Diane Rinella gave me this book in exchange for an honest review. She was very upfront that the contents are considered controversial and not erotica, which I was thrilled with both facts. What she neglected to tell me is that I would be emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the book and be dying for her second book in this series to come out.
I have said before that I visualize the characters as I read. If a book is good in my opinion, I can see the characters as I read the story. With this book, not only could I see the characters, I felt like I was back on my sofa watching my favorite soap opera. There is NOT a dull moment in this book. Just when you think you see how the story is unfolding, she amazes you with new twists and turns.
Lily and Donovan, brother and sister, sharing the same mother and father, are close as siblings, until the moment they look into each others eyes and realize they have fallen in love with each other. Knowing that society will never allow this and the sacrifices they will have to make if they go forward in a relationship with each other, Donovan fights against the notion that he can be in love with his sister. Lily isn’t so easy to persuaded that giving up is the only answer.
During the years of denial, Donovan changes who he was, from the gentle romantic and supportive brother to a mean and wild man who no one recognizes any more. Lily fights to try to save him and prove that what they have is worth fighting for. She begs Donovan to talk to her, open up and share his fears and feelings but he always refused and became angry and lashed out at Lily. Lily on the other hand, has decided to try to find the man of her dreams since she already knows her soul mate is the brother who is determined to crush her heart every time she sees him.
She meets Christopher, a funny, charming, romantic man from England. She knows she loves him, but she is still to attached to Donovan to fully commit to her English lover.
Finally a family tragedy occurred and the truth came out as to why Donovan was hurting Lily and pushing her away. You will be shocked to learn the truth behind his behavior. Heading out into the world as a couple, they are faced with secrets and hiding who they are to each other. Can they make it together out in a society that refuses to accept that love comes in all forms.
Besides being so emotionally attached to these characters, I love how this book ended. It isn’t a cliff hanger that leaves you screaming, but it makes you long for more. You just know their story can’t be finished, there are to many loose ends left, but you can’t even predict what is going to happen. With most books, even series of books, I can predict that there will be a happily ever after. Not so with this one. This was a book that I will have to take a while before I can start another one, because simply I am not ready to let go of the characters.
I love the controversial issue of siblings falling in love, and she wrote it with taste and dignity which adds to the true love and doesn’t make this seem abusive or victimizing. Let’s face it, this does happen and I found myself thinking a few times that this is so parallel to the homosexuals who just want the right to love each other and marry. They realize the sacrifices they are willing to make to be free to love each other, but even that isn’t enough for society.
Please make sure you check out Diane Rinella’s page and blog at: http://dianerinellaauthor.com/about/
You can purchase this book at Amazaon: http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Forbidden-Flower-Diane-Rinella/dp/0615732623/