Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Despite my slutty reputation, I was technically a virgin at eighteen. But it turns out all those sex-ed teachers aren’t just trying to scare you. The faint positive on a budget pregnancy test sent me spinning, moments before meeting my sister’s snooty new fiancé.
Shaking hands with upper-crusty James was like downing a triple shot of vodka. Dizzy with desire, confused by my body’s reaction, and shocked by the possessiveness flashing in his eyes, I deceived him that night and told the world at their wedding reception.
I slept with my sister’s fiancé. Hot and sweaty, all night long in a room so dark he couldn’t tell I wasn’t her.
Said fiancé is the father of my child. The one I signed over my rights to just before he was born.
That was seven years ago.
It’s time to come clean.
I came upon this book while I was browsing Netgalley, and immediately added this to my to-read list after reading the blurb, (lies, drama, secrets, revelations, and redemption! How could I resist?) After reading it, I’m now sitting here deflated because I just realized that this is Elise Alden’s first novel, and I can’t stock up on her work like I usually do with authors that I fall in love with. I loved this novel. A coming of age, second chance love story, Hate to Love You is a fresh, juicy, engaging, debut novel. It’s such an amazing feeling to come upon a hidden gem like this one, and I want to share this find.
This book opens with Paisley, a messed up 18-year-old, just out of rehab, which doesn’t stick. She finds herself sitting in her bedroom, in her parent’s house, staring at a positive pregnancy test, moments from meeting her sister’s fiancé. Paisley has a knack for reading people, and immediately dislikes James, hating his arrogance and contempt, and more than anything else, hating how drawn to him she is. James’ opinions of Paisley are based on her sister’s tales of recklessness and deceit, yet he still feels the sexual tension between them, and Paisley knows it. Following the steamy meet-cute, some crazy shenanigans ensue. In a case of drunken deception, Paisley and James share a smoking hot night (awesome scene!), which leads to a sloshed, explosive, bomb-dropping, hysterical, life-changing wedding speech. Flash forward 7 years, and we meet Paisley again. She’s cleaned up her act, grown up, and has come back home with a mission to get her son, and confess her sins. Once Paisley meet James again, she realizes that the connection between them is just as strong, and that confessing her sins might cost her this new life that she’s worked so hard to get, James, and her son.
I love the dynamic between James and Paisley. The heat between these two is intense from the first chapter, and it scorches throughout the book. James appears to be as perfect as Paisley is flawed, but these two both have their imperfections, which I love; imperfect characters are delicious. Their dynamic is so fun. The tension between the two is irresistible, their past makes them distrustful, but their connection makes them hopeful. I recommend that romance lovers try this new author, because this is a great love story. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for Elise Alden’s future work.