Hate To Love You by Elise AldenHate To Love You by Elise Alden
Published June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dramatic Romance
Format: ARC

Note: I was granted an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my rating or the content of my review.

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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.

18 year old Paisley Benton likes the occasional upper and a good dose of alcohol. Although she comes from a spanish catholic family, she is what you would call a troubled child, with a whorish reputation that is absolutely not justified. The positive pregnancy test doesn’t help either, especially since she never actually had penetrative sex. And the cherry on top: meeting her “behated” sister’s soon to be husband and finding out that he is wonderfully hot, and seems to share her special gift: reading eyes.

However, James Xavier Scott-Thomas is blue blood and just as stuck up as Paisley’s sister aims to be, and looks down on Paisley’s supposed behaviour and reputation. Just to spite him and her sister, Paisley takes advantage of a very drunk James and a very dark room and lets James think he is actually sleeping with his bride to be. 3 times in a row. Somewhat upset and messed up, Paisley reveals her dirty little secret to the whole wedding party on the wedding-day, conveniently letting it slip that James is the father of her unborn child.

7 years later, Paisley has become a different person, but never quite managed to forget on that day, and is now looking to gain visiting rights for her son, whom she signed off to James right after giving birth. Will James ever forgive her for ruining his life and grant her what she’s asking for?

Let me start this review by saying that this book was completely and utterly crazy. A whirlwind of emotions that come totally unexpectedly with a story that is just plain unpredictable.

It took me some time to get into this story because the beginning is quite weird. It feels like some kind of Juno, because Paisley finds out she is pregnant although she is so inexperienced – and actually a virgin. Yet the context that follows is more like Geordie Shore broke out in a Spanish-catholic household. The story is raw and the actions kind of distasteful – or at least that’s how Paisley behaves, because technically she’s still a virgin and it’s just her reputation that precedes her. Doesn’t help that the book is set in Brighton and the words sod, knob and the likes are employed more often than not.

Anyway, at first, when I read the first 25% (around the time Paisley tricks James into sleeping with her and revealing the whole thing), I thought “Why on earth am I reading this? Where will this story bring us? What on earth could happen to make this story right, because this is totally effed up!!!”

However, little by little this book turns into this unexpected story of un-returned love and affection, and the dire need to seek redemption for one’s actions. Paisley has become a better person, and is now far away from the reject she was at 18. She had to fend for herself since her family cut all connections to her after her sister’s wedding; and went through rehab on her own. However the past will always haunt her and make it difficult for her prove she has changed for good and is now “worthy” to see her son. Yet, she can never be proud of herself or hope for redemption since her biggest lie has yet to be uncovered, and she wonders day and night how to tell James.

It was a totally unusual book, and that’s why I loved it. On a realistic scale, this probably wouldn’t score high, but the writing and emotions were so intense that you wish it were true. I can’t believe a novel of such quality writing the author, Elise Alden’s debut novel. It is absolutely perfect both in terms of writing and in terms of suspense and character development. It will have you cry tears of pain, sadness, and happiness… And the cherry on top: the scenes were steamy as hell and the whole book in no holds barred.

I totally recommend this and this definitely hold a place in my best of’s because this was THE surprise of the year so far.