Wrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts #2) by Alisha Rai
(Avon, 2017, 368 pages)
The second book in the Forbidden Hearts series focuses on Jackson and Sadia. Jackson is Livvy’s twin brother (from Hate to Want You) and Sadia is the widow of his older brother, Paul – yes, this is an interesting love “triangle.”
Jackson returned home to check on his sister after he worried she’d be hurt by Nicholas, again. This is the first time he’s stepped foot back in town since he was accused of arson. He didn’t even come back for his brother’s funeral. When Sadia realizes Jackson is home NOW she can’t believe it. Not only did he miss the funeral but he also hasn’t replied to any of the messages she has sent him over the past decade. They’d grown up together, been best friends, and then she couldn’t help but be hurt by his radio silence.
Jackson knows he hasn’t done right by Sadia and so he attempts to make amends by helping out in the cafe she runs on her own. The truth is, he’s been in love with her since high school and he had to bury his feelings when she married Paul. What neither he nor Sadia counted on was the strong attraction she would feel for him. It feels wrong lusting after her brother-in-law but there’s no denying the chemistry between them…
It was fun to be able to read this immediately after the first book in the series. I appreciate the connecting characters, though the books could feasibly stand alone. I wasn’t as invested in this title as the first one, but I still enjoyed it. And I’m obviously keeping up with the series. I’ll be pursuing Rai’s backlist next 😉
Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
(Avon, 2017, 371 pages)
Nicholas and Livvy have established a one-night rendezvous every year for the past decade. That’s all they get – one night. Then they go back to not communicating until the following year. The two have a complicated past. They’d been high school sweethearts but a rift between their families forced them apart. When Livvy doesn’t show up for her standing date with Nicholas he’s not sure how to handle things. He’d been counting down the days each year until he got to be with her. Then he finds out she’s back in their hometown and he won’t be able to rest until he finds out why she stood him up.
Meanwhile, Livvy can’t really believe she’s back home. She has spent the past ten years wandering around the country. The only reason she’s back is because her mom is recovering from an injury and Livvy wants to be supportive. The last thing she wants is to run into Nicholas… so naturally, he puts himself right in her path.
Nicholas and Livvy struggle to find a way to coexist in the same town without giving in to lustful urges they know will eventually do more harm than good. Even with their families doing everything they can to keep them apart, it’s hard to ignore their attraction to one another…
This was my first time reading a book by Rai and I loved it! She was actually recommended as a contemporary romance author I might like by Victoria Dahl (whose romance novels I love). I appreciate the writing, the multicultural cast, and just hearing a new voice. I definitely recommend her. I’m about to start book 3 in the series 😉
Conspiracy by De’nesha Diamond
(Dafina Books, 2016, 320 pages)
This story is full of twists and turns. You start out thinking it is about sex trafficking and then follow the life of the girl, a victim whose boyfriend is selling drugs. When the drugs turn up missing, murder and mayhem lead to the chase to uncover the twisted conspiracy to hide the development of a human military weapon.
An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
(Kensington, 2017, 263 pages)
This historical romance offered a unique twist on what we normally see. Set during the Civil War we are introduced to Elle and Malcolm as the country is first struggling to come to grips with what’s happening. Elle is a free black woman working undercover as a slave to spy for the Union. Malcolm is a white man who is also spying for the Union, though in the guise of a Confederate soldier. When the two realize they’re supposed to be working together things get complicated. They have to keep their identities secret from those around them, but at the same time there’s an attraction they’re both trying to fight… Can they accomplish the task at hand without blowing their cover or falling for each other?
I appreciated the diverse angle this romance took. It got high praise and while I wanted to like it more than I did, I can understand why it got so much attention. If you’re in the market for a unique historical romance (that’s not overly steamy) this could be just what you’re looking for.
Breathless by Beverly Jenkins
(Avon, 2017, 384 pages)
Diversify your “wild west” mentality.
Good Girls Don’t by Victoria Dahl
(HQN Books, 2011, 384 pages)
Detective connects with the “girl-next-door.”
Moth to Flame by Ashley Antoinette
(Urban Books, 2010, 288 pages)
Drugs, war, abuse, and love.