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Hate to Want You Book Review (2021)

Alisha Rai

Authoress Alisha Rai is a genuine talent who hails from South Asia. Rai’s work is most concerned with the paranormal, erotic, and contemporary subgenres of romance. In her works, Rai promotes diversity, variation, and heterogeneity. For a writer who began writing aged merely thirteen, we can say that Rai is a very capable and successful novelist.

Before deciding to devote herself wholly to becoming a full-time writer, Alisha was employed as an attorney. It was in 2009 that Rai finally quit her job and started her writing career properly; in the beginning, Alisha was concentrated on e-publishing.

Hate to Want You Book

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Hate to Want You 8.36/10 371 Pages Check Price On Amazon


As Alisha would be eager to note, in her attempts to sell her novels, she was repeatedly discouraged from utilizing non-white protagonists in her stories. Throughout the course of Alisha’s career, she has tried her hand in self-publishing and traditional publishing, so that we can say that Rai is a hybrid author.

The main characters of Rai’s stories are often from an ethnically diverse heritage, and the stories themselves delve into the diversity of sexuality. In the opinion of Alisha, minorities are very much excluded from contemporary romance novels and she has been an avid speaker against the muting of writers that have something to say quite like she does. With all of that noted, we can now give our book review.

Forbidden Hearts Series

This is widely thought to be one, if not the best novel that Alisha Rai has published so far. Truly, the novel is a treat to read and it won’t leave the reader untouched. It is a part of Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series, which is comprised of a total of three novels. The book was published in the year of 2017. We also covered the book in our review of the best contemporary romance books. Make sure to check it out!

The novel is a very special one, indeed. Alisha Rai wrote a story that can enter the soul of even the most stolid readers. Hate to Want You is brimming with vivid emotions, a palpable angst is at the crux of the story, and the topics that Rai deals with: lechery, loathing, fixation, family, and companionship, all help to make this story one for the ages.

Messy Web of History

If we were to oversimplify the novel, we could say that it is the tale of two lovebirds entangled in a messy web of their family’s history. But, we do not even simplify, let alone overindulge in this facet; now, let’s dig deeper into our Hate to Want You book review and meet the characters that carry and drive this superb story.

History Repeating Itself

Sam Oka and John Chandler had been the greatest of friends for the majority of their youth. However, the troubles of life are always waiting in an ambush to deprive us of something we hold dear, to wit, to tear us apart. For Sam and John, this ambush entailed the travesty of war. Sam is a Japanese-American and he was taken from the safety and comfort of his home and sent away to an internment camp.

John was forced to keep all of the things that Sam had left and keep them he did, right until Sam made his return. The relationship that the two had built from that period would go on to mark their lives. Together, they began a grocery store chain named C&O – Chandler and Oka, as their surnames.

Carrying on the Curse

The kids of Sam and Oka would be brought up together and so would their grandchildren. Of these grandchildren, Nicholas Chandler and Olivia Kane were perhaps the most pleasant to see. It did not take much for the two of them to see their friendship flourish to passionate love.

As we noted, life is always waiting to tear something apart and this time it would be Nicholas and Olivia. The mother of Nicholas and Olivia’s dad passed away after suffering injuries in an automobile accident.


The father of Nicholas purchased the shares that Olivia’s mother boasted for a measly price and profited thus. What is more, their main store would burn up after a fire had broken out; Jackson, the brother of Olivia was suspected as being the arsonist, and soon after C&O was no more.

Nicholas and Olivia separated and that was to be that. Olivia went away from her hometown. She relocated often and worked as a tattoo artist and they were going to have to learn to live life without each other from then on.

The Unwillingness to Let Go

 They weren’t ready to give up, however. They maintained contact in spite of it all and they had a deal: for one day, once a year, they would meet up and indulge in the mighty passions that had been wrenched from them. They keep it up until one year – since the day was always on Olivia’s birthday – Olivia’s message is nowhere. Nicholas thinks that that means it’s all over for good.

However, Olivia is observed to have returned and it seems that they are going to have to figure something out: come to terms with their families’ disapproval and even loathing or let the memories and time scald the wounds but remain together? Whatever choice that they make, it will bring forth a great change in their life, be it together or separate, without a doubt.

There’s More

Wrong to Need You and Hurts to Love You are the two other novels in the Forbidden Hearts series, so be sure to check them out.

Alissa Wynn
Alissa Wynn
Alissa is an avid reader, blogger, and wannabe writer. (She's a much better cook than a writer actually). Alissa is married, has one human, one feline, and two canine kids. She always looks a mess and never meets a deadline.