Hurts to Love You definitely doesn’t hurt to read


Wrapping up the Forbidden Hearts series, Alisha Rai’s Hurts to Love You may not be the best title of the trilogy, but it’s still a seriously sexy read.

Any book can feature on Book-Thirsty Thursday. This reviewer doesn’t restrict it to romance, because there are so many good titles out there beyond romance. It’s possible to like more than one beverage, and it’s possible to like more than one genre. All that being said, this week, we’re heading back into the world of Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series, with the last title, Hurts to Love You, sent my way by Avon.

As is expected with this series, these protagonists, Evangeline Kane and Gabriel Hunter, have a past together. In their case, although there’s a significant age difference between them, they’ve had a thing for each other. Fortunately, Rai does make sure to note that had Gabe made moves on a younger Eve, it would have been … bad, to say the least. (The age difference is about 12 years.)

To contrast with my experience with Wrong to Need You, it took me a little longer with Hurts to Love You. It’s not that Eve and Gabe don’t have chemistry; they do. Perhaps it’s the lack of the strong, consistent side relationships. A significant portion of the book takes place with the two of them basically separate from the rest of the cast, and the relationships outside of the primary romance were big selling points for the previous two books. Of course, friends are just a phone call away, but the other characters we’ve come to know and love just didn’t seem as present as they have in the past.

However, as I’ve praised with both books, Rai does really well in the mental health aspects of this romance. Eve in particular refers to phrases she’s picked up over the years from therapists. Rai strongly makes the point about emotional abuse still being abuse, even dealing with the common rationalization that if it’s not physical, then it doesn’t count. Those sections are where the book really shines.

Additionally, though the romance is still a necessary part of the story, there are a lot of things that need wrapping up in this book: finally solving one of the central mysteries at the heart of the whole story, getting Nico and Livvy married, getting Eve something to actually do without relying on family connections to get her a job, showing antagonistic parent Brendan Chandler the door once and for all … we imagine that you get the point.

Next: Review: Hate to Want You, Alisha Rai

All of this is to say that while Hurts to Love You is still sexy and funny, as with the other novels in the series, it just feels a little less sexy and funny than those same counterparts. Fans of the series will find plenty to love, but if you’re new to the Kanes and Chandlers, start with Hate to Want You.