Love is beautiful. I had always dreamed of one day finding my soul mate. The one who would make my heart explode out of my chest with one glance ... and my entire body titillate with just one touch. Like everybody, I sought the true partner without whom existence would not make sense... I knew not everybody was lucky enough to find that unique person. But what I had not anticipated was what would happen if that soul mate turned out to be the one person I could not have. Although true love is entirely subjective so far as the person is concerned, shouldn't everything else be regarded objectively? What if our love for one another was unconditional and our union could not possibly hurt anybody? Would that still be wrong? How could I possibly let go of my other half? The empty space his absence would leave in my chest would be unendurable and would reduce me to nothing. My body was devoid of any force as I felt my knees give out from under me and I crumbled to the floor. Please somebody ... help me. Coldness penetrated my body as it slowly began to numb, my thoughts exploding my mind until they finally led toward a darkness in which I could feel I was losing my soul. I knew nobody could ever save me from the dark...
First-time author Schonbeck offers a romance tale based around a great taboo.
Shortly into the book, Schonbeck delivers a shock to her readers--protagonist Rose is in love with her brother Robert, and her feelings are not unrequited. There's nothing to mitigate the situation--they are not long-lost siblings, nor were they separated at birth, distant in age or raised thousands of miles apart. They are a brother and a sister as most readers understand those terms, and they are in love. While the author smartly takes care to keep intimate scenes from becoming graphic, interspersing other scenes with the love scenes between Rose and Robert, which keeps sensitive readers from rejecting the book outright based on its controversial subject matter, she does not shy away from much in her handling of this incestuous relationship. Rose wants to be with her brother, and she's willing to pay whatever the price might be. Robert, on the other hand, thinks that their attraction, and any relationship stemming from it, is wrong and he resists pursuing it. His resistance, however, does not stop him from having several passionate nights with Rose. As the story progresses, Rose and Robert, who are both lawyers, find themselves on opposite sides of a dangerous drug-trafficking case. Schonbeck expertly builds the narrative's tension, between the siblings and in the case, and Rose and Robert's precarious situation becomes increasingly dangerous. Despite being involved in such a culturally inappropriate romance, these are believable characters who have friends, try to date other people, enjoy their work and relate to their family. In this sense, the author grounds the novel in realism rather than relying on the shock value of incest to keep the pages turning. Schonbeck writes the romance well while also building and holding a dramatic tension that must, and does, eventually break in the only way that it could.
For readers who can swallow their repulsion at the idea of incest, this is a romantic, thoughtful read that could make them reconsider the meaning of love.
About Maryam Schonbeck
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Published November 4, 2010
by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Literature & Fiction, Romance.