Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts, #1) by Alisha Rai

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

“Ten years is long enough for me to be hung up on a man who hates to want me. Who I can’t seem to hate enough to stop wanting.”

This was a damn treat to read. One of my favorite second chance romances of all time. Never have I ever read such a sexy book, that constantly emphasizes the importance (and sexiness) of consent! On top of the fact that this book has some amazing diversity from most of the cast of characters, but it also showcases an Asian main character who is living with her depression and who loves her soft body completely and unapologetically. I loved this. Absolutely loved this. And I completely recommend this to every romance reader.

Hate to Want You switches between two perspectives:
Nicholas – In line to own his family’s empire, while working constantly.
Livvy – Tattoo artist who won’t stay in one city for too long.

“Love rarely conquered all, the true villains almost always went unpunished, and happily ever afters? Ha. Sometimes all you could hope for were secret stolen moments with one messy, royally bad girl.”

And their lives have been intertwined forever, since their family used to co-own a business. Key word: used to. After a tragedy, that business relationship fell apart, so Nicholas and Livvy’s relationship fell apart, too. Yet, every ten years, on Livvy’s birthday, she will text Nicholas coordinates to meet her in a different city. And he always comes. And they always have mind-blowing sex.

Except, last birthday, Livvy’s thirtieth birthday, which would have marked ten years since Nicholas started traveling each and every year to find her, she didn’t send a text. But now she’s back in town, staying with her mother, in the city where Nicholas and her grew up and fell in love. And Nicholas is not only curious why she didn’t text him, but he’s also trying to keep his emotions in check.

“How can I be with anyone else when I spend three hundred and sixty-four days waiting for you to draw me a map?”

And Nicholas and Livvy’s families are heavily connected. Like, generations back connected. And throughout the story we slowly get to see what drove them apart ten years ago, while also focusing on everything that is still keeping them apart.

You all, it was refreshing to read about people actually older than me for once in a romance novel! Seriously, I’ve been feeling in kind of a funk about my age and reading lately, and this was a breath of fresh air! The media we consume just makes us feel like we should be married, in our dream homes, with kids, in our late twenties. Then this beautiful and actually realistic story comes along, and it was the perfect thing that me and my head space needed.

“The world was unkind to women. It was devastating to women who didn’t believe in themselves.”

This was the most seamlessly woven feminist romance novel I’ve ever read, too. And I honestly feel like I’m going to rate all romance reads off of this one book. I always add little caveats for my erotic reads, about how I rate them differently, because so many of the themes are so unhealthy, toxic, and problematic, but now I understand that’s just bad and lazy writing. Alisha Rai wrote this beautiful, powerful, sexy as hell, feministic book that didn’t have any of those unhealthy elements that I’ve come to expect. I was proud to finish this book, and this author has now set the bar for me, and I’m not looking back.

“I read this article once that said the quickest way to get a dude to stop hitting on you was to say that you’re with another guy, because men respect other men more than they respect a woman saying no.”

This was honestly pure joy to read. It was so fast paced, so intriguing, so sexy, so powerful. The representation was beyond words amazing. The themes were important and so very appreciated. And the story was great. I can’t wait to read every single thing Alisha Rai has created. Don’t sleep on this one, lovelies.

Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads | Twitch

Buddy Read with Taryn & Paloma! ❤

February 2018 TBR

This is going to be the month of buddy reads. Like, even saying that sounds like an understatement. I am buddy reading everything except one book! But February is also Black History Month, and the month Valentine’s Day falls in, and apparently the month I read everything with my friends, so I’m going to try to pack a lot into these twenty-eight days. Let’s hope I can do it! 💗 💓 💕 💖 💞 💘

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi:
Buddy read with the beautiful Sonja! 💗 Me and Sonja read The Star-Touched Queen at the end of 2017, and we both really enjoyed it! We knew that we wouldn’t be able to hold off reading this spin-off! I have such high hopes for this one.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:
Buddy read with Dani! 💓 Dani is being a saint and helping me get to some of the classics on my TBR, and I cannot wait to finally experience this story with the original text!

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake:
Buddy read with Kayla! 💘 Me and Kayla are finally buddy reading something, and my heart feels so happy! She is such a sweetheart, and I hope this is an amazing first book for our first buddy read together!

Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes:
Buddy read with Wren! 💖 This is the final installment in the Falling Kingdoms series, and I am beyond nervous. Like, the last book really let me down, but I’m hoping that Morgan Rhodes pushed this book back to make it extra perfect. I mean, how can Magnus’ story end any way other than utter perfection? Lord, hear my prayers.

American Queen (New Camelot Trilogy #1) by Sierra Simone:
This is the February pick for the Book Hangover Book Club that Julie and Chelsea host! 💗 The liveshow discussion will be held on Chelsea’s Booktube channel on February 21st at 9EST! Okay, everyone I know says this is the sexiest book ever and that all the erotic elements are perfection. So, I am more than hyped for this one! And I can’t wait to discuss it with everyone!

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L’Engle:
Valentine’s Day buddy (re)read with the beautiful Wren! 💓 I was in sixth grade the last time I read this story, so it has been a hot second. I honestly don’t know how I will feel about this, but I’m hoping it makes me even more excited for the new movie!

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff:
My only non-buddy read! But, I am reading this in preparation to buddy read Obsidio in March! I honestly can’t believe I haven’t read this yet. I really enjoyed Illuminae when I read it, and went out immediately and purchased Gemina, but for one reason or another, I just never got to it. Hopefully, I can get to this in February, but I might swap this one out with an #ownvoices book by a black author. We shall see!

Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1) by Alisha Rai:
Buddy Read with Taryn! 💘 This is me and Taryn’s first buddy read and I’m so very excited! She gave me so many options to pick from, or narrow down for her, but when I saw this cover I let out an audible gasp! Like, give me all the Asian protagonists in literature, but especially in Romance! Plus, I’ve wanted to read Alisha Rai forever now. This might be the book I’m most excited about!

Inkmistress (Of Fire and Stars) by Audrey Coulthurst:
Buddy read with Jules! 💖 I have an ARC of this, but it releases on March 6th! This book has received even more hype after the disgusting Kirkus review that tried to make a female’s bisexuality lesser because she is in a relationship with a male. It just made me want to read, support, and hopefully love, review, and share, this book even more!

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo:
Buddy read with Destiny & Jules! 💕 I also have an ARC of this, but it releases on March 6th! A siren that hunts prince’s hearts and then is cursed to become a human until she captures a certain prince’s heart? Sign me the hell up. A goodreads friend of mine said “is the The Little Mermaid of your nightmares” and I am so ready for this.

February is going to a BOOKED month, to say the least! But I feel so blessed and honored for all the friends I have made in this community, I love that the month of love is going to be the month I get to share my love of books with them! Also, these are the things I “have” to read, but I really hope I am able to read a few #ownvoices books by black authors, too. I hope you all had an amazing January, and I wish you all the love, happiness, and good books this February. 💗 💓 💕 💖 💞 💘

Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads | Twitch