❈ Huge thanks to HarperCollins for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a fair review ❈
Title: Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1)
Author: Alisha Rai
Release Date: July 25th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Content Warning: Depression, Suicide ideation
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.
Do you love Romances that involve feuding families who were once inseparable? Do you love childhood lovers who were torn apart by circumstances? Do you love stories about families rebuilding their bond? Do you love nuanced depictions of depression? Well, do I have the story for you…
“Fuck it all. No ifs. ‘Ifs’ opened a land of possibility, led to a universe where anything was doable. Where the children of feuding families could unite and overcome the odds and ugly history between them. ‘If’ was a word for fairy tales, not reality.”
Alisha Rai is one of my favorite Romance writers, but I truly was not expected this from her. I’ve been waiting for someone to write a Feuding Families/Second Chance Romance with a darker backstory like this for a long time. I am over the moon that it was Alisha who did it. I’m pretty sure she stole my diary and saw everything I’ve wanted in a Romance and then turned it into a book. There’s simply no other explanation as to why it had such a perfect forumla.
Hate To Want You follows some of the younger generation Kaness and Chandlers: Livvy and Nicholas. Until the mysterious death of Nicholas’s mother and Livvy’s father, both the families were business partners and close friends going back a couple of generations. I’m a big fan of how older generations can mess things up for the younger ones, which is definitely the case in Hate To Want You. I absolutely loved that about the story. On both sides of the family, there are fascinating, flawed characters whether it be someone like John, Nicholas’s grandfather, who originally started the company with the Kanes or someone like Livvy’s aunt Maile whose parents disapproved of her love. Inside the families themselves, there’s a lot of baggage and different strengths of relationships with each other. I am dying to see where the next book takes the Kanes & Chandlers, and, hopefully, we’ll learn more about the night that started it all.
While Hate To Want You is a Feuding families Romance, it’s so much more than that. As someone who has struggled with mental illness, I love seeing mental illness take the center stage in Romance. However, that can be rare and accurate, non-toxic depictions of depressed people in love can be even rarer. I am so incredibly grateful for the depiction of Depression & mental illness in Hate To Want You.
Livvy, the heroine, has depression. When the novel starts off, she has been learning to cope with it after having gone to therapy. At one point, Livvy has a conversation with her aunt Maile about her depression. During it, Maile tells her not to let dark moments of despair define her. That was one of my favorite parts of Hate to Want You. Throughout the novel, we get to see Livvy use the coping mechanisms she learned to help when she has those down moments. Livvy and Nicholas even have an explicit conversation about the fact that their relationship won’t cure her depression and that hard times are inevitable which I loved.
Now, Livvy & Nicholas’s relationship. They had the trope makings of what should’ve been my favorite couple: a second chance romance, childhood lovers, & being apart of feuding families. While I really enjoyed the two of them together, I kind of was hoping for more out of them. Overall, Hate To Want You is definitely a 5 star book. However, the relationship wasn’t quite 5 stars. Since the family aspect of the book was so stellar, I wanted a stellar couple to go along with it, but there was something about them that just didn’t quite hit the 5 star mark for me. I did absolutely love their end scene though. Having them acknowledge that they still had a long way to go was a phenomenal touch, especially since it’s my favorite type of ending for Romances.
If you’re looking for a steamy, forbidden Romance the deals with heavy issues likes family ties & depression, then Hate To Want You is the perfect read.
Who doesn’t love an amazing book & some amazing swag? Make sure to Preorder Hate To Want You from The Ripped Bodice to get buttons & signed bookmarks! Details & Buy Links can be found in Alisha’s Tweet here.