by Alisha Rai
Series: Forbidden Hearts #3
Published on March 27, 2018 by Avon
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romance
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.
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When reading romances in a series that also work as standalones, you miss some of the context and I felt like that with Hurts to Love You.
Eve and Gabe take center stage, having been side characters in the previous two books of the series (which I haven’t read, so not really sure what kinds of characters they were then). In this case, they’ve got a thing. It’s a romance, of COURSE they have a thing. Eve is decently younger than Gabe and hasn’t been stalking Gabe, exactly, but there’s been some secrets going on there.
A lot of secrets.
I don’t really like secrets. At least not when they make up the bulk of the tension in a romance. Eve has had feelings for Gabe for a while but never voiced them. Gabe has a huge secret that could change the whole family dynamic.
So much family drama. I was living for it!
Honestly that might convince me to read the first two books. But when it comes to Hurts to Love You on its own, I was missing some of the dynamics because I hadn’t read those books AND it all centered around this romance between Gabe and Eve. But I wasn’t feeling the love.
Eve started off as feeling young and naive but I felt her inner strength really coming through and she’s a solid, strong heroine. I liked her, could relate to her (well, except being rich and all), and I wanted her to get her happy ending. But Gabe? I don’t need another broody, reserved love interest. I never felt like he was into the relationship, and his big secret kept getting in the way of the couple trusting each other. The overall result? A one-sided love story I didn’t care about.
I wouldn’t recommend Hurts to Love You for the romance, but if you’ve read the previous books in the series, I can say that the family drama is THERE, y’all.