Alisha Rai returns with the second novel in her sizzling Forbidden Hearts series!
Wrong To Need You
by Alisha Rai
Series: Forbidden Hearts #2
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
He wasn’t supposed to fall in love with his brother’s widow…
Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Jackson Kane fled his home, his name, and his family. Ten years later, he’s come back to town: older, wiser, richer, tougher—and still helpless to turn away the one woman he could never stop loving, even after she married his brother.
Sadia Ahmed can’t deal with the feelings her mysterious former brother-in-law stirs, but she also can’t turn down his offer of help with the cafe she’s inherited. While he heats up her kitchen, she slowly discovers that the boy she adored has grown into a man she’s simply unable to resist.
An affair is unthinkable, but their desire is undeniable. As secrets and lies are stripped away, Sadia and Jackson must decide if they’re strong enough to face the past…and step into a future together.
Some women were seduced by a voice or a touch or a look. For Sadia Ahmed, it was hands.
Or, at least . . . His hands.
They were big, the perfect size to grasp her ass and grip her tight. Or to wrap around her neck while his thumbs settled into the hollow at the base of her throat. Or to cup her breast and lift it to his mouth.
Sadia picked up a glass and started drying it, her actions precise and unhurried. She was certain her face didn’t give away the fact she was fantasizing about sex with a patron sitting in the dive bar. Her libido might be hot, but her facade was stone- cold. She was a mother, a widow. To a lot of people, she’d discovered, those two titles took precedence over being a woman.
She didn’t mind letting people keep their illusions. It made her life easier and she wasn’t a disruptive person by nature.
Someone else could shock the world, so long as she could dream about what she pleased.
Out of the corner of her eye, she contemplated what she could see of the anonymous man’s hands. He wore a baseball cap pulled low, and the bar was dark, so his body was all she had to moon over. His body was enough.
His fingers were long and elegant. They were big enough to fill her up with one, but she’d demand two. Hidden under the soft cotton of her shirt, her stomach clenched. He could play her like a violin, which was appropriate. He had the hands of an artist. Attached to a body that belonged to a fighter. Her gaze drifted over what she could see of the rest of him. Wide chest, broad shoulders, thighs like tree trunks, biceps like whoa.
Sadia carefully replaced the dry glass and picked up another one. Over the past week, she’d gotten really good at surreptitiously peeking at her mystery man during each of her shifts. On Monday she’d noticed him for the first time, sitting in a darkened booth in a far corner. On Wednesday he’d chosen a seat which was better lit, enough for her to grow obsessed with thoughts of his fingers on her and in her.
Though it had been busy earlier tonight, she’d consciously kept an eye out for him. Once the Thursday crowd had thinned out, her gaze had been drawn to him like a magnet to a metal. An- other dark booth, another dark cap pulled low to hide his face. Alone, nursing the ginger ale he’d ordered. His quiet stillness set him apart from the rowdy people who usually filled this bar.
Sadia started. She regrouped quickly and gave her boss a cheerful grin which hopefully masked the filthy thoughts in her head. “Hey, what’s up?” Michael had owned O’Killian’s for at least as long as she’d been working here, off and on since her twenty-first birthday.
“I wanted to thank you again for picking up so many shifts this week.”
She tossed her towel over her shoulder. “No problem. You know I’ll take the hours.” The tips were good. With a young son, she could always use extra money. She wanted to keep her bartending skills sharp.
Those were all the reasons she told people when they asked her why she was still tending bar when she had her hands full with the café she’d inherited from her husband. They weren’t false.
They weren’t completely true either, but the whole truth would cause more than a few raised eyebrows.
My husband had debts he didn’t tell me about. The tips give me grocery money.
I’m terrified the cafe will go bankrupt on my watch. I need a fallback career.
And there was one other good reason, but she really couldn’t share that one with anyone. That reason was her secret.
I absolutely loved Jackson and Sadia’s story in Wrong to Need You. There’s a whole lot of backstory going on with them–they were friends for a long time, and then so much happened(some of it we find out early on, other parts take much, much longer with tantalizing hints strewn along the way) and they haven’t seen each other or communicated in ten years. Their relationship is a low build, because they both have a lot to come to terms with, both within themselves and in their relationships with others. Ms. Rai did a fantastic job of helping them to help themselves work toward something that could eventually be an HEA for everyone involved–and keeping me riveted to the page while she did it.
Every single character in here felt well-drawn and true to life (even if I did sometimes feel like I needed a who’s who chart when we got past the level of hero/heroine’s BFFs and siblings–these are big, complicated families and relationships, with lots of past drama to take into account) and I have to say, I enjoyed reading about Sadia and her sisters almost as much as I did Sadia and Jackson. Their scene at about 80-something percent in actually had me in tears, and nearly had me wishing I had sisters of my own (sorry, Bro-Man. You know I love you). There’s just enough Livvy and Nicholas in this book to make me add their story (Hate to Want You ) to my TBR before I was even halfway through with this one, and the third book in the series (Hurts to Love You ) is nicely set up by the ending as well–can’t wait!
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About Alisha Rai:
Alisha Rai pens award-winning sexy contemporary romances and is the first author to have an indie-published book appear on The Washington Post’s annual Best Books list. She spends most of her time dreaming up sexy heroes and heroines, traveling, and tweeting. To find out more about her books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit http://www.alisharai.com