Thursday, 11 December 2014

Review ~ Hate to Love You by Elise Alden

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 Stars

“So. Truth or Lies?”

So I was going through my kindle downloads to choose my next read and this one grabbed my attention. This is one of those books that I had downloaded just because of the blurb and cover and is an author I hadn’t heard of or read before. So I dived in…

I love finding hidden treasures and for me, this was definitely one of them. For one, this is set in the UK, so being a Londoner through and through I could really connect with the characters and the setting. To be honest, this book should have been a car crash, the plot lines, although “can happen” did seem extremely farfetched so I should have been eye rolling galore, however, I absolutely loved this book.

Once I started reading I could not put it down and actually pulled an all-nighter just to finish. Maybe it was curiosity to see how it all panned out but it was kudos to the author for keeping me thoroughly entertained and engrossed from first to last page.

Paisley is not the most lovable character on the outside, but once you get to see the real Paisley underneath the bitchy persona that she puts out you understand her initial brash, say it how it is character. Her mouth has no filter at all, but this is one trait that I loved about her, warts and all I couldn’t help but love her, even though initially I felt I shouldn’t. However, my intuition was good because Paisley was definitely not the bitch in this story.

“I was more damaged and more twisted than he could ever guess, not to mention all my other faults. A junkie. A sponger. A pregnant virgin who’d kissed her sister’s man in a fit of pique.”

Paisley had been hurt in the past and the fact that she didn’t have the support network that she should have had around her led her down a path of devastation and destruction, truly becoming the black sheep of the family. Trying to get herself on the straight and narrow it seems that she just cannot help but fail miserably. One fumble, no hymen broken leads to her getting pregnant, I thought this was a tad unbelievable but after googling (yes I actually googled) it is possible!! Coming from a catholic family Paisley knew that this was by far her worst offense to date and was inwardly panicking and trying to come to terms with her current predicament. Alcohol and drugs had never been so appealing.

Paisley’s sister Caroline is due to get married in a matter of months and Paisley begrudgingly attends the family dinner as a get to know the future brother-in-law. Nothing could have prepared Paisley for the intense connection that she instantly felt towards James and to be honest it seemed to be reciprocated. James was an extremely wealthy lawyer, coming from an extremely wealthy family and Caroline being a lawyer herself seemingly was his ideal partner even though she came from a “normal” family. The brash, no filter, no holds barred Paisley was a far cry from her sister. Seemingly out to shock, Paisley paints the persona that James had been lead to believe about her and you can see him visibly cringe and wonder how on earth the two sisters could even be related, however that chemistry that I first spoke about still sizzles, well burns like an inferno. It seems opposites really do attract.

“Maybe one day you’ll find a man who doesn’t mind settling for what you have to offer, but even if I didn’t love Caroline you wouldn’t meet my standards, regardless of how long it’s been since I’ve had a screw up against the wall.”

So we have a pregnant virgin, a sister who I hated with a passion, a groom, a wedding and a YouTube video called “Trash at the Bash.” The connection and the story that connects all of the above points are priceless!! Their story should be on a show like Jeremy Kyle/Jerry Springer but was definitely a car crash at its best. I laughed, I cried, I cringed, I loved, I hated but most of all, I just couldn’t put it down.

“You’re still the woman I want to fuck the second she comes into a room…The woman who occupies my thoughts and my dreams…”

The thing I loved the most about Paisley, is that she knew who she was through and through. She knew her weaknesses, she never tried to be anyone different, she was a take it or leave it person. She wants to try and be a better person but life always seemed to deliver a curveball when she least expected it. Despite everything that is thrown at her, she tries to get on top, she tries to make the most out of what life has dealt her and she fights for what she wants even if she has to be a tad underhand to get it. She doesn’t make the right choices or even the best choices but she realises her mistakes and tries her best to put things right. I loved her and I wanted her to succeed and to get the HEA that she deserved.

For a debut book this was a little gem. I loved the writing style; the story flowed and pulled me in hook, line and sinker. I would have never guessed this was a debut; the writing was proficient, fluid and captivating with the perfect balance of angst, emotion and humour. I love to take a chance on an unknown and once again I feel as if I have come up trumps, I can’t wait to see what else this author has written and will definitely be giving them a read.

“Punto final.”

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