Hurts to Love You
by Alisha Rai
Rai nicely brings nicely provides closure to two of the main secrets for the Oka-Kane and Chandler families teased about in the first two books as first-book couple Nicholas and Livvy retreat to a country mansion for their wedding.
In the bosom of their extended family, Gabe, the adopted son of the housekeeper who has grown up next to the rich kids of the family, and Eva, the youngest Chandler who has lived under her emotionally abusive father and over-protective brother her entire life, finally acknowledge their long-term crushes on each other.
Gabe has a secret, but Eva does, too. And the question of why Maria and Robert (parents of current couples) died in car accident all those years ago is satisfactorily settled with all children knowing they were loved.
Rai does an awful good job of writing sexy romances set within the contentious, but healing family. Its the various Oka-Kane / chandlers that I have come to look forward to in these books, the reserved matriarch Tani, the quiet and introverted master chef Jackson, the wheelchair bound partriarch John, etc, etc.
The way this romance stands out a bit from the norm (other than the awesome family and the references to Japanese Internment that I really appreciated) is that Eva is curvy. And Rai doesn’t shy away from talking about backrolls or jiggling parts or whatnot. And its handled deftly and sexily and I wish more people would write books that encompass real body shapes like this.
Gabe is a tattoo artist by trade, and while there is one poignant reference to a traditional Hawaiian tattoo he received, and some mentions of scribbling, I wanted deeper context and details about him as an artist and his store.
This is a terrific romance trilogy and there’s even more coming down the pipeline as Gabe’s sister gets the next romance.