Friday, June 13, 2014


Hate to Love You
Elise Alden
June 2, 2014

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.

The truth?
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.

The lie?
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.

4.5 Smooches

There's no changing the past and no cure for innocence lost, no safe hideaways and no fairy tale endings.  The bad guys get you and then they get away. - Paisley
Anyone who pays me any attention knows my weak spot for a tragic heroine.  Senna from Mud Vein, Nora from Very Bad Things, Maisie from Unteachable, and Fable from One Week Girlfriend are a few of the broken girls who stole my heart.  And now, we can add Paisley to that list.

Paisley Benton is a hot mess.  She's fighting a battle with alcohol and pills and at eighteen she finds herself pregnant.  Her parents are complete a$$holes to her and her sister Caroline is an evil a$$hole hell bent on ruining her life.  Did I say her sister is evil?  OMG, the stuff she does to Paisley is WRONG!!!!!!!!  Aside from her BFF, Paisley is pretty much alone in the world.

When Caroline brings her upper crust fiance James home to meet her working class (at best) family, all hell breaks lose.  Paisley finds herself completely attracted to James yet repulsed by his condesending attitude.  He's a pompous ass who hates the fact that he's attracted to the trashy little sister.  Paisley flirts shamelessly with him and despite the fact that he's completely drawn to her he continues to dismiss and insult her.  Later that evening, Paisley is presented with the perfect opportunity to put Mr. Snooty Pants in his place when he finds her drunk in her sister's room.  He's drunk too and, well, one things leads to another and they have sex with him thinking it's Caroline.
I tried to clear the thought from my head, reminding myself of his insults.  I wanted to get back into revenge mode but it was no use.  Truth held me immobile as the realisation of what I really wanted hit me.  I wanted James Xavier Scott-Thomas to make love to me.  I wanted  him to take my virginity and show me how it felt to be loved by a man.             - Paisley
At the wedding, Paisley announces to everyone that she had sex with the groom and she's pregnant with their child (only it's not his ... she was already pregnant when she met him).   Her desire to hurt her sister takes complete control of Paisley.
I knew then that it was Caroline I hated the most.  Cultured, sophisticated Caroline and her pure, unblemished future.  Caroline and her cruelty and lies.  The angry surge inside my gut swelled into a wave of rage intent on annihilating her.  I didn't think about James and I didn't think about consequences. - Paisley
This is the stuff that a Jerry Springer episode is made of and it has YouTube notoriety to boot!

Fast forward seven years and Paisley is back.  She's gotten her life together and is ready to be a part of her son's life even though she gave up all rights to James.  She gets a job at James' law firm, hoping to prove to him how she's changed and deserves to be a part of her son's life.  Even all these years later, James is still drawn to Paisley and struggles to accept his feelings for her.

But with a secret so big hanging over everyone's head .... do James and Paisley stand a chance at happily ever after?

Y'all!  I think I LOVED this book.  I know I liked it a lot, but the more I process the more I think I might love it.  Yeah, there were some hokey parts ... the whole talking with their eyes thing, the pregnant virgin phenomenon, the aura thing and Paisley's ability to literally see the truth in others. The good outweighed the hokey for me and it just worked.

I wish I could pinpoint one thing that grabbed me.  Paisley's vulnerability, quirky writing, and James and Paisley's chemistry are all huge reasons why this book worked for me.  Especially James and Paisley's chemistry!  I definitely recommend taking a chance on Hate to Love You!

At age twelve Elise borrowed Gone With the Wind from her school library and thought she’d be traumatised for life – until she wrote and pasted in a happy ending where Rhett declares his love and sweeps Scarlet into his arms. The librarian was none too pleased, but since the damaged book saved Elise’s parents years of therapy fees they were happy to pay for a new school copy. Since then Elise has cried, sighed and revelled in Romance novels. She’s drawn to flawed characters with a-typical backgrounds, people for whom love isn’t a simple matter of boy meets girl, but a gut-wrenching journey of transformation. 

Elise grew up in tropical Panama and spent several years teaching in Brazil, where she met a travelling Scotsman who did what Rhett Butler should have. Well, he dragged her to his mountain lair, but it’s the thought that counts! These days, whether she’s star gazing atop ruined castles or seeking rare butterflies in the jungles of Central America, Elise is thinking up characters who overcome the odds to be together. After all, if she and her husband could, then her heroes and heroines deserve the chance.

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