Sara’s Review of Love’s Forbidden Flower by Diane Rinella
I’d like to thank Xpresso Book Tours and Diane Rinella for letting me participate in this tour event. For a full list of all the blogs participating in the tour, and to enter into the giveaway associated with this event, please visit HERE!
The heart cares not what society forbids.
Lily nurtures a secret love for a flawless man—the one who is her soul mate. Donovan is gorgeous, charismatic, and delights in all of Lily’s talents and quirks. Their innate knowledge of each other is almost telepathic. Together they interlock like fine threads creating luxurious silk.
But society dictates this picture-perfect adoration is the ghastliest of all possibilities.
As Lily embarks on a quest for the romance the heavens intended, her suitor turns reluctant. Desperate to uncover why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hiding decayed from a tender-hearted gentleman into a ferociously self-serving, cocky bastard, Lily is prepared for battle when it comes to the salvation of her soul mate. However, Donovan traps Lily in a mental game of chess, leaving her to question his sanity. When Lily’s revelations about Donovan’s destructive alter ego lead to an inconceivable truth, can she help Donovan survive fate’s cruel joke?
Impassioned, witty, and deeply moving, Love’s Forbidden Flower is filled with stunning controversies that will forever haunt your heart.
I’d like to think that I am a very open-minded feline, so I’m always willing to try new things that are outside of my comfort zone. It’s safe to say that this book certainly took me outside of that zone…WAY outside of it. I’m saying this now, THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! The book deals with the concept of incest, so if you are in any way turned off by this, stop now and please enjoy one of the many other posts that this blog has to offer. That being said, here are my thoughts on Love’s Forbidden Flower.
This was a book that I liked in some aspects, but had difficulties with in others. In short, by the end of the book I was at a loss as to what my true feelings were over it. It’s definitely an intriguing read and I must give major purrs to Rinella for writing such an edgy book. And as my first foray, if memory serves me right, into the New Adult genre I can say that this book was certainly an eye-opening experience.
The main thing that I enjoyed about this book was how Rinella dealt with the issue of incest, not only in the attraction between Lily and Donovan, but also the way it affected them in the outside world. It takes a hard look at the emotional turmoil that results from such feelings/actions without sugar-coating anything. Yes, the subject made uncomfortable, but I still found it fascinating in its handling of such a taboo topic.
Where this book fell flat for me was not only how quickly the author introduces the subject of incest (which is right from the start rather than a gradual lead up), but also Lily’s behavior throughout the book. When you first meet her, she’s lusting for her brother something major, and she will stop at nothing to get him. When he’s reluctant to follow through with his feelings, she does everything she can think of to get him to change his mind. Now I get that these two are “soul mates”, but seriously, I found it hard to respect her most of the time. And then once she meets Christopher, she still tries to go after her brother. It just got to be too much for me. As for Donovan, I actually liked watching him deal with his mixed up emotions because it was a great depiction of the struggle that goes on when the heart tells you to follow one path, but society dictates that you follow a different. What I didn’t enjoy about him was the fact that he took his frustrations out on other people. Given, it’s how a lot of folks react, but that doesn’t make it appropriate in the long run.
Writing wise, I’m of two minds about Rinella’s writing. On the one paw she does an excellent job pacing the story and developing the plot and characters, but on the other paw she uses a lot of overly descriptive writing which makes it hard to read. Or at least I feel it is overly descriptive. To another reader it might be totally fine. ~shrugs~
Over all, this was an okay story. I didn’t completely dislike it, but I wasn’t entirely enamored with it either. I’ve heard some folks compare this book as being similar to V.C. Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic, and that may be a rather good comparison, but I’ve not read that book in years so I can’t say for certain if this is apt or not. What I can say is, this book is one that’s going to make you think, take you outside your comfort zone, and leave you questioning some things. Will I read the next book in the series? Most likely not. That doesn’t mean that I would discourage anyone else from reading it though. This is definitely a “your mileage will vary” book. Some readers will love it, and others won’t, and neither view is wrong.
If you have read this book and enjoyed it, I invite you to share your thoughts on it with me in the comments below. I’m always open to hearing alternate opinions on books, so long as they are shared respectfully, murr!
Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.
She is currently completing the sequel to Love’s Forbidden Flower.