You guys, this book is so good. So, so good. I mean I pretty much knew it would be after reading the first book in the series, Hate to Want You, but then I sat down to read and holy moly.
Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
I’m not usually a reader who would be into the whole brother’s widow thing in my blurb, but after meeting Jackson and Sadia in the first book in the series I was all in. The angst. The drama. The should we/shouldn’t we/we can’t help ourselves I knew was coming was more than I could hold out against. Also, Alisha Rai can write the hell out of a sex scene. I put this book on my TBR list mere moments after finishing Nicholas and Livvy’s story.
And whoa was I right.
Jackson Kane is such an intriguing character. After being accused of setting fire to the grocery store his parent’s owned for years shortly after his father’s death and his mother’s shares in the business were practically stolen out from under her, he flees his hometown and stays away for almost ten years. He practically maintains radio silence with his family. He only returns when his sister Livvy insinuates that his mother is having medical problems. I had no idea what to expect out of Jackson, his character was such an enigma in the first book. Big, buff, brooding, tattooed and tight-lipped. Who was he? Did he really set that fire? What exactly had he been off doing for close to a decade? There was some time spent in jail mentioned, but damn it, why?
Then there was Sadia. Married for years to Jackson and Livvy’s older brother Paul, she is now a widowed single mother who runs the family diner all on her own and makes extra cash bartending at night. She is a list-maker who micro manages her time and schedule and worries over making it all work. She gets help from her sisters with her son, but still tries hard to spend as much tine with him as possible. Her only real outlet is the occasional one-night stand she indulges in with the anonymous men and women who come into the bar. In fact, there is one man who has frequented the booth in the corner with his cap pulled down low she’s been obsessing over. He’s big, and rough, and has the most beautiful hands. Why not go over and flirt a bit? Maybe he’ll be interested in giving her a sweaty, dirty good time.
Then she realizes the man she’s been eyeing is her missing ex-best friend, brother-in-law Jackson Kane.
Yeah, I know. I KNOW.
Jackson and Sadia are both so complicated. With their internal struggles and second guessing themselves and all the family pain and tragedy. Of course Jackson’s family was in the spotlight in book one, after all it was the reason Livvy and Nicholas were separated and Jackson took off for parts unknown. But Sadia has her own issues with parental expectations and periods of being estranged from her family. Her family is incredibly successful. Like every single person is either a doctor or in medical school, and Sadia genuinely feels like she is a failure. Factor in the state of her marriage when Paul died, and she has a whole lot of weight she is carrying around on her shoulders. Jackson remains that quiet enigma for the first part of Wrong to Need You, but then he slowly emerges out of his shell. He’s rather shy, has touches of social anxiety and quite often doesn’t know what to say to people in conversations. He’s walled himself off from any kind of tender feelings because he’s been hurt by his close family and by his unrequited feelings for Sadia. Who he has loved for years.
I have to say, I really liked how Ms. Rai brought this couple together. It was slow. It was satisfying. And so very, very sexy. Jackson stays on as a chef in Sadia’s restaurant in order to help her out, she in turn offers him a room above her garage a payment. They kind of dance around each other for a while. He gets to know the nephew he’s never met, she let’s out all her feelings of disappointment and anger over his silence over the years, despite her emailing him regularly, and they get to know each other again. THEY KISS. Then nothing comes of it. They dance around each other some more. Then BAM, suddenly one of the sexiest scenes ever. Their affair brings them even closer, but Sadia doesn’t know where to go with it. After all, Jackson did disappear for ten years. Can she depend on him to stick around this time? Some information comes to light at the end of the book regarding Jackson’s arson arrest that adds even more layers to their already complicated relationship, but trust me, the HEA is exactly right for this couple.
After reading and loving both books in this series so far I am more than ready for the third book’s release. Eve, Nick’s sister, and Gabe, friend to Paul and Livvy’s boss at the tattoo parlor, is up next and I have no idea what to expect, but you can be sure I’ve already added it to my TBR list. Final Grade-B+
Fuck waiting and lingering and brooding. Love is active.