Release Day Review: Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai

Hurts to Love You (Forbidden Hearts #3) by Alisha Rai
Contemporary romance released by Avon on March 27, 2018

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.

I’m a big fan of Alisha Rai. A Gentleman in the Street, Serving Pleasure, and The Fantasy Series were some of my favorite reads the years I read them and I can’t recommend them enough to readers who like hot romance. Before I dive in, first things first—if you haven’t read the first two books in the Forbidden Hearts series (Hate you Want You and Wrong to Need You), stop right now and go fix that. Because they’re awesome books and need to be read immediately. Oh, and also I think it will help frame the story in this book since some events have been building up and the couples from the previous books feature prominently in this story.

Back to Hurts to Love You and Eve and Gabe. I love the cover art for these books especially this one. I read fiction mostly as e-books and have a terrible habit of not looking at the cover art. This series I make a point to look at the covers because they’re so pretty! I appreciate the effort put into them so they really reflect the main characters of the books. And there’s nothing to distract from them—just two beautiful people against a black background. Awesome.

I really enjoyed Eve and her journey in this book. Eve is Nicholas’s sister (Nicholas from Hate to Want You) and seems to be at a crossroads. She gets out of the family business but is seemingly jobless—an idle heiress supposedly. However, she’s really making her own way, trying to get out from under her dad and brother. She is getting real world experience for a potential business. And maybe a little stalking—wait, I mean, making sure she’s in the right place at the right time to run into a certain tattoo artist that she’s had a crush on for years..

The opening of the book from Gabe’s perspective is delightful. He’s crushing so hard on Eve but trying to be cool while choking down cake (and he doesn’t like sweets) 😍😍. Gabe has demons he’s working through and his secret is one of several reasons he hasn’t asked Eve out or let her know about his feelings. Eventually his story comes out but with happier results than he expected.

I love series. I like to re-visit characters from previous books if the series is in the same “world” but different main characters. This story had plenty of that so I was in heaven. This story digs deeper into why Nicholas is so protective of Eve and Eve pushing back to they can get to a better place in their relationship. Jackson and Sadia (from Wrong to Need You) also show up and Jackson plays matchmaker in the end (another fantastic scene). Nicholas and Livvy’s mom, Tani, also has a little bit of an arc (and she maybe tried a little matchmaking of her own to get Eve and Gabe together?).

I thought this was a great read. Gabe and Eve got together in a way that I was satisfied. I loved the supporting characters in this book. I want more Madison (Eve’s roommate and best friend) and more Rhiannon, Gabe’s sister, who needs her own book (rebel lady millionaire—yes, please!). Tani is maybe setup for more story for her too in the epilogue. I highly recommend this book and this series for fans of sexy contemporary romance.

Grade: A-

You can buy a copy here.

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