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Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai

Hurts to Love You (2018)

by Alisha Rai

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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 |

If you've read the other books in this series, all of the plot threads are tied up at the end of this one--and some of the reveals are pretty huge. If you haven't read the other books, these secrets won't have as much of an impact as they will for those who have been wondering for two books what really happened the night Robert Kane and Maria Chandler died, but even if you're starting here Eve and Gabe's story packs one heck of a wallop. If you're not acquainted with the other series characters already, you'll still enjoy the roles they play here--the relationships in this series are amazing. (Confession time--I still need to read book one, Hate to Want You , but even so this book really got to me. I have the audio version--it's on the list...)

Though on the surface the romantic conflicts here appear to be their age differences (twelve years), their social status (wealthy heiress vs tattoo artist), and the dreaded "brother's best friend"--each of which could have been "the" issue keeping them apart--instead the real one is actually a secret that Gabe has been keeping for years from almost everyone he knows. The fact that he doesn't reveal his deepest self to anyone outside of his sister and parents has contributed to his not seeing himself as the kind of guy who's "good" at relationships--which obviously means that starting something with "Baby Chandler" is definitely out.

But when Eve figures out what he's been hiding? Watch. Out.

Mixed in with the heavy drama and heady chemistry, though, is some really fun stuff. Kareem's puppy with the ever-changing name, "ButtGate" (OMG--LOL), and lines like this: "You're a dirty talker. Like sex closed-captioning" had me grinning like a loon just a page or two away from a much more series part of the story. And Nico and Livvy's wedding vows will make you sigh even if you haven't read their book yet. (I know, I KNOW. I WILL!)

Oh, this series! So sad to see it end, but really looking forward to seeing what Ms. Rai has in store for us next...

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. ( )
  beckymmoe | Mar 22, 2018 |
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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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Book description
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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"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 ..."--… (more)

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