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Hurts to Love You (2018)

by Alisha Rai

Series: Forbidden Hearts (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
886239,666 (3.74)1
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.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Such a satisfying conclusion to the series. ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
Wow, that really pooped out there at the end didn’t it?

I’ll just go ahead and spoiler my whole review. I kind of think this book was a mess.


Alisha Rai is one of the most talented authors writing in this sub-sub-genre. Somehow, she writes complex characters for her flipping short erotica. So, this, then, is why I am so completely and wholly unsatisfied.

Cause WHO THE FUCK IS GABE?
Sure we know tidbits. Seems a drinking problem is increasing (is it a problem? It’s forgotten by the end)… Adopted into loving home. Bad start. More is revealed later. Puts on a charming facade (I didn’t see it)…but we didn’t see the development and backstory for him the way we did for others

Eve was well fleshed out, but I had more trouble connecting to her than anything. Which is fine. I still think it’s awesome to have a complex heroine whose not totally sure of herself, yet still fairly kickass.

But all I wanted is for this book to be over. Hidden and mistaken identity plot lines usually give me heartburn. I find them unbelievable.I find them too deceptive. I don’t enjoy it as a source of tension. Besides this point, I didn’t really get where the hero and heroine knew each other. Let’s set aside a somewhat gag-worthy age gap (again, how it’s presented) and look at what exactly their relationship is founded on: drunken/mistaken identity cab rides, only seeing each other for the past couple of years—awkwardly—and you know, growing up around each other. At one point the hero says “I was in junior high when you were born.” Which is totally fine, but he was AROUND. So, why then, did it seem that this romance was just a subplot?

I’ll tell you why. Nicholas and Livvy. While I adored them in their own books, my god, if I were in that family i’d end up venting to my in-laws or other siblings how it’s always about them. Wait till they have their first child. They’ll be epic levels of insufferable. Make no mistake, this series is THEIRS. Couples this annoying in subsequent novels exist all over in romance—chief among them—two I didn’t like to begin with (Marcus & Annabelle, TYVM) but I think they’ve surpassed them. And when these two had me so book drunk in their own novel, it makes me want to scream “YOU RUINED IT.”

Gabe and Eve were cheated. I don’t know them. There was an entire chapter (or more) from Livvy’s POV. And this book, despite how I felt, isn’t that long. The family drama overshadowed the romance in an annoying, badly paced way, leaving us with a little underlying erotic tale without much substance. I found this completely unsatisfying, and frankly, just wanted it to end. END. I swear every time I looked, more chapters got added.

And no, you do not get to skip over a bunch of substance in a relationship with a cute epilogue. FOUL!

(Sidenote: I’ll always take more Jackson. He still has the best jokes.)
( )
  samnreader | Jun 27, 2020 |
This was... Not It.

I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and was expecting this to be a hit too, but it just focused way too much on the family drama and not nearly enough on the romance. Like what was this one random chapter from Livvy's perspective?!

The steamy scenes weren't half as good as in the other two books, either. I just kept wishing for it to be over already, and the last 150 pages were pretty excrutiating to get through (and the fact that I really dislike the female narrator certainly didn't help). ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
3.7 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The youngest in a power family, Eve has felt more comfortable hidden away in her shell. However, when a chance to make a move on a long standing crush arises, she begins to realize that being herself and letting others see her is the only way to get what she truly wants.
Growing up the housekeeper's kid kept Gabe slightly on the outside looking in. Getting close to people has always been difficult but when he gets some alone time with Eve, the girl he's tried to stay away from because of her age, he begins to realize that she's a woman now and getting close to someone can be the best thing in the world.

Imperfections were what made a piece unique. Impossible to replicate.

Book three and the last in the Forbidden Hearts series, gives us Eve and Gabe's story. Eve is Nicholas' (Hate to Want You) younger sister and has made appearances as the bullied by her father, overprotected by her brother, standing up for her brother, and crushing on Gabe, shy girl. Here we get the full depth and breadth of her character. The author does an amazing job showing the growth Eve goes through as the story progresses. She goes from hiding her wants and desires to allowing herself to express them and making no apologies for them. Eve's personal growth kind of dominated the story for me as her character was so well thought out and written.

She was Eve. A Chandler. And he had far too many problems to get tangled up in a Chandler.

Gabe has also made appearances in the last two books, as Livvy's (Hate to Want You) boss and Jackson's (Wrong to Need You) too talkative want to be friend. He's been the genial, nice, and open guy who is big in stature with a heart of gold. Here we learn about a deeply held secret and the hidden pain this has caused him. I had a harder time connecting with Gabe as the story seemed to not have quite enough room for his character to breathe on the pages. The secret takes a while to get revealed and as a consequence, his closed off persona and constant pushing and running away from Eve was lacking context and his commitment issues began to get tiresome.

“Can I have you?” he murmured.

The basis and continuing thread of this series has been the family drama between the Chandlers and the Oka-Kanes, this book is no exception. It stole some time away from Eve and Gabe; this crosses the line into feeling more like an encompassing series wrap-up than Eve and Gabe's story more than once. From the glimpses we got from them in the series I was, personally, hoping for more of a spotlight on them. They have great chemistry but I would have liked more intimate scenes between them (a strong suite of this author) and just general more bonding interaction. Eve also does more of the heavy lifting as Gabe had a tendency to push her away; the lusting but "oh no, I can't!" rinse and repeat wore a bit thin. However, the glimpses we did get of Gabe's nice and sunny in the streets and hair pulling, dirty talking in the sheets will give you the thrills.

The hurt, pain, anger, and love this series has been full of and the amazing characters have made Alisha Rai a must read author here on out for me. She incorporates tough issues (depression, family dynamics), provides authentic joining and melding of people from all walks of life, writes brilliant women characters, and does it with such a beautiful ease, with added hot and sexy intimate scenes. Shy Eve and sweet Gabe get their happy ending, along with more Chandler and Oka-Kane revelations, heartache, and closure. Emotional ups and downs with hot sexy loving, read this series.

Here was love. Deep, unconditional love. And she deserved it.
( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
I took my time getting to this finale. I did not want it to end, but Alisha Rai delivered.
Plenty of closure for everyone's story. Also my favorite couple ever is Eve and Gabe now. ( )
  rabidgummibear | Nov 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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For my family by blood, My family by chance, and my family by choice
I love you and I'm thankful to have so many places I can call home.
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Gabriel Hunter understood women's bodies.
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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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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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