts to Love You”…

  • Falling for your brother’s best friend
  • She’s crushed on his since childhood but he never noticed her…until now
  • Big burly tattooed man…really a cinnamon roll.
  • Finding her voice and pride in her own accomplishments

Potential triggers…

  • Brief mention of child neglect and abandonment
  • Mention of child abuse (mental and emotional)
  • Age gap (though he’s known her since she was born he doesn’t notice her sexually until she’s 24/25. The age gap is 12 years)

I really put off reading this final book, not because I didn’t think it would live up to the other two, simply because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the Oka and Chandler families. This trilogy desperately has me hoping that Alisha brings the family back, at some point, in a new trilogy or as pop-ins to another series. Honestly, I just need more, I want more…give me more Alisha!

Overall, “Hurts to Love You” was a really sweet book, although it does discuss some emotionally heavy topics I still found it felt like a warm hug. I loved seeing Eve really coming into her own and realizing that she no longer needed to attempt to please a father, who honestly will never be happy. When we first met Eve, back in the first book, she was so timid and bland…letting her true self be held back for fear of disappointing/upsetting the one man, her father, she yearned to impress.

This book had both Eve and Gabe realizing that not only are they both capable of giving and receiving lots of love but that they both deserve to have love. It seems like neither one of them, due to their upbringing, felt that they should want more, let alone deserve more when it comes to love.

I enjoyed each of the couples in this series and definitely recommend giving this trilogy a try. The more Alisha Rai I read, the more I want to read and look forward to checking out her entire list of works.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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