All The Freaking Stars To These Two Books: Wrong To Need You by Alisha Rai & Roomies by Christina Lauren

All The Freaking Stars To These Two Books: Wrong To Need You by Alisha Rai & Roomies by Christina LaurenWrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts, #2)
by Alisha Rai
Series: Forbidden Hearts #2
Release Date: November 28th 2017
Published by Avon
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Format: eARC
Pages: 368
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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.

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Words can’t describe how much Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series means to me. I fell in love with her writing and her characters in Hate to Want You, and in Wrong To Need You, that love just amplified. I could tell that this was just the beginning of my obsession with everything and anything Alisha Rai books. Of course, going into Wrong to Need You after LOVING Hate to Want You was a bit daunting. There’s always the chance that the sequel doesn’t hold the same magic as its predecessor, but there was no reasoning for my concerns here. Wrong to Need You is an absolutely breath-taking slow-burn romance between two people who fit together like a lock and key. It’s passionate, luscious and sexy as hell.

Alisha writes heroines that are simultaneously strong and vulnerable, a combination that you can find in any woman. I loved Livvy in Hate to Want You, but Sadia Ahmed absolutely 100% rules my heart. What a beautiful character she was! A young widowed mother, life certainly wasn’t easy for her, but she works hard, she pushes herself all so that she can give her son a better life. Sadia is honestly one of my favorite characters of all time. Alisha writes her emotions, her struggles, her hopes and passion so beautifully. It was brilliant seeing a character that undeniably struggled with her mental health, and it was very tactfully written too, which I appreciated. Then, there was Jackson, Livvy’s brother from Hate to Want You. I was intrigued by the man from the very minute we were introduced to him, and being inside his head was an exhilarating experience. This was a guy who was shrouded in so many mysterious layers, but underneath all that darkness he surrounded himself in was a really soft and sweet guy. He was just the perfect hero for this story, and the perfect companion for Sadia.

Jackson comes back into Sadia’s life after years of no communication, and she is understandably upset, but has no choice but to accept his help in running the family cafe. There are hints to their past friendship/potential romance peppered throughout the story that had me glued to the pages. It’s hard to get a romance between a woman and her dead husband’s brother, but I had complete faith that the author would handle it brilliantly. I was right. I loved how subtly the romance between Jackson and Sadia grew. It was intense, and sexy, and oh my goodness, I could not wait to take their chemistry to the sheets. I loved how Sadia was the one who was mostly in control of their relationship, and I especially loved how Jackson made her and her feelings his priority.

Besides the deliciously swoony romance, I loved all the family dynamics in Wrong to Need You. Sadia comes from a Muslim-American family, where a lot of value is placed on education, and reputation. Sadia is a bit of a black-sheep when it comes to her family, with her choosing to marry at a young age. And even though she didn’t live up to her family’s expectations of her, they still love and care for her deeply, helping her raise her son, Kareem. I especially loved how different all of her sisters were, and how much of a role they played here. We also have Jackson’s family, with all their secrets and drama. They are messy, complicated and beautiful. It was also really great to get glimpses of Livvy and Nicholas. These two, man. They still kill me with all the feels!

Honestly, The Forbidden Hearts series is exactly why I love romance. They are so many incredible romances out there, but please make sure that this series is on your radar. Not only does it feature diversity, but it has all these fantastic elements to it that make it one of those series that you’ll find yourself re-reading over and over again.

All The Freaking Stars To These Two Books: Wrong To Need You by Alisha Rai & Roomies by Christina LaurenRoomies
by Christina Lauren
Release Date: December 5th 2017
Published by Gallery Books
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Format: eARC
Pages: 368
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Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

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I’m a sucker for the marriage of convenience trope, but I’ve predominantly come across it in historical  romance. So, you can imagine how excited I was to read Roomies when I found out about it. What a lovely and charming story this was! All throughout, I was on cloud-nine!

This is a book with some beautifully fleshed-out characters. I adored Holland, the heroine in Roomies. She’s a little quiet at first, but we get to know her intimately as the story progresses. She’s someone who puts others before her, and I loved that about her. Her kindness, her selflessness and her generosity really made her an incredibly likeable heroine.With her uncertainty with her identity and her path in life, she’s a character that I think a lot of new adults will relate to.  There’s a lot that she’s still trying to figure out, and her emotions are on point. She could be quite impulsive at surprising moments too – this is a girl who offers to get married to a near-stranger without any hesitancy after all – but it’s obvious that her impulsiveness came from her willingness to help others. Calvin, the Irish hero of Roomies, I had a harder time gauging at first, but I quickly grew to adore him. He’s a sweet guy, also struggling in his life. Unlike Holland though, he knows what he wants, but the only thing in his way is his expired student visa. When Holland offers him a chance of a lifestyle, he can’t refuse the offer.

What’s wonderful about this book is just how much time Christina Lauren take to develop this relationship. It’s incredibly slow-burn and starts off very awkwardly. By the end, it blossoms into a tender and adorable romance. I loved that throughout this fake relationship both Holland and Calvin grow by leaps and bound. It was hard for me not to ship them because they were just the perfect OTP for me. I also loved the theater backdrop in Roomies. One of my favorite series, London Celebrities by Lucy Parker, is where my love for theater in books started, so I was thrilled to see it in Roomies too. I’ve also got to briefly mention Holland’s AMAZING uncles, like seriously, they are the best. I loved how close to them Holland was, and I loved everything about their supportive relationship. Every time they were in a scene, I was dying of happiness. There’s one scene in particular of a failed public BJ attempt on Holland’s part that had me in hysterics.

With all the lovely humor, romance and family, Roomies is quite possibly one of my favorite romance novels of all-time. It was an exhilarating experience reading this sweet story, and no doubt, I’ll be rereading this one when I feel down.

What are some of your recent five-star romance reads? Interested in either of these romances?
Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Roomies is definitely on my TBR along with other Christina Lauren books. I am so glad to see you loved it! Great reviews!

    • Roomies is so your kind of book, Grace! I can’t wait for you to read it.

  • kindlemom1

    Score for you Nick, two great reads in a row, can’t ask for much for than that! I really need to try the second author for sure, I think I’ll add her book to the pile, well, maybe I’ll just add both LOL!

    • I know right? Though I did read the first book in July, so not totally back to back! 😉

  • Dang Nick, add to my TBR pile much? I need to try Alisha Rai and Roomies is going on my list.

    • Hehe! You know these are right up your alley, Kim!

  • I’ve heard such good things about Wrong to Need You. I’m just not sure it’s a book for me. I should look into it anyway. And I’ve been really wanting to try Christina Lauren, too.

    • You’d love Roomies. It’s right up your alley.

  • Oh I really need to read the Alicia Rai books. You have raved about them for a while now! Glad you enjoyed these!

    • OMG yes, you’d love Alisha’s books!

  • Your review for Roomies has me chomping at the bit. Need. It. Now. I liked marriages of convenience too, but am more excited that you say the authors really nurture the relationship. Can’t wait to read this!

    • You’re going to love it!

  • A Novel Glimpse

    Okay…Writing these books down. 5 stars from you is big and means I must read them!

    • OMG yes you must get both of these. You’ll love them.

  • Ari

    I need to read a Christina Lauren book sometime soon. I wanted to start with their backlist books first, but I think Roomie may be the best place to start!

    • Yeah I didn’t particularly care for their backlist, but Roomies was fun!

  • I just finsihed another book by Lauren last night and I have this one on hold at the library. So happy to see you loved it. I will look into the first one. You don’t give five stars lightly!

    • You should, Heidi! I hope you’ll love them too.

  • Thanks to you, I’m really enjoying the Forbidden Hearts series. I have the last book to read in my review pile but I’m not ready for it to end so I’m holding out. I won’t be able to hold out much longer but still…I’m really liking all of the characters in this series. So far, Wrong to Need You is my favorite. Jackson and Sadia are the bomb!

    I didn’t enjoy Roomies as much as you did though I did end up liking it. I thought the first part of the book was really slow but when it picked up, it really picked up so that was good.

    Great reviews, Nick!

    • I’m so happy you’re lovin Forbidden Hearts! Right? They were both amazing characters. 🙂
      Aww, sorry you didn’t like it as much as I did, but I’m glad it wasn’t all bad.

  • Why have I still not read any Alisha Rai? I have the first book I’m just being plain old lazy now. I will read and I will hopefully enjoy it, everyone says good things and the hype for this series has gotten to me. And I saw ‘marriage of convenience trope’ and I knew I needed Roomies in my life. You know I’m a sucker for fake relationships of any kind. It’s like my favourite thing. I’ve not read your review so no spoilers but you didn’t hate it and that’s endorsement enough for me. It’s £5.99 on Kindle and I’m dithering. I may sneakily buy this over my Christmas break, or I might buy it now. Either way I’m reading this book!

    • Well, I demand to know the answer to that question too!! You would adore her books.
      OMG yes, Roomies is such a Becky book! I hope you’ll get to read it soon. 🙂

  • AZYBSNXGAOCB! 😱I NEED ROOMIES! I actually passed up on this book. Don’t know why, I actually like Christina Lauren’s books. But your review! Your review just ignited a fire on you know what and just one click this puppy!😂
    I also never heard about Forbidden Hearts by Alisha Rai. So thanks for putting that on my radar. Hope you have a wonderful day. Xoxo💗

    • Oh no!!! You must read Roomies! It’s terrific in every way.
      Thank you, Helena! 🙂

  • Bookworm Brandee

    Um, I read your review of Wrong to Need You and stopped to go check my library for Hate to Want You (yay! they have it and it’s on hold for me!) before I finished the post. And now I really want to read Roomies too! 😉 I just love it when books resonate so much.
    My last 5-star read was American King by Sierra Simone.