Alisha Rai delivered again. Wrong to Need You was a fantastic follow up to one of my favorite books of 2017. I will forever and always appreciate Rai’s stories with main characters dealing with mental health issues and finding love because we deserve that. I am also here for female friendship and sisterhood. So shout out to Alisha Rai for providing me with all of those in one book. I can’t wait to see how she handles Evangeline’s story in Hurts to Love You. Anyway, let’s hop to it!
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.
Sadia and Jackson have an interesting dynamic. I didn’t realize based on the blurb that the two were basically best friends growing up, which makes this also a sort of friends to lovers type of trope. However, Jackson left after the fire at the grocery store and he hasn’t responded to Sadia’s emails. At all.
To me, what I love about this book is how much healing needs to take place in each of their lives. And they can help one another along with that, but it’s not enough that they have each other back in their life.
For Sadia, her family plays such an extraordinary role in shaping her, as I think most of our families do. It was interesting to see her as a mother, daughter, and sister because I think navigating each of those identities gets passed over in a lot of books, but I know how different my dynamic is with my parents than with my sisters, and it’s different again depending on if it’s just me and one sister or me and both sisters. So needless to say, I adored the family aspect of this book. For Jackson, he obviously has the crime he didn’t commit element set up, but this also created some family tension for him as well. Neither of their issues are solved immediately, which I really appreciated.
Also, the anxiety representation was lovely. I really enjoyed the scene where Sadia’s anxiety acts up at a really inconvenient time because HELLO, REAL LIFE. I wish I could relegate my anxiety to times where it doesn’t get in the way of my life, but that is not real. So it was really nice to see that represented on the page.
The cameos of Livvy and Nico were excellent tidbits as well. I made one of my friends read Hate to Love You and she didn’t like it (baffling), but one of the things she mentioned was that she didn’t feel like Livvy and Nico could have possibly worked out their issues so quickly. So I thought it was nice to see them still figuring things out in this book because I do think that makes Nico and Livvy’s HEA that much more real. Ultimately, I loved this book, but not as much as I loved the first one, which I think has to do with how much I connected to Livvy as a character more than anything it says about Sadia or Jackson.
I honestly just adore Alisha Rai’s writing and am here for everything she writes ever. If you haven’t hopped on the Alisha Rai fangirl train, please read one and join me.
Until next time!